Hollywood is full of men and women with god-like physiques, bodies so toned that they make the rest of us look like pathetic sacks of jelly. But ripped movie stars weren't always that way. Everyone has to start somewhere, and even our most famous superheroes and hunky actors had to pump some iron to get where they are today.
It's fun to compare and contrast pictures of celebrities before and after getting buff, especially when these physical movie star transformations are as dramatic as the films in which some of them star. It's not easy for anyone to get in shape, even when you have an army of personal trainers and dietitians aiding you along the way. Some of these celebs were unusually scrawny while others were carrying a few extra pounds, but these photos of ripped celebrities before they got swole prove that hard work and healthy habits can transform a person from zero to hero.
Chris Pratt was once a lovable schlub best known for playing Andy Dwyer on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. Everything changed for Pratt after he landed the lead role of Starlord in the Marvel blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy. The notoriously lazy actor worked for eight months to perfect his body, working out consistently and sticking to a nutritious diet. In an interview, Pratt admits that there is no grand secret to getting in shape. Like everything important in life, it takes time, dedication, and commitment.
Birthplace: Virginia, Minnesota, United States of America
#87 on The Coolest Actors Ever
Christian Bale uses his body as a canvas, changing it to optimally suit whatever role he's playing next. He's gone through so many body transformations that it's impossible to tell exactly which one represents the real Christian Bale. His most dramatic change occurred between his emaciated role in The Machinist and his bulky Batman in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. Bale shed 60 pounds for The Machinist and had to gain it all back to play the muscular superhero, and he did it in just five months.
Birthplace: Haverfordwest, United Kingdom
#70 on The Coolest Actors Ever
Hardcore workouts can be incredibly stressful on the body to the point where things can sometimes become dangerous. That was almost the case for Henry Cavill, whose muscles nearly gave out while he was lifting weights on the set of Man of Steel. He grit his teeth through the pain and successfully lifted and racked the bar. Cavill's trainer remembers the moment as an incredible display of perseverance. Surprisingly, one of the most important parts of Cavill's training routine was his sleep schedule. The actor was strictly forbidden from getting anything less than 9-10 hours of sleep while he trained to be Superman.
Birthplace: Jersey, United Kingdom, with Dependencies and Territories
Tom Hardy has become a household name after starring in a host of massively successful films like Mad Max: Fury Road and a multitude of Christopher Nolan films including Inception, Dunkirk, and The Dark Knight Rises. While the actor is looking pretty bulky these days, he wasn't always so musclebound. In an interview with the Daily Beast, Hardy goes into detail about the physical toll that rapid training for a movie can have on your body. He complains of aches and pains that he most likely developed after rapidly bulking up for his role as Bane and for the 2011 film Warrior.
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom
#79 on The Coolest Actors Ever