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

BEING an 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. 


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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.

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"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. 

Bryce Dallas Howard 

Bryce was so committed to her one episode of the black comedy Black Mirror in 2016 that she put on two-and-a-half stone.

And getting her weight up was a full time job – she even interrupted her sleep to get more calories in. 

She said: “I ate around the clock. First thing in the morning, last thing before I closed my eyes. I’d have food by my bed. I’d get up in the middle of the night and have a chocolate bar.”

The Jurassic World star believes it’s a good thing to see larger women on screen. 

She told Men's Journal magazine: “How many movies are raising their hand to say, ‘The lady who’s on the magazine cover who looks like that – we want that but more?' I wish that were the case, but it’s changing now. It’s getting talked about. That’s a good thing.”

Bryce, daughter of Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, trimmed down afterwards with the help of CrossFit and rowing. 

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.”

Rob McElhenney 

The Wrexham FC co-owner deliberately wanted his character to look worse for the sixth and seventh series of the FX sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. 

He said: “I had never seen a show in which the characters — or the actor specifically — tried to look worse as the show progressed. 

“And I thought that if there was ever going to be a show in which that would make sense then this would be it. I decided to look as terrible as possible."

Rob, 45, put on over four stone by eating four 1,000 calorie meals every day.

His character then went completely the other way and became ridiculously buff by hiring a personal chef, quitting booze and training with Arin Babaian, the guru behind the sculpted bodies on the 2012 film Magic Mike.

Wagner Moura 

Look at any picture of infamous drugs lord Pablo Escobar and you’ll notice he was on the hefty side. 

Many fans assumed Wagner Moura wore a fat suit to play the Colombian kingpin in the Netflix hit Narcos. 

In actual fact, the Brazilian actor gained over two-and-a-half stone. 

Afterwards he lost the excess weight by going vegan and said he would never put himself through such a transformation again. 

He said: “I wouldn’t change my body again. I think that’s something for young people to do. My cholesterol was horrible.”

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. 

Comedian Lenny 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. 

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

Eva Longoria

When the petite beauty started to look a little less svelte in the fifth series of US drama series Desperate Housewives, the rumour mill started. 

Fans assumed she might be pregnant with her first child, something her publicist denied. 

Instead, Eva wanted to give her character Gabrielle Solis a fuller figure to represent her storyline. 

A representative for the American actress said: “She is not pregnant. Eva’s making herself look like that as her character has let herself go.”

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Eva, who is 5ft 2in, explained in an interview with US beauty magazine Allure: 'I've stopped working out and gained about seven pounds [half a stone] over the summer, which is a lot for a small person.

"I never went up a size. I just got a little rounder."

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