Nick Leshi

Nick Leshi
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Bronx, New York, United States of America
Birthday
December 13
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Writer, actor, media professional, fan of entertainment, pop culture, and speculative fiction. Contact nickleshi@aol.com for more info.

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NOVEMBER 14, 2012 11:26PM

When Actors Physically Transform for a Role

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Many people have been shocked by the pictures of an extremely gaunt Matthew McConaughey who lost a lot of weight for his role in The Dallas Buyer's Club.  When I saw him in an ill-fitting suit on The Stephen Colbert Report a while ago, I was worried that he was sick, but I soon learned that it was an intentional body transformation to play the part of Ron Woodroof, a man dying of AIDS who seeks alternative medications to save his life. He is the latest in a string of actors who either gain a lot of weight or lose a lot of weight for their art, physically becoming the characters they are hired to play.  Here are some others:


Robert DeNiro looked slim and buff as boxer Jake La Motta in his prime and then looked obese as La Motta's older self, all in the span of one movie, Raging Bull.

Sylvester Stallone impressed me with his performance as the pudgy, out of shape sheriff Freddy Heflin in the underrated movie Cop Land.

Donnie Wahlberg was practically unrecognizable as the troubled Vincent Grey in The Sixth Sense.

50 Cent stunned everyone when he portrayed Deon, a football player who battles cancer in All Things Fall Apart.

Christian Bale became a virtual skeleton as Trevor Reznick, a man who hasn't slept in a year, in The Machinist.


The beautiful Charlize Theron won accolades for her metamorphosis into serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster.

Any others?  Even though these are professionals who follow a strict physician-monitored regimen of diet and exercise, these drastic shifts in weight can be dangerous. It is the risk these actors take for their craft.

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I would like to praise you for giving Donnie Wahlberg the recognition he deserves. I assumed he would be skipped, and his part, while short was pretty fuckin' impressive in that movie. In fact, he's been good in everything he's done. I have no idea why he can't even get 1/2 the props his bro gets...

You did miss Matt Damon in that movie with Meg Ryan...he almost died from that role.
I would like to praise you for giving Donnie Wahlberg the recognition he deserves. I assumed he would be skipped, and his part, while short was pretty fuckin' impressive in that movie. In fact, he's been good in everything he's done. I have no idea why he can't even get 1/2 the props his bro gets...

You did miss Matt Damon in that movie with Meg Ryan...he almost died from that role.