Extreme Diets for Film Roles: Is It Worth It?

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The Oscars are a really, really big deal and as we all know, big time events take major preparation--and no, we're not talking about the chaos that will be surrounding celebs' glam squads come Sunday morning. We're also not talking about the beauty treatments or diets that celebrities endured in the time leading up to the event--although we are talking about the diets that some stars have subjected themselves to for their Oscar-nominated roles.

While Hollywood is certainly no stranger to extreme diets, celebs seem to get extra attention when they are undertaken for the sake of a particular part. This year, the celeb slim-down everyone was talking about was Matthew McConaughey, who lost over 40 pounds for his role as an HIV patient in Dallas Buyers Club. Matthew credits calorie-restriction and exercise for his dramatic transformation and many doctors were quick to call out the potential risks he was undertaking for the role. Sure, it did score him a Best Actor Oscar nom, but was it really worth the risk?

Matthew might be the most fresh in our minds at the moment, but there is actually another nominee this year (in the same category) who underwent a pretty serious diet overhaul to pack on the pounds for his role. And let's also not forget Renée Zellweger who gained nearly 30 pounds for her role in Bridget Jones' Diary, which scored her a Best Actress nod in 2002.

Does packing on (or losing) a whole bunch of weight actually help actors and actresses earn the nominations because we can see how hard they worked for the role? Or is it maybe because the movies that require such extreme measures are also extremely intense/powerful--and the stars just knock it out of the park when they play that particular part? Weigh in (no pun intended) below.

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