9 Celebrities Who Had To Get Super Buff For A Role, From Zac to Christian

Many actors and actresses dream of landing a coveted action role, but with those roles often come responsibilities. Namely, one responsibility: to get your ass (and the rest of your body) in tip-top shape for the screen. That, of course, is much easier said than done — which is why we should applaud these celebrities for doing it. Here are the 9 celebrities who sweat their way to action star status.

by Kaitlin Reilly

Chris Pratt

Parks & Rec star Pratt (pictured here in 2008) toned up for the role of a Navy Seal team member in the 2013 film Zero Dark Thirty. After gaining some weight for his role in Delivery Man, the actor hit the gym again to prep for Guardians of the Galaxy, revealing…

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Super Buff Chris Pratt

THIS. (Damn, right?) Those pecs weren’t without a ton of personal sacrifice. Pratt allegedly gave up beer for six months so he could look toned for the film.

Image: prattprattpratt/Instagram

Hilary Swank

The svelte Swank, pictured here in 2002, had to put 19 pounds of muscle on her frame — in 90 days — to play a boxer in the 2004 film Million Dollar Baby.

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Super Buff Hilary Swank

Not only did Swank get ripped, but the role of Maggie Fitzpatrick also won her the second Best Actress Oscar of her career.

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Christian Bale

Bale is no stranger to changing his body to suit a character. Bale allegedly dropped down to a scary-low weight of 121 pounds for the 2004 film The Machinist, pictured above. He then had to put on weight and muscle for his next role as Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins.

Image: Paramount Vantage

Super Buff Christian Bale

Bale put on 60 pounds — most of it muscle — to play the vigilante in his early days.

Image: Warner Bros. Productions

Gerard Butler

No one would ever call Butler a scrawny guy, but he did get insanely ripped for the role of King Leonidas in the 2010 film 300.

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Super Buff Gerard Butler

Those pecs are definitely not CGI. The actor stuck to a clean diet and intense workouts to look like the warrior.

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

Ryan Reynolds

Reynolds (pictured here in 2002) was told to bulk up for the role of Hannibal King in Blade: Trinity. He worked with celebrity trainer Bobby Strom to get in shape for the part.

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Super Buff Ryan Reynolds

Forget a six-pac: Reynolds has an eight-pac. Reynolds’ kept up with his training with Strom on later films like The Green Lantern, because why would you ever want to let those abs go?

Image: New Line Cinema

Taylor Lautner

Lautner (pictured here in 2006) won the coveted role of Jacob in 2007’s Twilight. Knowing that the role would expand in the later films, Lautner was told to put on muscle in order to keep the part.

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Super Buff Taylor Lautner

Those abs explain why Jacob rarely wears a shirt in the later films. Not like I’m complaining, of course.

Image: Summit Entertainment

Will Smith

The former Fresh Prince bulked up for his role as boxer Muhammad Ali.

Image: NBC

Super Buff Will Smith

Smith nailed Ali’s image, and those intense arm muscles — which he allegedly got by working out for six hours a day — don’t hurt either.

Image: Columbia Pictures

Mickey Rourke

Rourke, pictured here in 2005, also had to play a person who made his livelihood by being physically strong. He starred in “comeback” film The Wrestler in 2009 in which he played “The Ram,” a former pro wrestler itching to get back in the ring.

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Super Buff Mickey Rourke

In an interview with MTV, Rourke said that he trained for four months at almost four hours a day to prepare for the role. Because he was so prepared he considered the wrestling scenes the easiest part of the acting experience.

Image: Fox Searchlight

Zac Efron

Efron began his career as a Disney Channel star, in roles that demanded very few shirtless scenes. When he was cast in the sexy Nicholas Sparks’ film The Lucky One in 2012, he had to bulk up for the (obviously mandatory) shirtless scenes. Efron, who plays a marine in the film, said he knew immediately he didn’t have the look when he went to visit working marines.

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Super Buff Zac Efron

I think we all are actually the lucky ones. Damn, Efron.

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