Ethan Suplee Says Hard Convo With Jim Caviezel Inspired His Weight Loss Journey

Ethan Suplee in Mallrats
(Image credit: (Gramercy Pictures))

If you passed by actor Ethan Suplee today, you might not recognize him as the actor from Remember the Titans, My Name is Earl and Mallrats. The 43-year-old is not known for the ripped, packed-on muscles he has now. Just check out what Suplee looks like now after losing hundreds of pounds on his own (without the backing of personal trainers from a studio like Marvel):

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Ethan Suplee is now taking the time to discuss the tough journey with his weight throughout his lifetime on his brand new podcast American Glutton. On the podcast, he admitted he’s lost and gained at least 1,000 pounds between various periods of crazy diets and making gains. He said he’s tried every diet in the book, but things didn't stick until Person of Interest actor Jim Caviezel once approached him. In Suplee’s words on the hard conversation:

First Class on the plane was pretty empty and he was not sitting next to me, but at some point he got up and came because the seat next to me was open. And he sat down and he started talking to me about how he and his life emulated Jesus Christ. And that if you don’t do that, you’re gonna go to hell. And basically the gist of it was I was not emulating Jesus Christ. And it was the first conversation of that nature that I’d ever had with somebody. Nobody ever talked to me like that. Nobody ever said ‘Look at yourself, you’re going to fucking hell. You don’t care about yourself at all you’re a mess.’

Now at the time, Jim Caviezel may have literally been seeking to emulate Jesus Christ considering Ethan Suplee spoke to him a couple years before he starred in The Passion of the Christ. Even so, Suplee was shocked by the conversation. He’d never been told anything like that before about his appearance. Here’s what Suplee recalled next:

He wasn’t mean, but it was a thing I had not experienced. I remember landing and going ‘That was an awful experience. What am I gonna do?’ But I was so knocked on my ass by this conversation, that I literally was like I don’t want to ever allow somebody to feel that they can talk to me that way again. He was probably coming from a place of love, compassion. I held no ill-will against him. By the way, the fucking conversation worked. Because I then went on a diet.

It sounds like the conversation changed his perspective on things. He felt it was time to prove himself and make some modifications to his lifestyle. The plane was taking him to Romania, where he’d film Cold Mountain with Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger and Natalie Portman. He explained on the podcast that if you re-watch the movie, you’ll start to see the transformation take effect.

Ethan Suplee went from 530 pounds to 220. He described the latter weight as “skin and bones.” He tried every diet in the book and was riding his bicycles for miles everyday. But once he lost the weight, he wasn’t able to find work. Casting directors didn’t know who he was anymore. So he gained some of it back and found roles all over the map, including his recent work with Edward Norton after American History X back in 1998 in the noir Motherless Brooklyn.

In addition to his work on Netflix’s The Ranch and Santa Clarita Diet, Ethan Suplee was also in the controversial Blumhouse movie, The Hunt which was removed from theatrical release last year. You can listen to the full first American Glutton episode here.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.