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Hollywood: How Weight Gain or Loss Affected Their Mental Health

LOS ANGELES:Actors in Malayalam like Mohan Lal,Prithvi Raj and Jayasurya have lost or gained weight for roles.Celebrities often say how hard it is for them to constantly be in the spotlight, but the unending pressure to look thin, fit and beautiful often adds to their stress level. Which may explain why when asked to gain or lose a lot of weight for a role actors often grapple with mental health issues before, during and after production. Here are five celebrities who have undergone dramatic physical changes for roles and how those changes affected their emotional well-being.

Charlize Theron

The Oscar-winning actress is known for taking on challenging and impressive roles, such as her Best Actress-winning performance of Aileen Wuornos in the film Monster. Theron gained 30 pounds (13.6kg) to look like the prostitute-turned-serial-murderer, but when she had to gain another 50 pounds to play a mother dealing with postpartum depression in the film Tully, the actress admits her mental health took a toll as well as her body.

“I got hit in the face pretty hard with depression,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “The first three weeks are always fun because you’re just like a kid in a candy store. So, it was fun to go and have breakfast at In-N-Out and have two milkshakes. And then after three weeks, it’s not fun anymore. Like, all of a sudden you’re just done eating that amount and then it becomes a job.”

Chris Pratt 

Pratt played the sexy lead character Owen Grady in Jurassic World, but before that he weighed close to 300 pounds for his role as Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation. Being so overweight affected not only his mental health but his marriage to actress Anna Faris (whom he has since divorced).

He told Men’s Health UK: “I was impotent, fatigued, emotionally depressed. I had real health issues that were affecting me in a major way. It’s bad for your heart, your skin, your system, your spirit.”


Joaquin Phoenix 

In preparation for his award-winning performance of Arthur Fleck in Joker, Phoenix transformed himself into a nearly skeletal figure, dropping 52 pounds because director Todd Philips told him he wanted the character to be a “real thin person”. Phoenix said the weight loss affected his mental health, adding: “As it turns out, severe weight loss impacts your psychology, and you really start to go mad when you lose that much weight in that amount of time.”

The actor said he would monitor his weight daily and became obsessed with even a tiny amount of weight gain or loss. “And you really develop like a disorder. I mean, it’s wild,” he said.


George Clooney 

The normally svelte silver fox had to gain 40 pounds to play a CIA operative in the movie Syriana, and it wasn’t easy for Clooney to be so heavy. Clooney’s close friend and co-star Matt Damon said: “Clooney had put on all that weight and he was really depressed.

George is a really active guy and he couldn’t move around. He had to just sit there. I’ve never seen him like that. He’s normally the life of the party, but he was really depressed.”


Patricia Arquette 

Arquette caught Hollywood’s attention when she played Christian Slater’s bombshell girlfriend in True Romance, but ever since, she has had to gain and lose weight for her award-winning performances. Most recently, she packed on the pounds to play two roles back-to-back: she gained 40 pounds to play Dee Dee Blanchard in The Act and kept the weight on to play Tilly Mitchell in Escape at Dannemora. While filming the latter film, Arquette not only feared for her physical health (she said she worried she was going to have a heart attack), but also her mental health.

“I think it is a little bit heavy to carry around emotionally that [weight],” Arquette said. “I definitely feel like my mind and heart needs a break.”

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