Acting fit: 10 actors who got ripped for movie roles

They look good on the big screen but these guys workout incredibly hard off it.

Meryl D'Souza June 21, 2016

In 2014, Chris Pratt made the transformation from chubby sidekick Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation to superhero Starlord from Guardians of the Galaxy.

It took the birthday boy about six months of high-intensity training and a strict diet to get to that elusive funny, smart and smouldering level most men strive for. With the actors turning 27 today, we take a look at other starts from Hollywood who transformed themselves for a role in a movie. 

Brad Pitt
Movie: Fight Club (1999)

Alright, alright, alright! We’re cheating. But you can’t blame us. Even after all these years, Brad Pitt’s Fight Club body is the one most men crave. The man who brought his body fat percentage down to five for the role is an ectomorph. For the uninitiated, ectomorphs are those devil spawn who give you a hard time because they can polish off a five-star lunch buffet and remain lean.

Will Smith
Movie: Ali (2001)

While preparing to play one of the greatest boxers of all time, Will Smith spent six hours a day at his gym and when he wasn’t working on strength, he worked on his endurance and boxing skills. It took him little over a year to get there.

Ryan Reynolds
Movie: Blade Trinity (2004)

You may remember Ryan Reynolds from his Van Wilder days, but he shot to fame after he showed off his rock hard abs in Blade: Trinity. The man we now know for his role in Deadpool was asked to put on 25 pounds of muscle for that role, which he did that in three months. If you loved Deadpool, you need to be thankful they made Blade: Trinity, Reynolds says so himself.

Christian Bale
Movie: Batman Begins (2005)

Christian Bale is the undisputed king of physical transformations. In 2004 he brought his body weight down to 54 kilograms to play Trevor Reznik in The Machinist and in the span of six weeks turned up to shoot for Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins as the buff Bruce Wayne weighing in at 86 kilograms.

Gerard Butler
Movie: 300 (2006)

It took Gerard Butler four months to get in shape to play the fearless Spartan King Leonidas. Mountain climber Mark Twight created an intense, full-body training system that required Butler to completely exhaust himself every alternate day.

Chris Hemsworth
Movie: Thor (2011)

This isn’t to say that he was out of shape before. Chris was more surfer dude than jacked up like Thor. Since he had to put on some weight, Chris was asked to eat a lot more than usual and, rather surprisingly, sleep as much as he could when he wasn’t working out.

Chris Pratt
Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Chris Pratt lost 27 kilograms in six months to prepare for his role as Peter Quill in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy or as we like to call them, the space Avengers.

Jake Gyllenhaal
Movie: Southpaw (2015)

If you ever want to get ripped and learn how to beat up anyone who gets in your face, you should add boxing to your to-do list. It took Jake Gyllenhaal only six months to go from scrawny journo in Nightcrawler to the shredded boxer Billy Hope in Southpaw.

Paul Rudd
Ant-Man (2015)

Paul Rudd wasn’t fat before he took on the mantle of Ant-Man. He did, however, have a dad bod. Dad bods are not necessarily a bad thing – Emilia Clarke aka Daenerys Targaryen of Game of Thrones fame prefers men with dad bods – but a dad bod in a superhero movie is simply bad for business. 

Michael B Jordan
Creed (2015)

In Creed (a Rocky series spin off), Michael B. Jordan plays Apollo Creed’s son, an aspiring boxer being trained by Rocky Balboa (no points for guessing who plays Rocky). To live up to the Creed name, Jordan gained 24 pounds of muscle and had his competitive body builder trainer, Caorey Calliet, help him bulk up and turn that bulk to muscle.