Ricky Hatton announced his return to the ring recently; it was hardly earth-shattering news considering he shed three stone over the past year since ballooning after ‘retirement’. His ability to rocket up numerous weight divisions after a bout is the stuff of legend, as is his ability to drop the pies and a few layers of blubber in the process when he fancies a scrap.
In recognition of the oscillating Manc, I’ve compiled a little list of people whose body transformations have dropped jaws across the globe. I’m staying away from the Marie Claire-style makeover approach, and we can also pretty much take Michael Jackson as read…
In order to play a chronic insomniac in The Machinist in 2004, Bale decided to drop as much weight as he could without dying. His obsessive nature took him way beyond the expectations of director Brad Anderson; he ended up losing five stone and resembling a heroin addict with a pre-existing eating disorder. How did he manage to drop such a substantial amount of weight? What tailor-made, medically monitored method did he use? Always a man to do things on his own terms, Bale used his own sophisticated approach of only eating when he felt ready to collapse and running for hours at a time.
Happily [Jodie Marsh has] now turned her life around, by making a spectacle of herself in a more legitimate way
In fact, five months after filming for The Machinist, Bale performed an even bigger full body transplant by gaining seven and a half stone within five months to bulk up for Batman Begins. Coming from a man who said ‘working out is incredibly boring’, he stuck to the task pretty admirably when inflating himself into Bruce Wayne shape. Interestingly, Bale said that while emaciated, he felt ‘calm and serene’ compared to the ‘big mood swings’ he experienced as a beefcake Batman. We can probably imagine which version of Bale on-set lighting engineers prefer.
Life was becoming increasingly hard for Jodie ‘Look at me!!!’ Marsh and by 2006, after being evicted from Big Brother, she even seriously contemplated suicide by driving into a tree. Happily she’s now turned her life around, by making a spectacle of herself in a more legitimate way: becoming a bodybuilder. A diet of eggs, eggs and eggs combined with up to four hours a day at the gym and a shit-load of fake tan (applied nearly to the point of causing racial offence) has taken her to the heights of victory at the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation championships in Washington DC. Throughout her physical transformation, one important part of her body has remained the same: her heart. Just joking. Her tits. Her tits have remained the same.
Not content with only one form of physical reconstruction, his face has also gone through a disturbing metamorphosis.
Achieving some success in the late 80s and 90s as a rake-like flame-haired comedian using a suitcase full of props for his ‘unique’ brand of humour, Scott ‘Carrot Top’ Thompson soon disappeared from the edges of fame into anonymity. He tried his hand at acting in a series of straight-to-DVD-bargain-bin films, but for some reason it never quite worked out for him. So he decided to work out for him. Totally not using steroids, Mr Top gradually built his way up from an eccentric- but human- looking nerd to an obscene image of vascularity.
Not content with only one form of physical reconstruction, his face has also gone through a disturbing metamorphosis. He has raised eyebrows in more way than one, as his default facial expression has now been set to ‘surprised’ by the wonders of Botox. Regardless of what anyone may think of him, he’s certainly managed to harness his natural uniqueness to unsurpassed proportions; he’s hardly likely to merge into the background in a police line-up.
In compiling a ‘top 5’ list of people, it’s rare you can include four men and two women
A man who needs no introduction, Maradona’s natural inclination towards the finer things in life- cocaine, booze, hog roasts and the like- took him to nearly 20 stone at the age of 44 (a feat inevitably awaiting Ryan Giggs). In 2005, Colombian doctors performed a gastric bypass on the footballing legend-turned-giant-football, who practically halved overnight. By the looks of his bare ankles and forearms as he flapped around the dugout at the 2010 World Cup, Maradona celebrated his surgery by buying a new suit, and never bought a larger one as he gradually re-inflated. He’s levelled out a little over the past couple of years, and is now back in Argentina at his spiritual home, hanging out the terraces at Boca Juniors, after being sacked by Dubai club Al Wasl FC for predictably showing no interest or ability in actually doing his job.
In compiling a ‘top 5’ list of people, it’s rare you can include four men and two women. Larry Wachowski, as (s)he was known until ten years ago, was always known as one of the two Wachowski brothers, who directed the Matrix films and V For Vendetta. Lana went her whole life feeling like she was trapped in the wrong body suit, and after years of trepidation about her family’s reaction, decided to take the giant leap and announce herself as a woman to her parents in 2002. Wachowski recently told the New Yorker magazine that her mother’s perplexed response was ‘But I was there when you were born’. Her family have all been resolutely supportive though, and Lana said because of this, ‘everything else has been a piece of cake’.
As is her right, she likes to keep details of her anatomy and any surgery she has undertaken very sketchy. After divorcing her first wife in 2003 for a blonde dominatrix called Ilsa Stix (as you do), Lana has since married her second wife in 2009. Larry must therefore have endured the presumably confusing experience of being a lesbian trapped in a man’s body; something that will always bring the amazing Mr Garrison from South Park to mind.
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