Most dramatic TV show transformations – Black Mirror star who gorged while SLEEPING to shocking Lenny Henry weight loss


BEING an TV actor isn’t just about learning lines – often, it’s about gruelling physical transformations too.

Stranger Things star David Harbour recently put himself on a strict diet to play flashback scenes of his character being starved and tortured in a Russian gulag.

The 47-year-old, who plays Jim Hopper in the Netflix sci-fi hit, filmed the flashback scenes at the end of the run so that he could have time to slim down but admitted it was a “hard process”.

David, who is married to singer Lily Allen, reckons he lost around 5st 10lbs by the end of filming.

He said: “It’s not easy, it’s a lot of not eating when you lose that much weight, and being hungry.

“That’s the secret, if you’re curious about the diet secret, it’s just not eating food.” Here we take a look at the other stars who have bulked up or slimmed down for a role. 

Ewan McGregor

He made his name being skinny-as-a-rake drug addict Renton in the 1996 film Trainspotting. 

But in 2017, when he was at his fittest having filmed Trainspotting 2, the Scottish hunk needed to put weight on to play twins – one of whom was bigger than the other –  in the FX series, Fargo. 

Ewan, who wore fat-smoothing Spanx underwear to play the thinner brother, said: “I just started eating whatever I wanted.

“I made sure that I had carbs with everything and French fries with everything. I didn’t have any technique other than eating a lot.

“I think if you spoke to a dietician, I probably did it all wrong.”

He didn’t weigh himself to keep track of the extra pounds but admitted he had to buy himself a bigger pair of jeans. 

Mark Ruffalo 

Just like Ewan McGregor, Mark played two brothers in the HBO miniseries I Know This Much Is True, one of whom was heavier than the other. 

First, he went on a 1,000-calorie a day diet to lose nearly one-and-a-half stone to film his scenes playing the slimmer twin, Dominick. 

Director Derek Cianfrance told Men’s Health magazine Mark was doing “probably 500 push ups a day” during the first 17 weeks of filming.

Then he had five weeks to put on just over two stone for the role of schizophrenic Thomas. 

The Spotlight star wanted to portray the weight gain some people experience on anti-psychotic drugs. 

He said: “It was tough. I was never really comfortable at any point during the six months we were shooting.”

Lenny Henry 

At 6’3”, Lenny Henry has always been a giant on TV. 

But to play a Jamaican plantation slave for the 2018 BBC mini series The Long Song, he needed to look the part. 

TV Comedian Lenny henry had been gradually slimming down for the previous four years after realising he was a “little bit diabetic” and had cut out Hobnob biscuits and alcohol. 

But when he landed the role of Godfrey, the Comic Relief legend put himself on a strict vegetarian diet to shed three stone. 

Lenny Henry said: “Well, it’s eating broccoli and not much else. I’ve also been running a lot. It has worked.”

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