You can’t call yourself ‘The Beast’ and not have some serious skills and/or power to back up that claim. Likewise, if you’re playing a character called The Beast, you kind of need to look the part, lest your beasthood be called into question. James McAvoy played The Beast in M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass and the actor had quite the intense diet to become the character.
James McAvoy added 16 pounds of muscle mass to his frame over the course of 4 months to transform into The Beast, but working out was only half the equation. What the actor put into his body was equally important and his diet specified what he could eat and when to get the desired look. That meant having frequent meals every three hours.
For his training sessions, James McAvoy would eat a snack or a meal about two hours prior to a workout to give him energy and then eat a meal again immediately after exercising to help rebuild his muscles. And while you might think that achieving a ripped look like that requires strict calorie counting, that’s not the approach James McAvoy took.
Instead, as his trainer and nutritionist Magnus Lygdback told Men’s Health, the actor closely counted macronutrients like protein, fat and carbohydrates. It’s basically an ‘if it fits your macros’ (IIFYM) approach where he had to make sure he was getting enough of each nutrient for what his body needed. The quality of the macros also mattered and what kinds of foods they were coming from.
For his proteins, James McAvoy ate lamb, beef, chicken and eggs and his primary carb sources were brown rice, barrow, barley, quinoa and cold potatoes. The fats the actor ate came from avocados, fish oil and unsalted nuts. He would also eat as many red and green vegetables as possible for the nutrients they provide.
For breakfast, James McAvoy would have four eggs, eating the yolk to get all of the nutrients, as well as sweet potatoes and turkey bacon. Lunch would be a protein like lamb or beef alongside veggies and something to fill the fat and carb requirements. Dinner would follow the same approach and for snacks he would focus on protein with something like turkey meatballs.
It may all sound rather complicated and time consuming, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. If you want to transform from Kevin Wendell Crumb into The Beast, rather than counting macronutrients, Magnus Lygdback recommends using your fist to determine portion sizes. You would eat three to four eggs in the morning and for your snacks throughout the day you would eat a fist-sized portion of a protein.
For lunch you would have another fist-sized portion of your protein of choice, a fist-sized portion of fat and two fist-sized portions of vegetables. Dinner would follow that same formula.
So basically, lots of meat, lots of veggies and lots of eggs. Strict adherence to a diet as well as an intense training program got James McAvoy to where he needed to be to appear as The Beast in Glass and look every bit the part. It probably wasn’t easy, but James McAvoy knew he had to get jacked for Glass to live up to the character’s name and the fear he’s meant to inspire.
It’s just another example of the work James McAvoy put into a role that receives tons of critical praise but perhaps not the awards attention many feel he deserves. Not only does James McAvoy effortlessly switch on a dime between multiple characters in the film, he also underwent a serious and impressive physical transformation for a complete and remarkable performance.
Enjoy those eggs and check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what movies you can look forward to the rest of this year.
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Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.