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Most actors are required to alter their physical appearance to some extent for a movie role. However, some stars go a step further, completely transforming their looks in order to better get into character. These method actors change their bodies in incredible and often unbelievable ways. From piling on the pounds and bulking up a la Christian Bale in 'Batman', to slimming right down like Anne Hathaway in 'Les Miserables', these celebs know the true meaning of suffering for their art.
The American actress has been very open when chatting about her dramatic weight gain and loss programme over the years, especially when it comes to reviving one of her most famous characters of all time - Bridget Jones. The 46-year-old, who plays the unhealthy but loveable titular British character has spoken candidly about the difficulties your body faces: "For two days it's bliss and then you're full" she explains… then after a week your glucose levels are going crazy." Picture: Photoshot
We'd be hard tasked to name an actor that has proven he can change his body shape so drastically as the father-of-one. The skilled actor's ability to dramatically alter his weight has meant he can play a huge range of diverse movie roles, ranging from 'American Psycho' to 'The Fighter'. In order to play the legendary superhero Batman, Bale had to seriously beef up… and we mean SERIOUSLY! The actor allegedly got up to around 230 pounds for the role. Phwoar! Picture: Photoshot
The body size that Christian Bale shrunk down to for his role in director Brad Anderson's 2004 film rightly earned him a massive amount of praise. The extreme weight reduction saw the 41-year-old lose over 60 pounds to really get into his crazed, insomniac character Trevor Reznik in the film. According to showbiz website 'We've Got This Covered' Bale reportedly kept to a minuscule diet of 275 calories. Eeek! Picture: Photoshot
Getting in shape for a role is one thing, but completely altering your physique demands new levels of commitment. The workout regime required for Gerard Butler to become a believable warrior took the 45-year-old actor four months and a gruelling regime under the guidance of former world-class mountain climber Mark Twight AND Venezuelan body builder Franco LiCastro. Picture: Photoshot
Both Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis fully immersed themselves in their roles for 'Black Swan'. The film required rigorous dance training which reportedly saw both ladies shrink down to under 100 pounds. Extreme weight loss places not only a physical strain on the body, but on the mind as well. The performances both girls gave as ballerinas were due to disciplined schedules which allegedly not only included strict dietary requirements, but up to 16 hours a day of dancing. Picture: Photoshot
Proving it isn't just the fellas who've got what it takes when it comes to intense training and muscle gain for roles. The 40-year-old actress reportedly trained so hard for the role of wanna-be boxing star Maggie Fitzgerald that according to online health website 'Celebrity Fitness Training' she gained 19 pounds worth of muscle. Picture: Photoshot
No-one could accuse the 32-year-old of not fully immersing herself mentally and physically in the role of the tragic French prostitute Fantine. The actress lost 25 pounds for the film: "I had to be obsessive about it" she told 'Vogue' "the idea was to look near death." Oh my! Picture: Photoshot
The 43-year-old is another actor who knows how much intense training is required to build a fighter's physique. It was a case of a little more than simply hitting the gym for Mr Wahlberg when it came to preparing for his role as Daniel Lugo in 'Pain & Gain'. The actor explained how he gained a phenomenal 40 pounds to men's health website 'M&F': "I was able to get up to 212 for 'Pain & Gain'… I was eating 10 meals a day." Blimey, rather you than us Mark! Picture: Photoshot
Tom Hanks has put his body through the mill several times to prepare for epic blockbuster-worthy roles. The actor's look in the movie 'Cast Away' however, took things to a whole other level. Aided by his incredible self-discipline, Hanks taught himself to only eat meals that could fit in his hands, enabling him to shed a scary 55 pounds! Picture: Photoshot
The 39-year-old is arguably one of the most beautiful women in the world, but for her role as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 'Monster', the blonde beauty had to completely transform her look. The actress rose to the challenge admirably, putting on 30 pounds body mass and popping in fake nashers too. According to entertainment website 'We've Got This Covered', the Oscar-winner's diet 'consisted mainly of potato chips and donuts'. Picture: Photoshot
No stranger to building up his frame for a role, Tom Hardy has layered on considerable muscle for a movie role more than once. The 37-year-old grew considerably for roles such as aggressive criminal Bronson in the eponymous film and beefy boxer Tommy Conlon in 'Warrior'. He also had to beef up to play the villain Bane in 'The Dark Knight Rises' which saw him put on 30 pounds in just three months after stocking up on chicken and broccoli and hitting the gym hard.