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These Celebrities Got Into Insane Shape For Movie Roles

These Celebrities Got Into Insane Shape For Movie Roles

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So you think that celebrities have the good life handed to them on a silver platter? While in some cases that may be true, certain celebrities work tirelessly to transform their bodies, in preparation for movie roles. We’re talking dieting, exercise, massive lifestyle changes, and in some cases even going into deep seclusion to maximize time spent on their physical appearance.

On the other hand, some celebrities have needed to go the other way. This means putting on countless pounds of pure bulge, or losing so much weight that skin and bones are all that’s left.

Either way, celebrities push the limits of dedication to their craft, and their example of dedication to physical health falls somewhere between incredibly admirable, and borderline maniacal. Some of the images you’re about to see are sure to leave your jaw on the floor…

Ryan Reynolds – Blade: Trinity

Photo of Ryan Reynolds topless in Blade Trinity Movie

Before Blade: Trinity, Ryan Reynolds lived the frat boy life, eating and drinking pretty much whatever he wanted. To prepare for his role in Blade, however, Reynolds had to turn his life around.

He worked out for hours each day, six days a week, doing a mix of weightlifting, cardio and fight training. He also ate 6-8 meals a day, every two hours, to pack in up to 3,200 calories a day. In the end, Reynolds put on 25 lbs of muscle!

Brad Pitt – Fight Club

Photo of Brad Pitt looking ripped

Brad Pitt’s body in Fight Club has become one of the most sought-after bodies of men around the world. To get in such great shape, Pitt worked out five times a week, focusing on one set of muscles each day to give his body adequate rest.

As an “ectomorph,” someone who has trouble putting on weight, Pitt focused on high reps and a high-protein diet to cut his body fat down to a lean 5%.

Kit Harington – Pompeii


Kit had to work so much on his body for the Pompeii role that he even suffered from body dysmorphia. He was anxious about the way he looked, and even became obsessed with it so he hit the gym six days per week.

It led to him feeling extremely exhausted, but thankfully, his trainers stepped in and took charge of his training. Nonetheless, Kit admitted he was “proud of what he achieved in the end.”

Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw

Photo of Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw movie looking ripped

To get in shape for his role as a boxer in Southpaw, Jake Gyllenhall went all out and basically trained as a boxer for the five months preceding filming. He trained for six hours, twice a day in the ring, often seven days a week.

He trained in real boxing gyms, sparred with real boxers, and took real punches. He also ate 6-7 meals a day made up of real foods such as eggs, chicken, fish, fruits and nuts.

Zac Efron – Baywatch


To prepare for Baywatch, Efron trained with fitness trainer Patrick Murphy. He’d do his training for around four to five times a week, and it took him almost six months to get ready for his role. Efron also had to ditch sugars and carbs and follow a super clean diet.

However, the training was quite fun, since Patrick made sure it always pushed Zac to his limits and it never got dull.

Channing Tatum – Magic Mike

Photo of Chaning Tatum in Magic Mike XXL looking ripped

Watch either Magic Mike or Magic Mike XXL, and it quickly becomes clear: stripping is tough work! Approaching his role in both films, Channing Tatum decided he wanted to look like a professional athlete from the NBA or NFL.

He told reporters, “these guys look how I want to look [with] useable, functional muscle.” Tatum achieved his goal by eating a protein-heavy diet, running six miles a day and doing regular 25-mile bike rides.

Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy

Photo of Chris Pratt in Guardians of Galaxy looking ripped

In six months Chris Pratt went from a loveably chubby goofball on Parks and Recreation to a shredded space-hero in Guardians of the Galaxy. Pratt dropped 60 lbs for his role in Guardians, by combining a precisely crafted diet (planned by a nutritionist) with an intense exercise routine.

Pratt completed two months of bodybuilding, two months of bodybuilding and cardio, and a final two months of mostly cardio.

Ryan Gosling – Crazy, Stupid Love

Photo of Ryan Gosling shirtless in Crazy Stupid Love looking ripped

Ryan Gosling’s shirtless scene in Crazy, Stupid Love probably inspired thousands of men to hit the gym! As a hardgainer, someone who has a difficult time putting on weight, Gosling’s workout routine for the film was mostly focused on putting on muscle.

His trainer, Ashley Borden, basically trained him like an athlete, optimizing his body with push-ups, pull-ups, reverse lunges and a lot of strength training.

Christian Bale – Batman Begins

Photo of Christian Bale in Batman Begins looking great

This Welsh actor has given us possibly the best Batman the world has seen. Prior to Batman Begins, Bale weighed 121 lbs for his role in The Machinist, 63 lbs below his normal weight.

In preparation for Batman Begins, Bale put on 109 lbs by eating a high-carb diet for 3 months, and then a high-protein diet for another 3 months. Three-hour workouts six times a week turned all that food into muscle!

Chris Hemsworth – Thor

Photo of Chris Hemsworth in Thor looking ripped

To become the god-hero Thor, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth had to put on 20 lbs of muscle. Hemsworth trained with personal trainer and former Navy SEAL Duffy Gaver.

He worked out 5-6 times a week, doing mostly traditional bodybuilding workouts, and ate a ridiculous amount of food. Every three hours or so, Hemsworth said he ate “buckets of protein, brown rice, vegetables – I mean really large quantities.”

Taylor Lautner – Twilight: New Moon


You can see that before he became a hunk in Twilight, Taylor was not the definition of a strong young man. However, during his years as a character in the Twilight movies, he had to show that he’s become a strong werewolf, so he gained 30 pounds of pure muscle in just a year!

Jennifer Garner – Daredevil

Photo of Jennifer Garner in Elektra

After years of playing CIA spy Sydney Bristow on the hit show Alias, Jennifer Garner could practically write the book on getting into amazing shape for action roles!

To prepare for her role as Elektra in the film Daredevil, Garner hit the gym five days a week, cycling between cardio workouts, Pilates and circuit training. She also tweaked her diet to eat five or six small meals each day, taking in no more than 1,600 calories.

Mark Wahlberg – Pain & Gain

Photo of Mark Wahlberg In Pain and Gain looking ripped

Mark Whalberg was already a pretty big guy before playing a bodybuilder in Pain & Gain…and he still put on 40 lbs of muscle for the role! His secret? Eat an atrocious amount of food, and lift a lot of weights. Wahlberg said he ate 10 meals a day and drank his own mass-gainers. He even got up at 2am to eat another meal!

Tom Hardy – Warrior

Photo of Warrior, Tom Hardy loking ripped

To play MMA fighter Tommy Conlon in the 2011 film Warrior, Tom Hardy needed to put on about 20 lbs. To do so, he trained just like a real MMA fighter.

Training consisted of two hours of boxing, two hours of Muay Thai, two hours of choreography, and two hours of weightlifting. His diet consisted of 5-6 meals a day, made up mostly of high-protein foods.

Teresa Giudice – Bodybuilding


The Real Housewife of New Jersey star didn’t get all fit and muscly for a role. She actually did it after 11 months in prison, starting with yoga and then beginning to lift and this year she even competed in a bodybuilding competition! She’s an inspiration for those that follow her on Instagram, who see her doing her gym routine.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Photo of Rosie Huntington Whiteley in Transformers looking fit

Former Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley had big shoes to fill in replacing Megan Fox in the 2011 Transformers film. She pulled it off with the help of two personal trainers.

Her exercise program was filled with strength training, boxing, yoga, cardio, firearms training and stunt training. She also drinks plenty of water, which she has called “the drug of God!”

Hugh Jackman – The Wolverine

Phot of Hugh Jackman, X Men Wolwerine Looking Ripped

Hugh Jackman is almost as badass as the Wolverine himself! He has pushed his body to the limit for his roles as the rogue X-Men character. Working with trainer David Kingsbury, Jackman’s Wolverine workout focused mainly on building muscle, with two-hour workouts, six days a week.

Low-intensity, high-weight workouts combined with a carb-cycling nutrition plan helped him bulk up in muscle while gaining very little body fat.

Daniel Craig – Casino Royale

Photo of topless Daniel Craig in Casino Royale looking ripped

Daniel Craig took James Bond to another level in Casino Royale, showing that the iconic British spy could be as jacked as he is smooth. To get himself ready for the role, Craig did weight training Monday-Friday and focused on cardio and stretching on the weekends.

He also gave up smoking, limited himself to drinking only on the weekends, and kept to a strict, healthy diet of high-quality protein, and lots of fruits and vegetables.

Jonah Hill – War Dogs


Jonah Hill had a very strange weight fluctuation in the past years. He had to get slim for 22 Jump Street in 2014, and then had to gain 40lbs for War Dogs so he could impersonate arms dealer Efraim Diveroli.

He’s unrecognizable nowadays, as he’s in dramatically better shape than he was in during the filming of movies such as Superbad, The Sitter, and This Is the End.

AnnaSophia Robb – Soul Surfer

Photo of AnnaSophia Robb looking fit

In the film Soul Surfer, AnnaSophia Robb plays Bethany Hamilton, a real-life young female surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack, and kept on surfing anyway! To prepare for the role, Robb spent a few preliminary weeks training in Colorado.

She swam, strengthened her core, and practiced breathing techniques, balance and pop ups – all foundational skills for surfing. She then went to Hawaii to start surf training with Bethany Hamilton herself.

Gerard Butler – 300

Photo of Gerard Butler in 300 looking shredded

Contrary to what much of the internet thinks, Gerard Butler didn’t actually put on much weight for his role as the king of Sparta in 300. Butler was already a pretty muscular guy, so all he needed to do was cut down on his fat to look ripped for his role.

To achieve this, Butler focused mostly on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and cardio-intensive exercise.

Will Smith – Ali

Photo of Will Smith in Ali looking shredded

In preparation for his role as Muhammad Ali, the greatest boxer of all time, Will Smith knew he had to go all out. So Smith trained with Sugar Ray Leonard’s former fitness coach using high-intensity weight training and six-hour-a-day workouts to transform his body from 185 lbs to 200 lbs of lean, fighting-machine muscle.

Tom Hanks – Cast Away


“The hardest thing was the time. I wish I could have just taken a pill and lost all the weight but the reality was that I had to start in October knowing that we were going to go back in February.”

It took Tom Hanks a lot of strength to not just work-out every day at the gym for two hours, but also to make sure he ate a healthy diet to get in shape for the role.

Angelina Jolie – Tomb Raider

Photo of Angelina Jolie in Lara Crof Looking Great

Despite already being hailed as one of the most beautiful women in the world, Angelina Jolie had a lot of work to do preceding 2001’s Tomb Raider. To get ready to play Lara Croft, Jolie cycled between many different exercises.

She not only did traditional weight-lifting and cardio workouts, but yoga, kickboxing, weapons training, scuba diving, bungee ballet and sword-fighting as well!

Paul Rudd – Ant-Man

Photo of Paul Rudd in Ant-Man looking shredded

These days, even a superhero named Ant-Man needs to be in killer shape. So to get ready for the role, Paul Rudd teamed up with two trainers: Brendan Johnston of CrossFit BMF and Richard Louis.

Rudd’s routine consisted of intense, cross-fit inspired circuit-training workouts, as well as a strict diet and heavy supplementation. According to his trainers, Rudd’s relentless work ethic brought it all together.

Demi Moore – GI Jane

Photo of Demi Moore in G.I. Jane looking ripped and fit

Demi Moore went all in for her role as a female Navy SEAL in G.I. Jane. Moore trained six days a week, with two trainers. She did multiple weight-training exercises, performing each exercise until failure, as well as SEAL-style exercises like one-arm push-ups, jogging underwater and the SEAL ropes course. She also limited her diet to healthy foods like lean meats, steamed vegetables and fruits and nuts.

Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler

Photo of Mickey Rourke in Wrestler looking shredded

At 55 years old, Mickey Rourke had to put in some serious work to play a convincing professional wrestler in The Wrestler. To endure the physically demanding role, Rourke cut down on body fat and put on 30 lbs of muscle.

He hit the gym multiple times a week, doing 1.5 hours of weight and resistance training, followed by 30-60 minutes of cardio.

Blake Lively – The Green Lantern

Photo of Blake Lively in The Green Lantern Event looking slender and fit

Most people would have considered Blake Lively to have been in already amazing shape before filming The Green Lantern! Even still, Lively got into even better shape for the film, working with the same trainer who helped Scarlett Johansson prepare for Iron Man 2.

Lively stuck to 90-minute workouts that focused on circuit training; everything from plyometrics to lunges, planks and push-ups.

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

Photo of Bradley Cooper in American Sniper big and fit

Shortly after starting filming for Amercian Sniper, Chris Kyle, the man whose life the movie was based on, was shot and killed. When this happened, Bradly Cooper knew he had to give 110% to make sure his work lived up to the legendary sniper’s legacy.

Cooper put on close to 40 lbs of muscle for the film, training twice a day, five days a week, and following a strict regimen of supplements to help his body stay healthy.

Matthew Fox – Alex Cross

Photo of Matthew Fox In Alex Cross looking extremely shredded

Matthew Fox had to shed some serious weight for his role as obsessively-fit serial killer Picasso in the film Alex Cross. To make it happen, Fox worked with celebrity trainer Simon Waterson.

Fox had to completely overhaul his diet, eating 1200-1600 calories a day. Then there were the intense workouts, which included circuit training, martial arts training, weapons training and scuba training.

Sylvester Stallone – Rocky Balboa

Photo of Sylvester Stallone In Rocky Balboa Movie

Sylvester Stallone has a long history of getting into amazing shape for movie roles. For his reboot of the Rocky franchise in 2006, however, it had been over 15 years since he’d taken on the role of Rocky Balboa.

To get himself back in the body of a professional boxer, Stallone hit the gym for hours a day, 3-5 times a week. He also admitted to using HGH (human growth hormone) injections to help himself build muscle.

Jason Statham – The Transporter

Photo of Jason Statham in Transporter looking shredded

Before his role as part-James Bond, part-chauffeur in The Transporter, Statham was far from the action star he’s known as today. To get himself fit and in shape for the film, Statham avoided the personal trainer route and relied on self-motivation.

Over the course of multiple weeks in the gym, he did his best to never repeat an exercise, keeping his body surprised with each workout.

Malin Akerman – Watchmen

Photo of Malin Akerman in Watchmen looking great

To play the latex-wearing Silk Spectre II in the 2009 film Watchmen, Malin Akerman had to radically shift her diet. She ate mostly salads, vegetables and yoghurt, and cut out all breads, pasta, sugar and wine.

She also worked with celebrity personal trainer Logan Hood. Hood had Akerman exercising intensely multiple times a week, always changing a variable in the workouts to keep her muscles surprised.

Jessica Biel – Blade: Trinity

Photo of Jessica Biel in Blade Trinity looking fit

Sometimes, the intense training for a movie role ends up changing an actor/actress’ life. This was the case for Jessica Biel, who credits the training she did for Blade: Trinity for changing her relationships with both fitness and nutrition.

Biel followed a strict diet of no sugar, salt, dairy or flour, and hit the gym six days a week, practicing martial arts, archery and circuit training for strength and conditioning.

JK Simmons – Justice League

Photo of JK Simmons In Gym looking extremely shredded

JK Simmons is going to be channeling a much different Commissioner Gordon in the upcoming Justice League film than we’ve seen from Gary Oldman in the Nolan Batman movies.

Simmons has been getting quite jacked for a 61-year-old in preparation for the role! He’s been training with Aaron Williamson, a former marine turned personal trainer who also works with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Robert De Niro – Raging Bull

Photo of Robert De Niro in Raging Bull looking ripped

To prepare for his role as American-Italian boxer Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, Robert De Niro showed us the dedication of a true film legend.

He worked with real-life Jake LaMotta, undergoing a full boxer’s training regimen that included weightlifting, cardio workouts and fight training. De Niro even competed in three actual boxing matches, winning two of them!

Jessica Alba – The Fantastic Four

Photo of Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four looking fit

Jessica Alba made the world swoon with her fantastic body in The Fantastic Four! To get into such great shape, Alba balanced light weight training with cardio workouts, working out almost every day.

She started with 10 minutes of cardio, then cycled between dumbbell exercises and alternating jogging and sprinting on the treadmill. On off-days, Alba would play golf or go swimming to stay active.

Henry Cavill – Man of Steel

Photo of Henry Cavill in Superman looking shredded

To become Superman, Henry Cavill worked with personal trainer Mark Twight, the man behind Gerard Butler’s transformation for 300.

To achieve his own transformation into a superhero, Cavill’s program focused on getting 9-10 hours of sleep a night (for recovery), a nutritional overhaul, and bulking up with complex Olympic weightlifting exercises.

Chris Evans – Captain America

Photo of Chris Evans in Captain America looking fit

Chris Evans got into such great shape for Captain America, it would be easy to assume special effects were behind his dramatic transformation! Evans did things the old fashioned way, however, bulking up by hitting the gym and consuming plenty of calories.

His two-hour workouts consisted of heavy-weight, low-rep lifts, completed in circuits to keep his heart rate high. His diet was filled with lean protein and green, leafy vegetables.

Scarlett Johansson – Iron Man 2

Photo of Scarlett Johansson in Iron Man Looking Amazing

What better way to top the first Iron Man than by having Scarlett Johansson play trained assassin Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, in Iron Man 2? Johansson kept things natural for her killer role, avoiding crash diets and instead sticking to a regular exercise routine.

For the five months preceding filming, Johansson kept to 90-minute daily workouts, to improve her balance, core, and coordination.

Jamie Foxx – Any Given Sunday

Photo of Jamie Foxx in Any Given Sunday looking fit

Jamie Foxx played a fictional NFL quarterback in Oliver Stone’s 1999 film, Any Given Sunday. To prepare for the role, Foxx went through two phases. Phase one was the intensive bulking phase.

Foxx hit the weights and bulked up to 200 lbs. Phase two involved reporting to a real football training camp, during which Foxx tightened up, improved his cardio and lost 25 lbs.

Edward Norton – American History X

Photo of Edward Norton in American History X looking shredded

Edward Norton shocked the world with his role as neo-Nazi Derek Vinyard in Amercian History X, both with phenomenal acting and a dramatic physical transformation.

To get ready for the role, Norton focused on weightlifting, muscle-building and a high-protein, high-calorie diet. He hit the gym three times a week, using compound exercises to maximize efficiency and put on 35 lbs of muscle.

Robert Downey Jr. – Iron Man

Photo of Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man looking fit

Iron Man director Jon Favreau wanted Robert Downey Jr. to look like “he had the power to forge iron.” Downey Jr. responded to this challenge with gusto, putting on 20 lbs of muscle for the film.

He lifted weights and ate up to eight times a day (packing in 3,500 calories), eating mostly steak, legumes and broccoli.

Alexander Ludwig – Lone Survivor

Photo of Alexander Ludwig in Lone Survivor looking fit

Alexander Ludwig packed on 30 lbs of lean muscle to portray real-life Navy SEAL Shane Patton in Lone Survivor. He worked out six days a week, sticking to weightlifting and swimming.

He also incorporated his own personal ab routine, consisting of circuits of medicine ball V ups, Russian twists, and medicine ball crunches. He also ate, as he said, “like a caveman” – meaning lots of steak and vegetables!

Natalie Portman – Black Swan

Photo of Natalie Portman in Black Swan who was very thin and fit

American/Israeli actress Natalie Portman won an Academy Award for her role as a perfectionist ballerina in Black Swan. To get ready for the role, she not only had to get into amazing shape, she had to learn to stand, walk, and move with the smooth grace of a ballerina.

To do so, Portman trained up to eight hours a day, six days a week, supplementing ballet training with swimming, cross fit and a calorie-restrictive diet.

Mila Kunis – Black Swan


Mila Kunis had to starve herself and drop 20 pounds for the role in Black Swan, while also training four hours a day and seven days a week for more than half a year!

“I had one day off on my birthday and half a day off for the Emmys and the Golden Globes. On those days my ballet instructor worked with me from 5 am to 11 am, then I went to hair and make-up and on to the awards shows,” she recalled.

Jennifer Lawrence – X-Men

Photo of Jennifer Lawrence in X Men First Class looking amazingly fit

Jennifer Lawrence hasn’t been shy in declaring her love for junk food. So her first order of business in getting into shape for X-Men: First Class was a dietary overhaul.

Lawrence hired personal trainer Dalton Wong to help her keep to a healthy diet and consistent exercise routine. Each day, Lawrence started with a morning run, “just to go and get moving,” then moved on to core-focused HIIT training exercises.

Olivia Wilde – Tron: Legacy

Photo of Olivia Wilde in Tron: Legacy looking slender

To play Quorra in Tron: Legacy, Olivia Wilde had to keep to a strict workout routine. She wasn’t allowed to lose or gain any weight throughout the entire filming process, as her costumes were one-of-a-kind suits with very little wiggle room.

She worked with a personal trainer, sticking to cardio five times a week, and weight training and martial arts training three times a week.

Renee Zellweger – Bridget Jones: Edge Of Reason


Getting fat can be pretty darn easy, and Zellweger ate a lot of burgers, chips and snacks to gain 30 lbs for her role as Bridget Jones. The funny thing is that she is a naturally slender woman, and had to eat around 4,000 calories per day or else she lost the weight she was supposed to have gained for the movie!

One of the crew members said: “In one scene they had to pad out her bottom because it wasn’t large enough. I was expecting her to be huge, and she just wasn’t.”

Colin Farrell – The Lobster


Similarly, Colin Farrell had to put on 40 lbs, who did it in around two months by eating and not moving a lot: “It was stuff I normally eat, but just a lot more of it.

People talk about portion control – there was no control!” He said that after playing in The Lobster, he had to work out and starve himself a little bit to lose the extra weight.

Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club


For this particular role, Matthew McConaughey had to somehow lose 47 pounds, which was very hard, and made him irritable, tired, and generally unwell.

“I got down to 143 pounds and I was always hungry, and irritable. My body resembled a baby bird with its mouth open, crying, ‘Feed me, feed me,’ and you realize momma bird ain’t going to feed you.”

Matt Damon – The Informant


“It was very, very easy to gain the weight. It was very, very fun, probably the funnest time I had working, because I didn’t have to go to the gym after work and I just ate everything I could see,” said Mat Damon.

Damon couldn’t have been happier to get a fat man’s role in a movie. He apparently wasn’t quite as happy after filming ended however, as he had to lose those extra pounds…

Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables


For Anne Hathaway’s role in Les Misérables, she made the call to hire a nutritionist to help her lose 25 pounds so that she could achieve her goal without getting sick.

In reflection on the process she followed, she was quick to admit that had she had control of her plans, she would have probably just starved herself.

January Jones – X-Men: First Class

Photo of January jones in X Men First Class looking slender

January Jones’ role in X-Men: First Class was a long way away from the prim housewife she was known for playing in the hit show Mad Men.

Already in great shape, January Jones didn’t diet or change her nutritional intake leading up to X-Men. Instead she focused solely on light weight training, to add some muscle and curves to her slim frame.

Zoe Saldana – Avatar

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

With years of professional dance training behind her, Zoe Saldana was certainly no slouch when she was cast to play the alien Neyteri in Avatar.

She still had a lot of work cut out for herself however! She ended up working out six days a week, combining archery, horseback riding, and the ancient martial art, Wushu.

Uma Thurman – Kill Bill

Photo of Uma Thurman in Kill Bill Looking slender

Uma Thurman started training for Kill Bill only three months after giving birth to her second child! Despite the difficulties, Thurman dove into training headfirst.

Her preparation was far from the typical celebrity shape-up routine – she trained in everything from knife throwing and sword fighting, to kung fu and hand-to-hand combat.

Sienna Miller – G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Photo of Sienna Miller In G.I. Joe Rise Of Cobra looking slender

Petite Sienna Miller had to bulk up quite a bit for her role as the Baroness in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. To do so, she worked out for four months with a former MI6 agent, cycling between biking, weight-lifting, martial arts training and hour-long boxing sessions.

Halle Berry – Catwoman

Photo of Halle Berry in Catwoman looking slender

Halle Berry took on a surprisingly simple workout routine to prepare for her role as Catwoman. Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak helped devise a 25-minute workout for Berry to do during her lunch breaks.

She started with a cardio warm-up, then moved on to circuits of upper body, lower body and abs, with a cardio cool-down to finish things off.

Hilary Swank – Million Dollar Baby

Photo of Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby looking slender and fit

While most actresses tend to focus on slimming down to prepare for movie roles, Hilary Swank had to do the opposite for Million Dollar Baby. For her Oscar-winning performance as female boxer Maggie Fitzgerald, Swank put on 19 lbs of muscle!

She kept to an intense routine of 4-hour workouts, six days a week, for months leading up to filming. She combined weight-lifting and boxing training, and downed 210g of protein each day.

Gwyneth Paltrow – Iron Man 2

Photo of Gwyneth Paltrow In Iron Man 2 looking slender

Gwyneth Paltrow is quick to admit that she worked her butt off in preparation for her role as Pepper Potts in Iron Man 2. She hired the help of celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, who guided Paltrow through her training program.

Training consisted of a 45-minute dance-cardio routine, followed by a 26-minute mat routine targeted to tone her legs. Paltrow also completed a strict, five-day diet to help her shed some winter pounds.

Linda Hamilton – Terminator 2

Photo of Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 looking extremely fit

Linda Hamilton got into such great shape for her role in Terminator 2 that even bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger was impressed! Hamilton’s three-hour, six-day-a-week workout routine included swimming, biking, running, and weight-lifting.

She also hired an Israeli commando to train her in Judo and military techniques, such as loading weapons and checking rooms for enemies.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Avengers: Age of Ultron

Photo of Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Avengers: Age of Ultron looking fit

Prior to the making of the 2014 Godzilla reboot, British actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson had already packed on 15 lbs of muscle for Kickass 2. He’d weighed 175 for that movie – by the time Godzilla started filming, Taylor-Johnson was pushing 190!

To bulk up for his giant-lizard-fighting role, Taylor-Johnson cut back on cardio, upped his daily calorie intake and focused his weight-lifting on low-rep, high-weight lifts.

Charlie Cox – Daredevil

Photo of Charlie Cox in Daredevil looking fit

Boardwalk Empire showed us that Charlie Cox certainly had the acting chops to play Daredevil… but did he have the physique as well? At first, he didn’t. But the London-born actor soon changed that!

His first focus was putting on muscle, which he did with two-hour workouts of weight-training, plyometrics, hitting the punching bag and plenty of fight scene rehearsals.

Don Cheadle – Iron Man 2

Photo of Don Cheadle in Iron Man

Don Cheadle was a late replacement for Terrance Howard in Iron Man 2, and had to quickly get into shape for the role of Roadie. Cheadle exercised mostly with circuit training, to get a good balance of weight-training, resistance training and cardio.

Cheadle credited most of his results, however, to a healthy diet – which he promptly bailed on after the movie came out! Come on, Don!

Andrew Garfield – The Amazing Spider-Man

Photo of Andrew Garfield shirtless looking ripped

Leading up to The Amazing Spider-Man, British-American actor Andrew Garfield knew he would have to wow audiences to do the franchise justice. Part of that meant getting into amazing shape for the superhero role.

With an already naturally thin frame, Garfield’s workout routine focused mainly on packing on muscle. Garfield stuck to a healthy, high-protein diet and hit the gym five times a week.

Ashley Greene – Twilight

Photo of Ashley Greene in Twilight Saga Event looking slender and fit

Ashley Greene played vampire Alice Cullen in the hit film series Twilight. While she has admitted that the fame this role has brought her has made life pretty difficult, she can’t deny that preparing for the role got her into great shape!

Greene grew up swimming, dancing, surfing and practicing martial arts, among other things, so for her pre-Twilight workouts she liked to keep things fresh with circuit training.

Thomas Haden-Church – Spider-Man 3

Photo of Thomas Haden Church in Spiderman 3 looking fit

To bulk up for his role as Sandman in Spider-Man 3, Thomas Haden-Church worked out consistently for almost two years! He started out with nine months of intensive training, with two personal trainers who had worked with Brad Pitt for Troy.

Haden-Church focused on strength-training and a healthy diet, and ended up gaining 28 lbs of muscle , as well as dropping 10 points of body fat.