Their stellar performances also played a major part in them grabbing the award. But for just transforming themselves -- in some cases dangerously -- they deserved one. With Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto and Christian Bale falling in that category this year, we take a look at the present and the past. Christian Bale, American Hustle (2013)
While watching American Hustle, many of you had to pinch yourself to believe that the muscled-and-buffed Christian Bale of Batman fame is balding, pot-bellied Irving Rosenfeld! No surprises then that the actor has ensnared a best actor nomination this year.
Bale is no stranger to drastic weight reduction, or super-sizing it, and then going on to win awards. In 2011, he took home a bevy of awards for his act as the frail former boxer in The Fighter, including an Oscar. His most dramatic transformation till date is in The Machinist. Many gave him awards for that too, others must have wanted to offer food!
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Christian Bale is known for drastically transforming his body; in American Hustle and The Machinist.
The fashion police heaved a collective sigh of relief when Matthew McConaughey appeared on the Golden Globe Red Carpet weighing more than his wife. After months of seeing the handsome actor stick thin – he lost almost 38 pounds to play Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club – people were just happy he looked 'healthy' again. McConaughey plays a man who has been diagnosed with AIDS in the film. For going on a diet – he ate nothing – that most Hollywood actresses live on, the man got a best actor nomination at Oscars and has already won Golden Globe, Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Matthew McConaughey after and before Dallas Buyers Club.
Jared Leto plays a transgender in Dallas Buyers Club who has been diagnosed with AIDS and had to lose oodles of weight for his character. Just like McConaughey, he has won Golden Globe, Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards for his efforts and has been nominated for Oscars. Leto lost almost 30 pounds for the role. He had earlier super-sized it for Chapter 27 where he played Mark Chapman, the killer of John Lennon. Leto likes to play it at both ends of weight spectrum is proved by the fact that he has earlier shed a whopping amount of weight for a Requiem of a Dream.
Jared Leto in Chapter 27 (l) and American Hustle (c).
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables (2012)
To play the emaciated prostitute Fantine in Les Miserables, Anne Hathaway lost 16 pounds and her long locks. Like always, Academy Awards jury stood up and applauded and handed her a Supporting Actress Oscar.
Natalie Portman, Black Swan (2011)
Anne Hathaway lost weight to play Fantine in Les Miserables.
The beauty lost 20 pounds off her petite frame to enact the role of a ballerina in this film. Her nuanced performance and makeover got her an Oscar.
Charlize Theron, Monster (2003)
Natalie Portman lost weight for Black Swan.
The talented actress had to do a fair amount of 'uglying up' to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. The process included bad makeup, prosthetic teeth, partially shaved off eyebrows and an additional 13 kgs. Did she win an Oscar? Of course yes!
Tom Hanks (1993)
Charlize Theron after gaining weight and uglying up for Monster.
For the iconic Philapdelphia where he played a man diagnosed with AIDS, Tom Hanks shed 26 pounds from his already lanky frame. The film entered the annals of history for its heart wrenching story and performances and Hanks went home with THE award.
Tom Hanks in Philadelphia and now.