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For actresses in Hollywood, keeping skinny (but not too skinny!) is practically a job requirement. The slightest fluctuation in weight can lead to a barrage of "baby bump" or eating disorder rumors depending on which way the scale goes. But for the actors of Hollywood, a radical shift in weight is most often regarded as a badge of honor, showing how serious they are about their craft. Think of Tom Hanks' sickly thin physique in Philadelphia, or Matt Damon's packed on paunch for The Informant! Ironically, when actors gain or lose weight, it's a way to show they are so much more than their body.
Last month Matthew McConaughey shocked us all, shedding serious pounds for The Dallas Buyers Club, where he'll play an AIDs patient in the early days of the epidemic. Soon thereafter, we got a first glimpse of his co-star Jared Leto in costume and looking gaunt, but now Leto's giving us all a closer look at the weight he's dropped to more convincingly play Rayon, a cross-dresser who suffers from AIDS. You can see one of the most startling pics below set up against a shot showing the weight Leto gained for the 2007 drama Chapter 27, where he played Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon. Just Jared has more pictures of Leto then and now, just in case you just can't get enough.
On one hand, it's good to see Leto investing so much into his role opposite McConaughey. As an award season favorite for Magic Mike, McConaughey's involvement raises the expectations of The Dallas Buyers Club, and Leto seems eager to meet them. However, as someone who spent a good chunk of her girlhood crushing hard on Jordan Catalano, I find these pics totally stomach-churning. Hopefully, once The Dallas Buyers Club, both McConaughey and Leto can get back to their more typical weight in short order and in the healthiest way possible.
The Dallas Buyers Club is expected to hit theaters in 2013.