Peter Pettigrew, is that you!? British actor Timothy Spall was nearly unrecognizable at the New York Film Critics Awards on Monday, Jan. 5, as he showed off his incredible weight loss on the red carpet.
The 57-year-old star looked slim and fit in a gray and navy three-piece suit, quite different from how Harry Potter film buffs would remember him. Spall — earning raves and Oscar buzz for his work as 19th Century landscape painter James Turner in Mr. Turner — was considerably bulkier when he played Peter Pettigrew (aka Wormtail) in the franchise from 2004 to 2011.
Before shedding the weight, Spall shed some light on the four years he traveled around Britain with his wife Shane. The actor decided to take the trek following his battle with leukemia 15 years ago. His experiences ultimately became the subject of the documentary, Somewhere at Sea.
“I bought the boat after the illness to celebrate being alive, and realize now that the voyage was also a delayed reaction to the leukemia,” he told The Telegraph in January 2013. “It was about sticking two fingers up to fate and saying, ‘Right, you tried to kill me once with illness. Now I’m going to tempt you again. But this time, I’ll do it on my terms.'”
“It was [Shane’s] way of processing what we went through as a couple and as a family,” he added, “because we had three young children at the time, and the ripple effect on everyone was tremendous.”
The Enchanted star also hinted that going through the scary ordeal made him want to get healthier. “Although I don’t advise cancer as a way of understanding suffering, it does give you a greater sympathy for others going through it,” he told the British newspaper. “Helping you to lose weight – which I’ve put back on – and making you a better actor. I wouldn’t recommend cancer as an acting tool, but I think it helped me understand the human condition. And that’s what acting is all about.”
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