Actor Hugh Jackman lost 15 pounds, then regained 30, for the role of Jean Valjean in the drama “Les Misérables.”
The strapping 6-foot-3 Jackman, who’s no stranger to strict dieting and exercise, reveals he binge-ate to gain the weight quickly.
“I was eating anything I could,” Hugh told the Hollywood Reporter. “If ever there are any outtakes, there’s a lot of me burping.”
Jackman initially shed the weight to look the part of an emaciated convict and then buffed up when his character became a wealthy businessman. He also grew a scraggly beard, sported scruffy beard extensions and wore a mouth mold to make his teeth look dirty and decayed.
Meanwhile, Hugh’s co-star, Anne Hathaway, is making headlines of her own for her shocking 25-pound weight loss for Les Misérables. Both Hathaway and Jackman are earning early raves not only for their stunning physical transformations, but their gripping acting and singing in the tragic drama.
Strict dieting and exercise are nothing new to the disciplined Australian actor, who consumed 6,000 calories a day and pumped iron for hours to play the Wolverine.
While the athletic Hugh leads an active lifestyle (and is often photographed doing sports with his kids), he actually hates working out.
“I don’t really enjoy training,” said Jackman. “People say it’s addictive, but I’m like, ‘not so much.’ “If I weren’t getting paid or didn’t have a character like Wolverine to maintain, I would just be a tall, lean, fit guy.”
Even when he’s not training for a role, Hugh is a fan of intermittent fasting. “I’m on this 16/8 [intermittent fasting] diet,” said Jackman. “I eat about 6,000 calories for eight hours from 10 am to 6 pm and then fast for 16 hours a day. Sometimes I would to have wake up in the middle of the night to eat. All the science shows that you burn fat at night, and by fasting you build lean muscle.”
Jackman added: “There is a lot of science behind intermittent fasting or having a period of each day when you are not eating. So you eat for an eight-hour window and then don’t eat for 16 hours.”
Intermittent fasting has been touted for its ability to produce rapid weight loss and burn fat more quickly than conventional dieting. It has also been called a powerful anti-aging diet because it reduces the oxidative and metabolic stresses that damage cells.
The weight loss and anti-aging health benefits of intermittent fasting are detailed extensively in the bestselling books, The Fast Diet and The Every Other Day Diet.