Russell’s recent performance as Zeus in Thor: Love and Thunder isn’t the first one where fans notice his weight gain. Previously, his role in Unhinged (2020) and The Loudest Voice (2019) also portrayed him in a huge role requiring him to gain weight. In short, Russell Crowe weight gain goes unnoticed.
Russell – being the dedicated actor he is – is known to take up his character’s personality seriously.
Gladiator is the first example where he lost 40 pounds to bring realism to his role. Keeping his weight transformations in mind, we can say that Russell Crowe weight gain was linked to his role in the MCU film.
Russell Crowe’s Career and Weight Transformations
The actor was born in New Zealand and settled in Australia. He started his acting career with TV appearances in the opera ‘Neighbors’ and the series ‘Living with the Law’. The Crossing (1990) was the first film that presented him as Johnny.
Before his hit Gladiator (2000), he had already acted in several movies with L.A.
Confidential (1997) is his breakthrough performance. His first weight gain for his career happened in 1999 when he had to play Jeffrey Wigand – a tobacco industry executive.
Russell’s success is often credited to his performance in Gladiator (2000) as the legendary Roman General of Emperor Aurelius in the Roman Times. Few people know that the actor lost 40 pounds to make his character more realistic. His weight loss focused on dieting and training.
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These efforts paid off well as this role earned Russell several awards and nominations including an Academy Award. It also paved the way for more promising roles for the actor.
If you are astonished at the huge number of pounds lost for the Gladiator role, note that his weight transformation for Body of Lies (2008) was even more profound. He had to put on 63 more pounds to fit the character who was an ex-athlete no longer keen on fitness and physique.
He gained some pounds to perform in the TV series, The Loudest Voice. Also, Unhinged (2020) showed him in a huge body. Truth be told, he never gained weight for Unhinged and used padded costumes to create the effect.
Still, demand for Russell’s fatness didn’t die. Thor: Love and Thunder prompted him to prove his dedication to his career once again with remarkable weight gain. We can see that the huge role of Zeus demanded huge efforts from the actor and he obliged.
So, did Russell gain weight to appear huge in his MCU film performance? Of course! But at the same time, he was already bulking up before getting the offer.
What Russell Crowe Says about His Weight Gain
Russell’s Crowe weight gain in recent years is linked to his roles. Most of the roles he takes on depict him in a huge body. Are these roles the cause of his bulkiness? Or is his bulkiness attracting these offers? It seems that both factors maintain equal weight.
Even though Russell bulked up to perform in The Loudest Voice, he never intended to keep it. We can see that he still failed at shedding these extra pounds.
Fans are quick to notice that he hasn’t taken up roles that presented a leaner, healthier character for quite a few years now. It means that he is purposefully choosing those roles that fit his body to avoid committing to sudden and massive weight loss.
Because his weight gain has attracted lots of attention, he is agitated by fans’ remarks. He claims that he is annoyed by this focus and wants a break. Also, he is confident that he can shed extra pounds soon.
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The Reason behind the Weight Gain
If we rule out character demand as the primary reason for the weight transformation of the actor, we are left with reasons such as Russell’s let-go attitude or his age.
He is nearing his sixtieth birthday so the metabolism is not his biggest strength. At this age, he only has to rely on his lifestyle choices – including diet and exercise – to shed extra pounds and keep them off.
Like anybody else, weight gain has become easier for him because the body doesn’t burn calories easily at the 58th year of one’s age. And losing weight you acquire because of a movie role becomes gradually more difficult with every passing year.
To put it bluntly, the actor doesn’t appear too keen to maintain a perfect physique. He could lose 40 pounds in a matter of months before Gladiator’s filming started. But now, he isn’t too thrilled about the idea because it isn’t attached to his performance in his upcoming movie.
Russell Crowe is famous for his legendary performance as Roman General in Gladiator. One reason behind the success of this role was his massive weight loss and training for the action scenes. At that time, he lost 40 pounds to fulfill the character’s requirements. But that wasn’t the only time he experimented with his physique to bring realism to his roles.
The Insider (1999) and Body of Lies were others when he pulled the feat.
Note that Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) may appear to be one of those movies to pull Russell Crowe out of his usual physique but it wasn’t. Russell was selected for the role when he already had the right weight for it.