For his latest movie, American Sniper, Bradley Cooper bulked up big time – a whole 40 pounds – to play a skilled military marksman. That makes him one of the latest actors to go above-and-beyond in changing their body for their art. Here’s some of the good company he finds himself in.
You won’t believe how far these actors went for their art
50 Cent, "All Things Fall Apart"He may not be the greatest actor, but you have to respect 50 cent dedicating himself to losing a startling 54 lbs to play a cancer patient.50 Cent
Christian Bale, "The Machinist"A definite case of “Too far, dude,” Christian Bale lost a shocking 60 pounds, making him look disturbingly emaciated and inspiring more than a few “Well, that can’t be good for him” responses while watching him in The Machinist.Filmax Group
Matt Damon, "The Informant"The usually svelte Mr. Bourne rounded himself out by packing on 30 for The Informant.Warner Bros.
Robert DeNiro, "Raging Bull"Leave it Robert DeNiro to bulk up and gain excessive weight for a role – in the same movie. The famous method actor first bulked up to play boxer Jake LaMotta at his prime, then gorged on food to gain 70 pounds to play LaMotta at his most prime-rib loving.United Artists
Matthew Fox, "Alex Cross"When early images of Alex Cross were released, few people recognized the skinny, ripped man playing the psychotic looking bad guy. Unbelievably, it was Lost’s Matthew Fox, who lost 44lbs and gained significant muscle to play an uber-killer.Block / Hanson
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Southpaw"Yes, Gyllenhaal got buff before for Prince of Persia (yeah, we don’t remember it either), but this version of Jake makes that one look like a 98-pound weakling. In Southpaw (out in 2015), Jake gained a significant 15 pounds of muscle to play a boxer, making the Bubble Boy actor unrecognisable in the process.Escape Artists
Tom Hanks, "Cast Away"The soft, sweet face of one of America’s favourite actors lost a whole lot of its softness when this Volleyball loving Cast Away role required him to lose 55 pounds. Though that beard probably adds another 5 pounds back.Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"Sure, everyone noticed Hathaway’s dramatically shaved head, and her powerful singing pipes, but the actress also lost a substantial 25 pounds to play the famished, sick prostitute, Fantine.Universal Pictures
Jared Leto, 'Chapter 27"Leto gained a whopping 67 pounds to play John Lennon’s killer, going so far as to even get gout as a result. Now if only anyone had actually seen this movie to appreciate his efforts.Peace Arch Entertainment Group
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"The (in)famously buff and shirtless actor shocked everyone with his transformation for in Dallas Buyers Club>/em>. Gone were the pecks and abs, along with 40 pounds of weight. All to help deliver a magnificent performance as a man being ravaged by AIDS that would win McConaughey an Oscar.Truth Entertainment (II)
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"Portman spent over a year not only training to perform ballet, but working on losing 20 pounds to slip into the role (and physique) of a professional ballerina.Fox Searchlight Pictures
Chris Pratt, "Guardians of the Galaxy"Beloved, a little big-boned Andy Dwyer of Parks and Recreation went bye bye when Pratt ascended to Marvel superhero status with The Guardians of the Galaxy. The actor lost 60 pounds for the gig, and bulked up. A lot. Men and women have been drooling ever since.Marvel Studios
Charlize Theron, "Monster"To play serial killer Ailen Wuornos, the stunning former model underwent not just an anti-make over (including having her eyebrows shaved), but also gained 30 pounds to inspire more than a few “THAT’S CHARLIZE THERON?!” reactions.Media 8 Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, "American Sniper"Now, it's time for Cooper to gain some pounds for his art. In 2015, you can catch the unrecognisable 39-year-old on the big screen in American Sniper." Warner Bros.