Renée Zellweger famously gained 30 pounds to play the titular role in 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, repeating the process again for the 2004 sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. By the time she filmed Bridget Jones’s Baby, however, the Oscar winner was tired of talking about her weight.
“I put on a few pounds. I also put on some breasts and a baby bump,” she told British Vogue in August 2016. “Bridget is a perfectly normal weight and I’ve never understood why it matters so much. No male actor would get such scrutiny if he did the same thing for a role.”
To Zellweger’s point, male stars more often make headlines when they lose a lot of weight for a role, as Matthew McConaughey did for the 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club. The Mud star shed nearly 50 pounds to play Ron Woodruff, a real-life Texan who founded an underground medication distribution group after being diagnosed with HIV. (McConaughey won a Best Actor Oscar for the role.)
“I did it in as healthy a way as I found possible,” the Greenlights author told the BBC in February 2014, adding that he “chewed a lot of ice” during the shoot. “I met with a nutritionist. I gave myself four months to lose the weight. I had my programmed meals, lost 3.5 pounds a week — like clockwork — and got down to my desired weight, which turned out to be 47 pounds lighter.”
Keep scrolling to see which celebrities have gained or lost weight for movie roles: