Extreme Movie Body Transformations

When Dallas Buyers Club was released in 2013, lead actors Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were praised for their extreme weight loss in order to play their HIV-positive characters. This drastic weight change for a movie role has become a common practice – actors who get superhero roles are known for tacking on muscle in short periods of time. Why is this such a common practice, and what does it say about our society that we’re so interested in these transformations? To discuss, we spoke to Professor Catharine Lumby on the phone, from the Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University.

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