30 Actor Transformations So Extreme You Didn’t Even Recognise Them

When we think of actor transformations, we tend to think of names like Robert De Niro and Daniel Day-Lewis: masters of the craft who have over the years shaped and moulded themselves to fit whatever role came their way, no matter how radical.

Arguably not even De Niro nor DDL, however, have ever undergone such a physical metamorphosis that there’s nary a hint of their real-life selves in the part. Sometimes, an actor will wholly shapeshift for a role, to the extent that, in some cases, the actor in question can remain a mystery to the viewer right up until the closing credits.

Let’s look back at some of those times actors rendered themselves completely unrecognisable for a film.


30. Christian Bale – Vice

Who?

British (though often American, at least on-screen) actor famed for his commitment to the craft. Oscar winner for The Fighter.

This is also the hunk who played Batman/Bruce Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy.

In 2018’s Vice, director Adam McKay’s biopic of Dick Cheney, controversial VP to former President George W Bush, Bale is pretty much unrecognisable.

To play the part, which nobody in their right mind would have cast him in, Bale had to go to even greater lengths than usual.

Bale added 40 pounds to match Cheney’s larger frame, bleached his eyebrows and shaved his head to allow wigs to be applied as he played Cheney through the ages.

The performance landed Bale his second Best Actor Oscar nomination – but he lost out to another actor we’ll mention later.

29. Taron Egerton

Who?

Welsh actor, best known for roles in the British television series The Smoke as well as the action-comedy Kingsman films.

Egerton also proved his acting chops in Eddie the Eagle and Legend, which saw him adopt rather different personas.

But we’re here to talk transformations. Perhaps Egerton’s biggest transformation to date occurs in Rocketman.

Egerton stars as British musical icon Elton John in director Dexter Fletcher’s biopic, Rocketman.

With some fake teeth, a wig and a few extra pounds, the young actor embodies Elton’s look beautifully.

It helps that the actor can sing too, and does all his own singing in the film.

28. Christian Bale – The Machinist

Who?

You know, the weight gain/loss guy who we’ve literally just talked about. Keep up.

He may have gotten larger to play Dick Cheney, but for another of his films, Bale went in the complete opposite direction.

Subsisting largely on “coffee and apples” (but with the occasional whiskey thrown in), Bale lost around 55 pounds from his already thin frame to play insomniac Trevor Reznik in Brad Anderson’s The Machinist.

Immediately following the film up with Batman Begins, Bale had to gain 100 pounds over six months in order to achieve Bruce Wayne’s muscular frame.

By his own admission, Bale was irritated how his skeletal frame dominated the discussion around The Machinist when it was finally released. Still, just look at the guy; how could we not talk about it?

In a funny and/or alarming footnote, it eventually came to light that the weight of Trevor Reznik given in The Machinist script was a typo, so Bale really didn’t have any need to slim down so dangerously.

27. Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Who?

Rami Said Malek. You probably know him best from his performances in the hit TV shows Mr. Robot and The Pacific. Also a film actor, known for the Night at the Museum movies, the Twilight saga and a certain Freddie Mercury biopic…

Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen movie, had been in the pipeline for quite a while when Rami Malek was cast as frontman Freddie Mercury.

Before Malek, there was Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Whishaw, arguably bigger names than Malek at the time. So when Malek was finally asked, he jumped at the chance to inhabit the role.

To play Mercury, Malek bulked up to play a physically stronger Mercury in the Live Aid scenes, then dropped weight through dieting for scenes in which he plays a younger Freddie.

These are the more subtle changes Malek made, however. The three biggies were the fake moustache, a prosthetic nose and, of course, the fake teeth. To give Malek ‘Mercury teeth’, the Bohemian Rhapsody props department built the actor his own set of oversized gnashers.

Once filming wrapped, Malek kept his fake teeth and had them set in gold, as anyone would. We’re sure those sit nicely on Malek’s mantlepiece next to his Best Actor Oscar.

26. Eric Bana – Chopper

Who?

A famous comedian in his native Australia, once upon a time, and now best known to a wider Western audience as a hunky leading man.

Bana’s best-known works include Black Hawk Down, Munich and of course 2003’s Hulk, in which Bana played Banner.

It was the film that broke Bana into Hollywood, however, that first alerted audiences to his transformative potential.

Chopper, Andrew Dominik’s biopic of notorious Australian criminal Mark ‘Chopper’ Read, features Bana as both the young and middle-aged versions of Read.

For the former, Bana got jacked, but for the latter, Bana ate nothing but junk food for a month, ultimately gaining 30 pounds.

To complete the look, Bana grew a handlebar moustache while the makeup team covered the actor in Chopper’s fake tats.

25. Cate Blanchett – I’m Not There

Who?

Glam Australian actress, and Oscar winner, who took home awards for her performances in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine.

Blanchett’s also known for her roles in Carol, The Talented and Mr Ripley. More recently, she featured in the all-female cast of Ocean’s 8.

None of the aforementioned so drastically changed Blanchett’s appearance as I’m Not There, however.

I’m Not There, Todd Haynes’ unconventional biopic of Bob Dylan, takes an unconventional approach to casting.

Among the actors playing Dylan are African-American actor Marcus Carl Franklin, who plays Dylan as a child, and Blanchett.

Incredibly, Blanchett did little more than don a curly wig and shades and wear a sock down her trousers to convincingly become not just any man, but one of the most iconic men of the 20th century.

24. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Who?

Anchorman and The American Office comedian. Lately, a more serious actor working his magic in more serious films.

Carell has appeared in comedies including The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Crazy, Stupid, Love, as well as dramas such as The Big Short and Little Miss Sunshine.

2014’s Foxcatcher, though, might be the one that first made drama fans sit up and take notice of Carell. Ironic, considering Carell is barely recognisable in the film as the ghoulish John du Pont.

To mimic du Pont, Carell watched hours of footage of the murderous billionaire.

The Foxcatcher makeup department then added a fake nose, dyed Carell’s hair grey and even lightened his skin tone.

The effect was startling: Carell’s cast members including Mark Ruffalo were so unnerved they actively avoided the much-loved actor on-set.

23. Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Who?

Oscar-winning Brit most recognisable to blockbuster audiences from the Dark Knight trilogy and the Harry Potter film series.

Oldman’s side gig, however, is as a rather more Serious Actor known for totally disappearing into his characters.

Darkest Hour, the film that bagged Oldman the Oscar, features Oldman in one of those roles which left him utterly unrecognisable.

He wasn’t the most obvious choice to star. Darkest Hour is a biopic of Winston Churchill, an overweight, balding, baby-faced icon of British history.

Unsurprisingly Oldman, voluminously-haired and slim, had to spend a total of 200 hours in the makeup chair being made into the legendary wartime leader.

Ample prosthetics did most of the work, while Oldman spent a year studying Churchill to accurately convey his mannerisms. The result was a total physical modification.

22. Vincent D’Onofrio – Full Metal Jacket

Who?

Method actor, probably best known to today’s audiences as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin in TV’s Daredevil – as well as being the first actor to play Marvel’s Thor (sort of) in Adventures in Babysitting.

Through the 80s and 90s, however, D’Onofrio was better known for his constantly shifting physical appearance.

‘Better known’ is perhaps a misnomer; D’Onofrio disappeared so completely into his roles that audiences probably weren’t aware they were watching the same guy from film to film.

Take Full Metal Jacket, for which the actor would be an obese, bald-headed killing machine for Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam War movie.

To attain this look, the normally muscular D’Onofrio gained 70 pounds – or five stone – over the course of seven months. (For some perspective, he made Adventures in Babysitting – in which he appears in his physical prime – the very same year.)

At the time, this made D’Onofrio a record breaker, though considering the weight gain caused his knee ligaments to tear during filming, it’s unlikely he was too chuffed about it.

21. Jim Carrey – The Bad Batch

Who?

Funnyman who owned the 90s with films like Dumb and Dumber, Ace Ventura and The Mask. It’s Jim Carrey.

Carrey has also featured in more serious, acclaimed fare, including The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Lately, though, he’s been busy painting and getting political.

Considering his behaviour over the last couple of years, it doesn’t actually seem that odd that one of the most successful comedians of all time would suddenly take a detour into cameoing in an insane indie sci-fi as a mute hobo.

The film was Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch, a science fiction coming-of-age odyssey about a young woman who gets banished to a Texas wasteland dominated by cannibals and an evil Keanu Reeves-in a bad wig.

Carrey’s role was the Hermit, a small, wordless part that required Carrey occasionally appear to assist the lead character on her journey.

To convince as an anonymous post-apocalyptic vagrant, Carrey had extensive makeup and prosthetics applied. He also doesn’t say a word on-screen.

20. Charlize Theron – Monster

Who?

Oscar-winning actress and former model best known for action films like Mad Max: Fury Road and Atomic Blonde.

Theron has also been garlanded with awards for her dramatic work, in the likes of Young Adult and Tully, not to mention…

Monster, the film which they’re bound to remember Theron by, is also the one in which you’re least likely to recognise her.

Patty Jenkins’ film tells the story of Aileen Wuornos, a Florida serial killer who was executed in 2002.

To play the part of Wuornos, Theron gained 30 pounds, shaved her brows and popped in some unflattering prosthetic teeth.

The transformation paid off when Theron won the Oscar for Best Actress for her turn in 2004.

19. Tom Hardy – Bronson

Who?

One of the best leading men of his generation, Tom Hardy is the Oscar-nominated British thesp probably best known for his work with Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, Dunkirk).

Having made his debut in the acclaimed HBO series Band of Brothers, Hardy has also won strong notices for The Revenant, Locke and just for being an all-round beauty.

No stranger to a physical transformation, arguably Tom Hardy’s greatest act of shapeshifting happened back in 2008. This was the year that Hardy first came to many a filmgoer’s attention, with a boisterous performance in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson.

Starring in the film as notorious British jailbird Charles Bronson, Hardy elected to completely alter his appearance.

To get that ‘prison brawler’ look, Hardy trained and “ate everything”, gaining 42 pounds of muscle and fat.

Then, to look more like the man himself, Hardy shaved his head and wore a series of ever more attention-grabbing fake moustaches.

18. Tom Cruise – Tropic Thunder

Who?

The most powerful Scientologist of them all, and a renowned daredevil lately famed for doing the most madcap stunts in his own movies.

Cruise’s megawatt grin has lit up such screen classics as Top Gun, Jerry Maguire and the Mission Impossible films.

Ben Stiller’s Hollywood comedy Tropic Thunder is awash with stars, but most viewers failed to spot its biggest name until the credits rolled.

It’s only at the movie’s close that the bald, hirsute, oddly large-handed actor playing Hollywood mogul Les Grossman is revealed to be Tom Cruise.

Allegedly, Cruise was the one who asked director Ben Stiller if his studio head could be made to appear even more grotesque than even Stiller had imagined.

To play Grossman, Cruise chose to wear a bald cap, mounds of fake fur, a fat suit and – for whatever reason – giant prosthetic mitts.

17. Jared Leto – Chapter 27

Who?

Oscar-winning star of Dallas Buyer’s Club and lead singer of rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars.

Leto also fancies himself a De Niro-style chameleon, having regularly lost and gained weight for roles in films such as Suicide Squad and Requiem for a Dream.

Though he slimmed down for Dallas Buyer’s Club and bulked up considerably for Suicide Squad, nothing compared to what Leto did for Chapter 27.

As John Lennon’s assassin Mark Chapman, Leto buried his rock star image under a monumental weight gain.

To get ‘in shape’ as the obese Chapman, Leto gained 67 pounds, largely by drinking microwaved pints of ice cream mixed with soy sauce and olive oil.

Was it worth it? Well, the extreme diet gave Leto gout and temporarily forced him into a wheelchair – then the film opened to bad box office and worse reviews. So no.

16. Linda Hunt – The Year of Living Dangerously

Who?

Veteran actress, Oscar winner and star of such crowdpleasers as Popeye, Kindergarten Cop and Stranger than Fiction.

Currently one of the long-running leads on NCIS: Los Angeles, though Hunt’s finest – and, in retrospect, most contentious – moment came in 1982.

To win her Oscar, Hunt had to first become someone else entirely – by swapping both gender and race.

In 1982’s The Year of Living Dangerously, Peter Weir’s romantic drama set in war-torn Indonesia, Hunt plays Chinese-Australian photographer Billy Kwan.

For this, Hunt cut and dyed her hair and shaved her eyebrows, and, more controversially, wore ‘yellowface’ makeup for the role.

For her trouble, Hunt became the first actress to win an Oscar for playing a member of the opposite sex.

15. Gary Oldman – Hannibal

Who?

Until only very recently, one of the greatest actors never to have won an Oscar. He’s Sid Vicious, Norman Stansfield, Sirius Black, Jim Gordon and George Smiley.

Oldman’s also a renowned shapeshifter, having lost himself in films like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Tiptoes and Darkest Hour.

You’d be forgiven for only just now realising that Gary Oldman was even in Ridley Scott’s Silence of the Lambs sequel.

As Hannibal’s horrifically disfigured uber-villain Mason Verger, Oldman literally disappeared in the role.

To play the part, Oldman had himself covered in a layer of prosthetics and adopted a nasally American accent.

After a contractual dispute, Oldman also asked he went uncredited in the film – meaning to this day many are still unaware that Hannibal’s baddie is secretly played by one of the best actors in the business.

14. Meryl Streep – Angels in America

Who?

Goddess. Also, one of the most amazing and adaptive actresses out there, with three Oscars to prove it.

For what’s become perhaps her most famous (though least critically revered) role, as Mamma Mia!’s Donna, Meryl didn’t have to change much about her appearance.

To play British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Streep wore a wig and some prosthetic teeth, but was still basically recognisable.

For HBO’s 2003 miniseries Angels in America, however, Streep disappeared into the role of ‘the Rabbi’. In the series, an adaptation of Tony Kushner’s stage play, Streep plays four different characters including the wizened, bespectacled and very bearded rabbi.

Plastered in old-age prosthetics, decked out with fake teeth and covered from scalp to chin in greying hair, all that remains of the familiar Meryl are her eyes.

Obviously, Streep even knocked this one out of the park. Unsurprisingly, she won all the awards for it.

13. Tobey Maguire – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Who?

Hotshot celeb poker player, and also Peter Parker in Sam Raimi’s trilogy of Spider-Man films.

Since Spider-Man, Maguire hasn’t done a whole lot, but then he’s no need to when he has all those Spidey millions and poker winnings to sustain him.

A lot of actors go incognito in 1998’s Fear and Loathing and Las Vegas (would you recognise the bald Johnny Depp or grossly overweight Benicio del Toro if their names weren’t on the poster?).

Tobey Maguire, however, might take the biscuit.

In the film, based on Hunter S Thompson’s semi-autobiographical novel, Maguire features in a cameo as a hitchhiker.

You might not have clocked him, however, owing to the character’s long blond hair, waxy complexion and heavily balding scalp.

Maguire shaved his head for the part, something that cost the production a huge chunk of money when a contractually hairy Maguire had to return later for Fear and Loathing reshoots.

12. The entire cast of Cloud Atlas

Who?

For one of the most ambitious science fiction films ever made, the Wachowskis and and their co-director Tom Twyker assembled a stellar cast.

The 2012 adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas stars such big names as Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant.

The cast of characters may be large, but the cast itself is relatively small, owing to the Wachowskis’ decision to have their actors play multiple roles, multiple ages and multiple ethnicities over multiple timelines.

This means Hugh Grant playing an elderly Roger Daltrey lookalike and a cannibal chieftain from the year 2311.

As if that wasn’t enough, Halle Berry plays a male Korean doctor from a dystopian future and a white Jewish emigre in WWII.

We also see respected veterans including Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon as we’ve never seen them before – literally.

11. Robert De Niro – Raging Bull

Who?

Oh come on now. You know Bobby De Niro. Oscar winner, and icon of movie acting, a procurer of acclaimed performances in the likes of Taxi Driver and The Godfather Part II.

Back in the 80s, before he made a career in lightweight comedies like Analyse This and Meet the Parents, De Niro was still a serious method actor, famed for transforming himself for his roles.

For Raging Bull, Martin Scorsese’s biopic of world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta, De Niro trained for years to get into fighting shape as the younger champ, then ate all the hard work away in a matter of months.

As production on the film was suspended for four months, De Niro took a trip to Europe, where he travelled around Italy and France eating his bodyweight in pasta, meat and ice cream.

In total, De Niro piled on 60 pounds, taking his weight from 145 to 215 pounds in a short space of time, something that would naturally impact the actor’s health.

When he returned to the set, De Niro’s posture and even speech were changed, while director Scorsese was concerned about the actor’s now-laboured breathing patterns, De Niro having successfully eaten himself into respiratory difficulty.

He also looked nothing like Robert De Niro anymore. So, a great success in method acting terms.

10. Rooney Mara – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Who?

You may remember Rooney as the sweet-faced and endearingly wholesome girl of Tanner Hall and the Nightmare on Elm Street remake.

She also starred in David Fincher’s The Social Network, albeit as a slightly more acerbic character.

It was in another of Fincher’s films, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, that Mara made her most significant physical transformation.

Mara had her hair dyed and cut, her eyebrows were bleached and she had four piercings put in each ear.

She also had her eyebrow and nipples pierced, and thus transformed into the vengeful Goth computer hacker Lisbeth Salander.

The hard work paid off, and it gained Mara a nomination for the Best Actress Oscar. (She lost to Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady.)

9. 50 Cent – All Things Fall Apart

Who?

50 Cent, rapper turned (deep breath) singer, songwriter, actor, television producer, businessman, and investor.

We’re interested in the acting part of that list. Back in 2011, 50 Cent played the part of a cancer-stricken footballer in All Things Fall Apart.

This sounds like a promising premise for a film. Unfortunately for Fiddy, it turned out to be a bit of a flop.

This must have massively sucked, considering the rapper had to drop 54 pounds to play the part.

He achieved this through a liquid diet and spending 3 hours a day on a treadmill.

Directed by Mario Van Peebles, All Things Fall Apart wound up being released direct to home entertainment.

8. Jonah Hill – Various

Who?

Full name: Jonah Hill Feldstein, born December 20th 1983, ranked 28th on Forbes magazine’s ranking of the world’s highest-paid actors from June 2014 to June 2015.

Hill is known for his fluctuating weight, bouncing from lean, to more full-figured over the past couple of years.

In his breakthrough movies Superbad and Knocked Up, Hill cut a weightier frame.

The actor slimmed down for the action-comedy movie 22 Jump Street back in 2014.

However, he went on to gain 40lbs for his role in the film War Dogs two years later in 2016, to play the arms dealer Efrain Diveroli.

Hill has generally been slimmer since, although this hasn’t stopped the tabloid media from attempting to body-shame him – which the actor has quite rightly hit back at them for.

7. Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

Who?

He’s the guy from further up the list, so I needn’t make another introduction. This time we’re talking about his transformation for the film Dallas Buyers Club.

He had to lose 40 pounds to play a transgender woman with AIDS, sharing his weight-loss journey with costar Matthew McConaughey.

So how did he do it? Let’s hear from the man himself: “I stopped eating, it wasn’t an easy thing to do. It was 30 or 40 pounds. After a while I stopped counting.”

The actor and 30 Seconds To Mars front man dropped 114 pounds in total to play Rayon. He said that loosing so much weight ‘changed’ him.

“It changes the way you walk, the way you sit, the way you think,” he said.

Leto’s hard work paid off and the film won many awards. He himself bagged to Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film.

6. Demi Moore – G.I. Jane

Who?

Demi Gene Guynes, professionally known as Demi Moore, is an American actress and former songwriter and model.

It was no easy task for her transforming into Lieutenant Jordon O’Neil, the first female Navy SEAL in the movie G.I Jane.

Famously, Moore shaved her head on camera for the role – but she also put the rest of her body through some intensive changes.

She achieved her military-worthy physique through a combination of tough workouts, a diet and actual Navy SEAL training.

To prepare for the film, Moore’s workouts would begin at 4:00am in the morning, in order to cram it in before filming started.

Because she lived in New York at the time, Demi had security guards accompanying her on her runs through Central Park.

Moore used the celebrity trainer Gregory Joujon-Roche to whip her into shape, alongside Navy SEAL instructor Stephen Helvenston.

5. J.K Simmons – Justice League

Who?

Full name: Jonathan Kimble Simmons. He is an American actor and voice actor. He is known for playing Dr. Emil Skoda on the NBC series Law & Order.

His crazy transformation came when he played the role of Commissioner Gordon in the fairly recent Justice League movie.

Credit: Aaron Williamson via Instagram

Simmons credits achieving this shredded and muscly physique to his trainer, Aaron Williamson.

If you’re thinking that Commissioner Gordon isn’t usually as ripped as Batman, you’re not alone; Simmons has since admitted he was getting in shape more for himself than for the role.

Williamson, an ex-Marine, has been providing elite-lever training to a host of Hollywood A-listers, working with the likes of Zac Efron, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Jamie Foxx and Jai Courtney.

Williamson first worked with Simmons in 2015 to help him shape up for Terminator Genesis.

4. Zac Efron – Baywatch

Who?

“We’re soaring, flying, there’s not a star in Heaven that we can’t reach…” sorry, we got a little distracted. He was in High School Musical, but has since gone on to star in some big Hollywood blockbusters.

Perhaps his biggest transformation for a movie came for his role in the remastering of Baywatch.

It took the actor nearly six months of training four to five times a week to reach the physique needed to rival Hasselhoff in the original. He trained with fitness guru Patrick Murphy and followed a strict, clean diet which saw him giving up sugars and carbs completely for days on end.

“Patrick’s training was confusing at first…I just thought I was showing up to lift weights and get a deeper six pack (which is hard enough already),” Zac said.

“But rather than the typical bodybuilding type of movements I had become accustomed to, Patrick pushed me to my ‘functional’ limits with a very multifaceted style: strength, explosiveness, fast paced, calculated, diverse and gut-wrenching workouts.”

Sounds rough to us, but Efron says, “It was fun…you never know what he’s going to throw at you the next day.”

3. Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables

Who?

“I dreamed a dream of time gone by…” yeah, we’re continuing with the musical theme here with Anne Hathaway.

The all-round great actress bagged the part of Fantine in the live-action film of Les Miserables.

The 30-year old was extremely committed to the role, going as far as chopping off her signature locks.

If this wasn’t enough, she also dropped 25 pounds for the film, to emulate Fantine’s emaciated looks.

There were rumours that Hathway embarked on an extreme crash diet, eating fewer than 500 calories a day.

According to Hathaway’s representatives, this was a “huge exaggeration,” adding that Hathaway was indeed on a special diet, but she was consuming more than 500 calories a day.

2. Matthew Fox – Alex Cross

Who?

That guy who ended up on a big ‘ole island when the plane he was in crashed. Matthew Fox is perhaps best known for playing Jack Shephard in Lost.

He didn’t need much transforming to play Jack, only a few bits of wear and tear. But for his role as the emaciated villain in the heavy-duty thriller ‘Alex Cross,’ Fox had to shed nearly a fifth of his bodyweight.

He said” “When I took on the role in this film I said I wanted to radically change the way that I look, that’s the only way that I would buy me as that character.”

“We wanted to build a physique that looked natural to the character – not just a gym body,” says Simon Waterson. He is the guy who prepares Daniel Craig for Bond and is recognised as one of the smartest cinematic body-transformers in the business.

“Matthew knew exactly what he wanted to look like for the role: menacing and a little psychotic.”

“We couldn’t put him on an extreme, low-calorie diet,” says Waterson. “It would have starved his brain of sugar, and his thought processes would have slowed right down. I couldn’t sap him of the energy he needed to work, so everything had to be very balanced.”

1. Taylor Lautner – Twilight: New Moon

Who?

The third wheel from the Twilight Saga. Taylor Lautner played half-man, half-wolf, Jacob in the adaptation of Stephanie Myers’ vampire series.

Between the first and second books (and subsequently first and second films,) Taylor’s character undergoes quite a transformation.

He turns from weedy teen to muscly hunk within the space of a few months. This meant that Taylor himself had to gain 30 pounds of muscle within a year.

At the time, it seemed to be common knowledge amongst Twilight fans that Lautner would not be returning for the sequel.

Taylor said of his transformation to become the hunkier Jacob: “During that whole time, there was no director attached, so nobody could make that kind of decision or announcement without the director.”

“As soon as Chris Weitz became attached, I had all my work done that I had been doing over the past nine, 10 months; it was all good to go.”