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The 9 Most Dramatic Body Transformations Actors Went Through That Were For a Movie Nobody Watched

By Petr Navovy | Lists | February 4, 2016 |

By Petr Navovy | Lists | February 4, 2016 |

I was making my merry way through the bowels of the internet the other day, when lo and behold I turned a corner and unwittingly stumbled upon this abomination:

‘Argh! What is it?! Kill it with fire!’ my hungover brain screamed.

But then I realised it was just plain old Matthew Fox:


See? Nothing to be afraid of. Half-sentient bits of moss can’t hurt you. That horrendous collection of pixels above is just what he transformed himself into for [does quick Google search] Alex Cross. You remember: that movie where someone at some point said: ‘Let’s have Tyler Perry play the lead in a movie.’ It got a 12% Rotten Tomato rating, grossed $26 million on a $35 million budget, sunk without a trace, and Matthew Fox’s definitely-completely-healthy body decimation didn’t make it to the pantheon of Memorable Movie Body Transformations to sit alongside Robert DeNiro, Charlize Theron, Christian Bale, Christian Bale, Christian Bale, Christian Bale, and Christian Bale. Tough break, Foxy.

Got me thinking though.

Who else subsided on meals composed entirely of the dust from their cupboard and undertook grueling death-marches with their overweight relatives slung over their shoulders in order to achieve some ludicrous physique, only for the movie in question to disappear beneath the waves faster than Luca Brasi, and for their endeavours to be all for naught? You know, the roles in those movies that raise barely a shrug now, or the ones we just plain forgot about.

Chris Hemsworth - In The Heart of the Sea

Rotten Tomatoes score - 43%
Production budget - $100 million
Domestic gross - $25 million

It’s Moby Dick but it isn’t, and Thor lost 33 lbs in 4 weeks for this movie that was ‘Fine. Just fine. ‘

Russell Crowe - Body of Lies

Rotten Tomatoes score - 54%
Production budget - $70 million
Domestic gross - $40 million

Crowe gained 63 lbs for this late-2000’s Ridley Scott snoozefest that I SAW. In the CINEMA! The only thing I can remember from experience is that the end credits had the first song I ever heard from Chinese Democracy, which was released that year, play over it. I then went out instantly and bought the album, and loved it. Making me one of only eleven or so people in the world that can say that (that’s one for each year it was in production.)

Seriously though - that tune, it’s great:

Matt Damon - The Informant!

Rotten Tomatoes score - 79%
Production budget - $22 million
Domestic gross - $33 million

I remember Matt Damon and his 30 extra lbs popping up briefly on my radar at the time of release, thinking, ‘It’s Soberbergh! It’ll be a worth a watch at least. I should go see it.’ I never went to see it. Did anybody?

Apparently a bunch of people did, say the figures. But you can use statistics to prove all sorts of things. Forfty percent of people know that.

Jared Leto - Chapter 27

Rotten Tomatoes score - 19%
Production budget - $5 million (estimate)
Domestic gross - $56 thousand

Didn’t discourage him, did it — putting on 67 lbs for the role of Mark Chapman in this absolute black hole of a movie that briefly existed before the universe pressed CTRL+Z? No, he went the other way with the mass change and won an Oscar for it in Dallas Buyers Club, which, while we’re on the subject — yes, Oscar and praise and all, but really, who’s gonna remember that in five years?

Mel Gibson - Expendables 3

Rotten Tomatoes score - 33%
Production budget - $90 million
Domestic gross - $40 million

What the fuck even is this fucking thing?

Jake Gyllenhaal - Prince of Persia AND Southpaw


Rotten Tomatoes score - 36%
Production budget - $200 million
Domestic gross - $91 million

Haha, remember when this movie happened? Like, it was actually made. Conceived, planned, executed, released. Cocaine is a helluva drug.


Rotten Tomatoes score - 60%
Production budget - $30 million
Domestic gross - $52 million

Alright, this one’s kind of 50/50. It did alright figures, and Gyllenhaal is by all accounts very good in it. Still, despite that, our own Vivian Kane called it ‘a movie that did not need to be made’, and nobody’s gonna remember anything about it in a year’s time, so by executive fiat it stays right here.

Jake Gyllenhaal did of course get all the kudos for a truly memorable role with the excellent Nightcrawler the year before. One out of three ain’t bad.

50 Cent - All Things Fall Apart

Rotten Tomatoes score - N/A
Production budget - $7 million (estimate)
Domestic gross - ???

This was a movie.
eminem confused.gif

Ray Liotta was in it.
kanye confusd.gif


And finally, the best one of them all:

Ryan Gosling - The Lovely Bones

This one not so much for the scale of the weight loss or the forgetfulness of the movie. I’ll let the behind the scenes Pajiba talk tell the story:

Dustin Rowles: Gosling kind of got boned worst of all. He gained a lot of weight for Lovely Bones, and then got fired and replaced by Mark Wahlberg.

Me: I didn’t even know about that. That’s fantastic. Also: ‘fired and replaced by Mark Wahlberg’ — is there a more depressing fucking sentence to apply to a human being?

Riley Silverman:
‘Fired and replaced by Donnie Wahlberg’?

Game over.

NOTE: No worldwide grosses were included in the above figures. But then neither were marketing costs, so: deal with that as you will.

Petr Knava plays music

Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.