The lingering shirtless scene has become a trademark in Marvel’s movies and TV shows, and why not? Their leading men sacrifice cream cakes and booze in favour of gruelling gym sessions and infinite ab crunches to gain Marvel’s signature chiselled frames. But not all actors start out looking like a mythical god, so let’s take a look back at Marvel’s leading men before and after their magnificent makeovers.
In order to play Star Lord in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, Chris Pratt had to trade 60lbs of fat for pure muscle. His incredible transformation came through strict diet change, intense exercise, and some hardcore dedication.
2. Chris Hemsworth
Of all the Marvel transformations, Hemsworth’s is perhaps the most impressive. After shaping up for ‘Avengers’, he had to drop 30lbs in 4 months to play James Hunt in ‘Rush’, only to pack it all back on again for ‘Thor 2’ just months later.
3. Chris Evans
Evans was already in great shape before he played Captain America, but he admits his training regime for ‘The First Avenger’ was punishing, saying, “These weren’t normal gym sessions. I was puking at the gym. They were brutal, absolutely brutal.”
4. Hugh Jackman
Hugh was 31 when he played Wolverine for the first time, but he admits he didn’t prepare for ‘X-Men’ with the same enthusiasm he does now. He trained for 5 months solid to beef up for ‘The Wolverine’ after ‘Les Miserables’ and he’s at it again for ‘Wolverine 3′.
5. Aaron Taylor-Johnson
After playing the skinny wannabe hero Dave Lizewski in ‘Kick-Ass’ Aaron packed on 15lbs for the sequel, but his transformation for Marvel’s ‘Age of Ultron’ makes him look twice the size he used to be.
The 46-year-old ‘Anchorman’ star got in the best shape of his life to play Scott Lang in ‘Ant-Man’. His co-star Michael Douglas said “[Paul] was so cut, that they had to soften his costume up.”
The Falcon actor says the fear of looking puny next to Captain America inspired him to get in shape for ‘The Winter Soldier’. He worked out twice day to achieve his target weight of 230lbs.
9. Robert Downey Jr.
The ‘Iron Man’ star trains every day using Bruce Lee’s famous Wing Chun technique and has done for over a decade now. He packed on 25lbs of muscle to play Tony Stark through months of hard work, consuming around 5000 calories a day.
Brit actor Cox says Marvel set him up with a “no-joke gym” to get in to shape for ‘Daredevil’. To get his Bruce Lee-style lean physique he hit the gym hard, ate “tons of chicken”, and drank “protein shakes with sweet potato in it”. Gross.