Hilary Swank Will Gain Weight for Upcoming Role


By: , SparkPeople Blogger

The non-fiction book French Women Don't Get Fat is being made into a movie, in which Hilary Swank will take a starring role. According to E! online, Swank will gain 20 to 30 pounds for the role.

E! Online reports that Swank's colleagues are "more than concerned about her alarmingly thin frame," which is "tiny" and "frail" looking. She's not the only actor who has altered her weight or appearance for a role: Matt Damon, George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, Charlize Theron, Adrien Brody and countless others have, too.

I always find it interesting that stars will lose or gain large amounts of weight for TV or film roles. After all, it can't be good for one's health, physically or mentally. What bothers me most is that TV and film executives will hire a thin actor to gain weight rather than a heavier actor in the first place. Certainly, there are plenty of normal weight and overweight actors who are talented and looking for work, right? Why not give jobs to them instead of a person who needs to alter his or her appearance?

What do you think about thin actors gaining weight for roles?

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  • 140
    I personally think its bogus because they can do it! If I could afford a personal trainer and chef, I would be able to lose weight too! I still dont know why Oprah keeps on yo-yo-ing! - 4/5/2009   9:52:16 PM
  • 139
  • 138
    I agree with what a lot of people here have said thus far: there are health risks involved in gaining weight, if the actor loves the role, they'll do anything for it, and it's more than likely about pushing a household name rather than a new face. In emphasizing the last point, I could probably see it from the director/producer/casting director perspective. Here they have a famous, talented actor would has graciously agreed to do the role. The thing is they are too thin for portrayal of the character. So, they have a choice (if they really do think about this) to set a time block for when this actor gains weight or continue their search in hopes to find a overweight actor who talent could match this famous actor. They are more likely to go with the first choice, b/c that will draw people who will say, "Oh, I know that actor, s/he is really talented, and the last movie they were in was good. I know then, this upcoming movie will be good." Even with this perspective, I still feel like others have said, give someone who fits the physic of the role a break. Who knows? If they are strong actors, they may be maybe able to pull box office sales.
    Primarily, a great movie is one with strong acting and a strong storyline. Some directors and producers may look at the fact getting at least one known face to pull in the box office sales, and/or having that actor to carry the strength of the storyline. It depends on the storyline of the movie whether that works or not. - 4/4/2009   2:37:32 PM
    It is upsetting to see a thin actress gain weight to perform a role that could easily be performed by other beautiful, fuller figured women. This is where knowledge is power and ignorance is a bliss comes into play. Just because it's a familiar face, it doesn't mean that we would want to watch the movie just because we know who the actor/actress is. Besides, if we go to the theatres to watch movies like this, because it's just "facinating" to see someone gain all that weight just to see them take if off quickly, we're giving them motive to continue this...MONEY!!! - 4/4/2009   10:40:44 AM
  • 136
    Why are they making a movie about a diet book? And as a few others have said why not hirer an actress that already fits the bill. - 4/4/2009   7:33:39 AM
  • 135
    These movies based on non-fictional, lifestyle type books (ie: "He's just not that into you"; Under the Tuscan Sun", etc) are lame. What's next...the "Betty Crocker CookBook " movie? - 4/3/2009   10:39:24 AM
  • 134
    It really is a shame that they don't just hire the actor with the right body type to begin with rather than making a super-skinny person gain loads of weight only to shed it again once the taping stops or vice versa with hiring someone and then expecting them to lose lots of weight. It's just not healthy and it isn't a good form of role model for the public. - 4/3/2009   7:30:05 AM
  • 133
    The movie iindustry has utilized 'fat suits' (e.g Shallow Hall, Mrs. Doubtfire,) make up, special effects etc you think it wouldn' t be necessary for an actor to gain weight for a role.
    If Hiliary had any health issues she may not just easily agree to this. I myself would not do that to my own body. I'm still trying to get fit. :o)

    - 4/3/2009   6:20:29 AM
  • 132
    I think that she can stand to gain some weight anyway, and after the movie is over, maybe she will find a healthier weight to stay at. I look forward to the movie, should be interesting - 3/25/2009   4:46:03 PM
    20-30 lbs? Well then, she will probably be the size of a regular sized woman! lol. No seriously though, I have seen celebs put on weight even while pregnant and they were much more curvier and hotter than usual. She just may look better. - 3/25/2009   4:02:10 PM
  • 130
    If my life was my "appearance", and I got paid for it, and could spend the time (and money) outside of work just working on that appearance (w/trainers, chefs, nutritionists, etc) sure I would do it... for awhile. Then I would really look forward to retirement!!! - 3/10/2009   4:37:05 PM
  • 129
    appearance is part of an actor or actresses job. It isn't healthy to gain and lose weight like that, but then again is it healthy to work nights? No, but doctors, firefighters and police officers do it. It's part of their job. Is it healthy to work in a manufacturing facility, chemical plant, outside in the sun? No, no and no. But not everyone can have the ideal job. Compared to digging ditches all day every day in the sweltering heat, gaining 40lbs isn't really a big deal. - 3/10/2009   1:48:11 PM
  • LIHA600
    she MIGHT reach a sz 8 if she gains 20 lbs! Kate Winslet is certainly a good acress why not use her? I watched Castaway last night and was telling my son to notice Tom Hanks gut right after the crash. Then he is skinny before his rescue.
    He gained the weight to look plumper then lost it, and then some 40lbs they say in all to look skinny. A few million would sure be inspiring diet wouldn't it?! - 3/1/2009   11:43:29 AM
    I know Renee Zellwegger has gained weight for Bridget Jones and Christian Bale has lost weight to a point that he was emaciated. I know that such changes can be quite dangerous. However I also look at myself who has gained and lost numerous times and my body has probably taken quite a toll as well. - 3/1/2009   7:45:12 AM
  • 126
    First I am not familiar with the book so I'm guessing here... but... I'm sure they hired her for her name, known talent and existing fans - It's just business to them and that's understandable.

    I also know they film movies OUT of sequence so rather than hire an overweight actress and *hope* she can lose the weight for the later scenes of the movie, they hire a thin actress, film the "after/skinny" scenes while she's still thin, fatten her up (which is easier than losing weight) and then film the "before/fat" scenes toward the end of filming.

    She'll most likely work long hours at losing the weight again after she's 100% done with filming. Treating the weight loss as a full-time job, I'm sure.

    I don't know if this logic would apply to the French Women movie but it does make sense for other "heftier" roles.
    - 2/28/2009   3:51:45 PM
  • 125
    I would gain the weight and enjoy myself doing it! - 2/27/2009   12:07:15 PM
  • 124
    I have to admit that I'd gain 30 pounds for a couple million bucks! lol - 2/27/2009   10:33:43 AM
  • 123
    I suppose if the price is right (I don't know how much Hilary Swank gets per movie, but probably it's millions of dollars), some people would gain 20-30 pounds, knowing that their reputation relies on them losing the weight after doing the movie. I sure couldn't do it! It takes too much hard work for me to lose the weight. Then again, these actors and actresses have the money to hire personal trainers and chefs who help them get back to their "fighting weight." So I guess it's for the sake of her livelihood... - 2/24/2009   10:23:25 AM
  • 122
    We all know what yo-yo dieting does to our metabolism. That's the reason many of us are here. However, done once or twice probably want hurt her in the long run and God knows she needs some weight added. Maybe she'll be smart enough to keep a few lbs. As far as making the movie goes, all thin scenes would be done at the same time, then the heavy ones. It's important to know that the order that we see a movie in isn't necessarily the order it's shot. My own personal opinion is that they should of hired someone of average healthy wt, who could go up a little for the movie. Besides, with all the movie magic nowdays, are they telling us they can't "put on" some wt with makeup, lighting, etc.??

    I guess the main question is: why a twig at all?? Maybe that's what they want us to see as acceptable, successful, and attractive.
    OH, LA,LA? Hmmmm.......

    - 2/3/2009   12:57:00 PM
  • 121
    First of all, I agree with the statement that Swank is "alarmingly thin." Did you see her in 'P.S. I Love You?' She was practically a rail.

    However, I do not think that quickly gaining and then shedding 20-30 pounds is a good thing at ALL. I know that in order to fit the role of Giuliano, Swank has to go from thin French girl to overweight French girl to thin French woman over the course of the movie--it's her job. That being said, think of the effects on her heart, and the rest of her organs...!

    Also, as a side note:
    I have read both of Guiliano's books ('French Women Don't Get Fat' and 'A French Woman for All Seasons'). While I enjoy them, and do agree with almost all of what is written, I do not think 'French Women Don't Get Fat' will make a very good movie. It's not a movie book; it's a book about changing one's entire lifestyle, from one's relationship with food to the way one moves. That being said, I think Hollywood is trying to cash in on the average American woman's desire to lose weight, while at the same time not wanting to suffer through weight loss, but wanting looking elegant while doing it, to boot.

    Regardless, I think I'm going to go see the movie, just for kicks. I mean, I've read the book; why ever not? ;) - 1/28/2009   11:20:26 AM
  • 120
    I think since the Hollywood actors make millions for their movie roles, let them do what they want. They can pay personal trainers to get them to lose weight. If I had millions I'd pay someone to work my butt off to lose weight, and cook for me.
    So, I don't think they care what they're doing to their bodies, as long as they get the role and the big money. I don't think it's right to treat ones body like that..going up and down with wieght...it's hard on your heart. - 1/27/2009   12:19:16 PM
    I was shocked at the amount of weight Renee Zellwegger (sp?) gained in Bridget Jones Diary. I was amazed by the transformation of Charlize Theron in Monster. I dont think it is healthy for one's body, and obviously they have to drop it soon afterward so they will not have a problem keeping the weight as the body begins homeostasis at a higher weight. I do feel though that Hiliary Swank could use some weight; she is waaaayyy to thin! - 1/22/2009   10:36:57 AM
    I think gaining a few pounds here and there for roles is okay, its their job to fit the role the producers are looking for, but movies like The Machinist with Christin Bail(can't spell, sorry) was kinda scary to me... - 1/21/2009   7:17:52 PM
  • 117
    I've often heard that french women are thin because such a high percentage of them smoke. Not worth it to me :) - 1/4/2009   5:49:24 PM
  • KELMEY82
    I agree with the comment that was in the blog. Why not hire an already overweight actor or actress to play the role a thin on was hired for? Who knows that might give the actor or actress their big break? I guess the big producers don't want to take a risk like that do they?? - 1/4/2009   1:05:25 PM
    Sick! And French Women Don't Get Fat is one of the more useless diet books I've read... - 1/4/2009   11:18:25 AM
    not sure if someone already brought this up, because i didn't feeling like reading through pages of comments. so anyway.... ummm..... i think the far bigger issue here is that they're making a MOVIE out of a DIET BOOK. i mean, really, seriously? there are no better stories to tell? - 12/30/2008   12:58:08 PM
  • 113
    I think they pick the actors/actresses based on box office sales: which actor and draw in the bigger crowd. It's also the decision of the actors to accept the role and it's requirements or not. And I don't think it's healthy physically or mentally to gain or lose weight for a role. - 11/8/2008   9:25:40 PM
  • 112
    I see it as part of their jobs-- I mean, they have the resources to do it ( trainers, cooks, etc) what else do you need? You can hire a babysitter and you can gain the weight eating other things than junk? Maybe drinking gross ensure drinks or a few scoops of peanut butter or the whole jar? I think the weight comes on easily, since Hilary is so "frail"; as for loosing weight? I think, the problem here is that it can easily turn into an ED and even $20 million or whatever they get is not worth it ! - 11/4/2008   1:23:50 PM
  • 111
    Okaaaay? So I guess to be safe they would shoot the film backwards (if the plot requires a happy ending to be heavy character who becomes a thin character for a happy ending). The scary thing would be an actress who could not guarantee to lose the weight for the producers of the movie. They are professionals and I would suppose they have professional health advisors. - 11/4/2008   8:07:08 AM
    i agree!
    just find an actress that's ALREADY the "required weight"
    why does everybody need to be so skinny and gain weight for a role? - 11/1/2008   5:14:42 AM
  • 109
    She could use a bit of weight anyway, I don't know about 20 or 30 lbs, seems like alot. They should use Scarlet Johansen or another curvacious actress, Selma Hayek, Halle Barry, Rene Zellweger (like in the Bridget Jones movies), you know? - 10/19/2008   11:08:45 AM
  • 108
    I don't think it's gaining weight to be "overweight", I think it's so that she looks like a regular person, like a healthy French woman. But yes, I disagree with it, and wish actresses with healthy bodies were hired more. - 10/16/2008   4:45:16 AM
  • 107
    I just hate that they cast ridiculously skinny women in these parts instead of giving someone with a naturally curvy body a chance. How many can you think of? Hmmm...Nikki Blonsky, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson....that's all I can think of. And when those women get out there, they're wonderful! They're bold and fun and inspiring, and I wish there was more of that in the movies these days. - 10/14/2008   12:04:59 PM
    I am more offended by the ones where they wear a "Fat" suit. Usually making fun of the fat person. At least when the actor gains the weight they can understand a little the issues of being overweight.
    - 10/12/2008   10:01:12 AM
  • 105
    I don't care about the movie but she should gain some weight anyway. She reminds me of the pictures of prisoners of war. As most "pretty and fit" celebs! (Keira Knightley comes to mind... eat something girl before you waste away) - 10/9/2008   10:49:49 PM
    I think it is a shame that they can't hire a fat or a thin actor for what they need and to put someone in a fat suit is an insult to fat people too. I won't watch those movies. - 9/18/2008   12:42:24 AM
  • 103
    There's only one way to stop this lunacy - DON'T SEE THE MOVIES IN WHICH ACTORS ARE REQUIRED TO BULK UP/SLIM DOWN EXCESSIVELY!!! - 9/16/2008   2:21:22 PM
  • 102
    I thought Hilary Swanke looked great in the movie "Million Dollar Baby" when she put on 25 pounds of mostly muscle (I suppose). She looked more of my definition of an attractive woman. I was disappointed when she lost it all and looked frail again. It takes so much work to gain beautiful muscle like that, what a waste! - 9/14/2008   12:11:28 PM
  • 101
    I thought Hilary Swanke looked great in the movie "Million Dollar Baby" when she put on 25 pounds of mostly muscle (I suppose). She looked more of my definition of an attractive woman. I was disappointed when she lost it all and looked frail again. It takes so much work to gain beautiful muscle like that, what a waste! - 9/14/2008   12:11:21 PM
  • 100
    I think she's too skiny anyways, maybe the weight will make her thin frame look healthy for once. - 9/8/2008   12:29:25 PM
    I wonder if 20 or even 30 pounds extra on Hilary Swank will make that much of a difference on camera, she looks gaunt to me. - 9/8/2008   6:51:05 AM
  • 98
    I don't understand this. I know there are probably plenty of attractive aspiring actors/actresses who are the desired weight for this role. It makes little sense.

    That being said, I suppose it is good if it is encouraging someone who has a weight issue (as swank's friends seemingly are suggesting) to gain weight to be at a healthy level. - 9/8/2008   3:51:02 AM
  • 97
    In a perfect world it would be great if Hollywood would pick heavier actors/actresses for movie roles rather than requiring someone to alter their appearance so dramatically...but unfortunately those movies won't sell if there isn't someone well-known heading them up. It's really too bad, but that's just how it is. - 9/7/2008   6:52:54 PM
  • 96
    Having lost and gained weight several times, it doesn't distress me that actors do this--at least they're getting paid for it! But, I always laugh when I hear how much "work" it is to gain weight for a role. Come on over to my house, I'll show you how it's done :-) - 9/7/2008   4:09:04 PM
  • 95
    I think it's ridiculous to gain weight just for a movie - it not a good enough reason.

    There are plenty of "overweight" actresses out there that they can choose from. Instead of focusing on the production of the movie, they have to sit there and wait for the main actress to gain weight to make the movie. - 9/7/2008   3:33:16 PM
  • 94
    I think that it is absurd!!! Has anyone seen the Machinist with Christian Bale (aka the newest Batman)? It is disgusting and very disheartening to see an actor go from Holocaust frail to bulked up superhero. This is such a ridiculous thing to do to people's health for the sake of a film. People need a reality check and need to know that making tons of money vs. being a well rounded healthy person isn't a good trade-off. - 9/7/2008   3:29:26 PM
    I think it is entirely unhealthy and only helps to perpetuate the ridiculous expectations that actors and actresses must be of certain proportions or sizes to be credible in their roles. My biggest concern is for the youth who idolize and try to adhere to the ideals relegated by Hollywood's standards. It is physiologically and psychologically harmful to put one's self in a "yo yo" mode of weight addition and reduction. - 9/7/2008   10:26:11 AM
    I guess that is why I am not a super star. I would not gian weight for anything. Of course she has the money to loose the weight for trainers or whatever. If you need someone who has weight hire that actress. We are too concerned about weight. I am the biggest stressedout woman when it comes to weight. - 9/7/2008   9:38:54 AM
    If it's a lot of weight, then I think the health risks outweigh the benefits. Remember, most of these actors and actresses who we hear about are already well-to-do if not downright rich, so it's not like they NEED the part. I guess it's their conscience that dictates whether they take the role or not, but I would certainly not want to gain weight just to get some other "benefit" in return. Losing it is hard enough, not to mention what it does to the body. - 9/7/2008   9:26:05 AM

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