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Subject: Actors are taking dangerous risks

Written By: Philip Eno on 07/23/15 at 6:46 am

Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal says some actors are taking "dangerous risks" for their craft.

The star told the BBC another actor had once asked him for advice on whether they should take drugs for a role.

"Someone came to me and said, 'I'm going to play a drug addict - should I try the drug?' and I was like, 'no'," he said.

Gyllenhaal has dramatically lost weight for some of his roles, but said it was "with a watchful eye of an expert".

The actor shed most of his body fat for his current role in boxing movie Southpaw, out this week.

A gruelling training schedule saw him work out for six hours every day for six months to get down to 175lbs (79kg) - 15lbs (7kg) less than his normal weight.

For his Bafta-nominated role in last year's Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal dropped 30lbs (13.6kg) for the part of gaunt paparazzo Lou Bloom.

He previously admitted he lived on a diet of kale salad and chewing gum, while running 15 miles every night to get into character.

The actor is not alone in dramatically changing his body shape for roles.

Christian Bale lost 63lbs (28.6kg) in four months for his part in 2004 film The Machinist, and Matthew McConaughey lost 38lbs (17kg) for his Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club role.

"When I did Nightcrawler I went to a doctor first," Gyllenhaal said.

"It wasn't like I was doing what Christian did in The Machinist, but I was very careful about it. It affects your body, but I try to be as safe as I can. Sometimes things get a little dangerous, but you always have to be mindful.

"There tends to be a narrative of actors taking risks that I think is dangerous to put out there, particularly as young actors thinking about craft," he added.

"There's a fine line you have to know that these things are done with preparation."

In 2013, Tom Hanks revealed past film roles which involved him having to manipulate his weight contributed to him developing Type 2 diabetes.

He told the BBC at the time he had ruled out future roles requiring drastic weight gain following his diagnosis.

"I've talked to a number of actors who have gained weight for roles and - just out of the sheer physical toll on one's knees and shoulders - no-one wants to do it again," he said.
Jake Gyllenhaal trained everyday for six months to lose most of his body fat and build muscle for Southpaw

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