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Actors Who've Gone Big
We pay tribute to just a few of the thesps who've put the hours in at the gym, buffering for their art.
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Linda Hamilton - Terminator 2 | Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Linda Hamilton - Terminator 2

Linda Hamilton�s Sarah Connor in The Terminator seemed a pretty unconvincing figure to spearhead a revolution and train up the future saviour of mankind. But her return for Terminator 2: Judgment Day saw a whole different wild warrior woman. Gone was the bubble perm and slouch socks in favour of a wife - beater and that animalistic glare. Her newly honed guns became iconic after the punishing pull-up scene at the mental hospital � a scene which contextualised our newly harshened heroine, along with the explanation that she has spent much of the past decade educating herself about combat. Attributed to a gruelling training regime with ex-Israeli commando - the aptly named Uzi Gal - this new look propelled Hamilton to pumped pin-up status overnight.

PICTURED Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day

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Have Your Say
Can you think of any more buffed up actors? Which one are you most impressed with? Register or login now to have your say.

Your Comments
1
Posted on Saturday April 11, 2009, 00:15 by hollywooodgoldenage
i kept clicking, waiting for edward norton's photo in American History X to materialise, what happened Empire ? Read More

2
Posted on Friday April 3, 2009, 21:16 by louwa
Mickey Rourke did Roids!! You can tell by his finger nails. The obvous one empire should have put in here is Ed Norton in American History X Read More

3 RE: Nic Cage
Posted on Tuesday March 24, 2009, 23:22 by JoeyPottr
Just know what I read, I beg to differ with you, just look at Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler, protein shakes, vitamins, you can do it, I know people who have, it's NOT hard to do. Read More

4 RE: Nic Cage
Posted on Saturday March 21, 2009, 09:31 by Drone
L: JoeyPottr Colin Farrell had to put on 30 pounds of muscle for Alexander and 20 pounds of muscle for Miami Vice Robert Downey, Jr. had to put on 20 pounds of muscle for Iron Man Orlando Bloom has to put on 20 pounds of muscle for Kingdom of Heaven Brad Pitt had to put on 30 pounds of muscle for Troy sp; Hahaha,   Let me stop you there - this is a tremendous joke in the bodybuilding community; for the record these actors put on nowhere NEAR that amount of muscle.  And certainly without steroids.  Weight maybe, although highly unlikely without enhancement, but muscle no.   The most genetically gifted, "natural" bodybuilders on the planet struggle to put on a few pounds of soild muscle every year with persistent hard work, training, dedication, extreme dieting and depletion, and supplementation.  Stating 20, 30, 40 pounds over the short period these guys do it is nonsense, no matter how many personal trainers they emply, hours they Read More

5 Cruiser
Posted on Friday March 20, 2009, 16:35 by kurum
Watched Mission: Impossible (first one) again recently, did Tom Cruise bulk up for the role of Ethan Hunt? He didn't used to be so buff. Read More

6 RE: Nic Cage
Posted on Friday March 20, 2009, 15:40 by shool
L: kurum How about Nic Cage in Con Air? hat about Nic cage in kiss of death. Now that is bulking up. Read More

7 RE: Reign of Fire
Posted on Friday March 20, 2009, 13:41 by lympo
How about John Travolta? He added a few pounds on after Grease to suit his role in Pulp Fiction. him, I want to give him a big hug. Read More

8 Reign of Fire
Posted on Thursday March 19, 2009, 14:58 by kurum
How about Matthew McConaghey in Reign of Fire? Read More

9 Re: Hugh Jackman
Posted on Thursday March 19, 2009, 13:23 by roundeyeblues
Not that I'm presuming to know more than Empire but I'm pretty sure that Hugh Jackman first appeared as Wolverine (X-Men 2000) before he did either Swordfish (2001) or Van Helsing (2004). Read More

10 Eric Bana
Posted on Thursday March 19, 2009, 09:38 by LarsOrders
Chopper, nuff said Read More

11 RE: Nic Cage
Posted on Thursday March 19, 2009, 01:48 by JoeyPottr
Colin Farrell had to put on 30 pounds of muscle for Alexander and 20 pounds of muscle for Miami Vice Robert Downey, Jr. had to put on 20 pounds of muscle for Iron Man Orlando Bloom has to put on 20 pounds of muscle for Kingdom of Heaven Brad Pitt had to put on 30 pounds of muscle for Troy Read More

12 Nic Cage
Posted on Wednesday March 18, 2009, 23:16 by kurum
How about Nic Cage in Con Air? Read More

13 Ryan Reynolds
Posted on Wednesday March 18, 2009, 18:07 by sowasred2012
Check him in Two Guys And A Girl, then check him in Blade: Trinity. He's probably the only person in the world who actually benefited in any way from that movie. Read More

14
Posted on Wednesday March 18, 2009, 14:03 by talltom
What? No Jason Scott Lee? Granted in Dragon he was pretty ripped to play Bruce Lee but he was barely recognisable as the bulked (hulked?) up super soldier in Soldier!!! Read More

15 Ed Norton
Posted on Wednesday March 18, 2009, 13:07 by AboyNamedSue
In American History X - he was fucking huge Read More

16 some better examples...i think
Posted on Wednesday March 18, 2009, 11:56 by cksunshine
Charlie Sheen in 'Hot Shots Part Deux' is such a good example, the man is huge! Ryan Reynolds is ridiculous in Amityville Horror, Will Smith is so ripped in I Am Legend and Jake Gyllenhaal was much more impressive in Jarhead Read More

17 Charlie Sheen
Posted on Tuesday March 17, 2009, 21:59 by The Prodigy
Just thought of another one - Charlie Sheen in 'Hot Shots Part Deux'. Read More

18 Robert De Niro
Posted on Tuesday March 17, 2009, 12:54 by Nick Morrey
Having been hailed as a great actor for simply sneering at himself in a mirror, De Niro became truly scary in the remake of Cape Fear. Having watched his rippling tattoos whilst doing dips in prison, no-one questioned his stamina to cling on to the underside of a car for hours before wreaking his revenge on the hapless family boat. Read More

19 Keanu Reeves
Posted on Tuesday March 17, 2009, 01:17 by Steelsheen
before Christian Bale did the unbelievable scrawny-to-brawny regime, Keanu did it first when he did Little Buddha then went to do Speed right after. Read More

20 Chris Farley.
Posted on Monday March 16, 2009, 20:50 by keyzersaulsie
Little known fact* was that Chris Farley and David Spade were actually the same person. They'd shoot all the Spade scenes first, then he'd work out (pizza, cake, pizza, cake, peace of... nevermind) and shoot the Farley scenes afterwards. Digital editing allowed both takes to be incorporated as one scene. David Spade then got offered sitcom "Just Shoot Me" and stopped the Farley show by faking his death. *This is not fact. Read More

21
Posted on Monday March 16, 2009, 17:47 by jeffamania
Christopher Reeve for superman - big miss coz he did that back early in the day when getting bulked for a role was unheard of. all minor shout out to Brandon Routh for returns Sly got ripped big time for Rocky 3 Will Smith for I am Legend - his regime incl strenous work outs whilst starving himself and undergoing sleep depreviation Read More

22 Amercian History X
Posted on Monday March 16, 2009, 17:11 by kurum
You seem to have forgotten about Ed Norton's transition from scrawny murderer Aaron Stampler in Primal Fear to bulked-up human tank Derek Vinyard in American History X. Read More

23 Don't forget Christian Bale again
Posted on Monday March 16, 2009, 16:18 by The Liberator
He's a bit of a masochist. He also buffed up for American Psycho and that dragon film, the one with Matthew McConaughey. In fact you can add MM to the list as well for that and Sahara... Read More

24 Steroids...
Posted on Monday March 16, 2009, 14:28 by magnusbarfod
...clearly helped Bale... Read More

25
Posted on Monday March 16, 2009, 10:28 by Merc
I was also thinkin of Ed norton for AMX, surely he had to be in the list! Read More

26 Ed Norton?
Posted on Monday March 16, 2009, 01:33 by Bobby1975
I think the Uma Thurman one was well a stretch in this category! But what about Edward Norton in American History X? Norton naturally is a complete bag of bones but in that he became a Nietzchean superman! Read More

27 You forgot....
Posted on Sunday March 15, 2009, 21:08 by SarahRaRaRa
I just realised that you forgot that Taylor Lautner put on over 26 pounds to reprise his role in the Twilight Saga. Read More

28 Rob DeNiro
Posted on Sunday March 15, 2009, 18:02 by durelius
Yep I was thinking of DeNiro as well Raging Bull and Cape Fear. Bale is quite amazing you have to admire the dedication to the role all these actors have given. Read More

29 Edward Norton - American History X
Posted on Sunday March 15, 2009, 13:45 by cipollini
I can't believe that the above film has not been included. Norton was really beefed up for American History X. Read More

30 My candidate is actor David Morse
Posted on Sunday March 15, 2009, 05:08 by socialtalker
my candidate is actor David Morse, but many english folks wont know him very well. but he went from a tall but scrawny, lanky wimp on the 80's hospital show St Elsewhere, to the tall and big sexy beast of The Negociator(where he literally splits the screen in two in one or two shots), The Green Mile and the Crossing Guard. its weird, for decades, i had seen his performances and ignored him physically because the st elsewhere rape scene was burned in my mind unconsciously and i always saw him as the tall skinny wimp, it was only after getting the movie The Negociator and watching it repeatedly did i finally notice that body! i mean SHAZAM! it was like that! plus he has a graceful way of moving. Read More

31 Where's Adam West?
Posted on Saturday March 14, 2009, 20:12 by Sober
Just kidding...but surely the number 1 buffed up actor should be Christopher Reeve for Superman The Movie? Not only did it create the template that all the new wave of Super hero's have used as their model, but Reeve playing the titular role was a scrawny theatre thesp who got the main role in a multi million dollar production...and pulled it off with effortless aplomb - without a plastic muscle suit in sight. Read More

32
Posted on Saturday March 14, 2009, 12:08 by Eva226
Since this list doesn't include Edward Norton for American History X, I can't take it seriously!! Read More

33 RE: Buffed Up Actors
Posted on Saturday March 14, 2009, 10:04 by The Prodigy
Off the top of my head: - Robert De Niro in 'Cape Fear'. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in 'Fight Club'. Nicolas Cage in 'Con Air'. ] Read More

34 Love That!
Posted on Saturday March 14, 2009, 09:38 by joanna likes films
Whoa, getting hot here! Too many hot guys in a space of minutes, I felt giddy and exicted at the same time. There could've been more but they were fine enough with ten, though I don't fancy women. My faves are Hugh Jackman (nice!), Jake Gyllenhaal (whoa!) Daniel Craig (yum) and Gerard Butler (OMG!) Thank you Empire for showing this, it has majorly cheered me up. Hee-hee! Read More

35 RE: Rourke!
Posted on Saturday March 14, 2009, 01:36 by eddye88
That no-ones mentioned: Temuera Morrison for Once Were Warriors Aamir Khan for Ghajini (sp??) And i agree on basically all suggestions. Maguire is pretty good with wieght, the difference between spiderman & seabiscuit is impressive. Read More

36 Rourke!
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 23:19 by monkeyhumour
WTF? The Wrestler has got to be one of the most dedicated mucle gains in history! Not to mention Ed Norton for American History X and Raging bull with De Niro! Read More

37 Can't beat Hamilton...........
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 21:34 by skiptotheend
Ok so Bale is by far the most extreme (from one to the other) but for my money you just can't beat Linda Hamilton's transformation from T1 to T2. Not just physically but in performance also. The amazing thing is that as different as she is in the two movies it still feels completely like the same character. Very underrated actress. Should've been much bigger if only every offer after T2 was a clone of what she just did. Read More

38 Hmmmm...
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 20:20 by Ricky Grabriel Bird
I always look into the workouts of the celebs that bulk up and its seem like that dont even know what they did themselves apart from Jackman and Butler. Google for any workout routines done by Ryan Reynolds for Blade3 and its seems like he was pretty clueless during it. I wonder how many guys were on steroids during their 'bulk up' Read More

39 Peter Parker???
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 18:42 by YoungMovieStar
Tobey Maguire in Spiderman. Now there really were fanboys worrying that he wouldn't pull the physique off... but he surely put on something (and I don't mean a muscle suit) to look that good in the mirror. Read More

40
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 18:33 by schlong93
You are missing the most important one, not sly or ed norton. Clearly Robert De Niro for raging bul. Read More

41
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 17:53 by mbubble11
Wheres Sly Stallone? he changes his body to suit the role of the character in every single film Read More

42 really?
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 17:52 by charli27
What about Edward Norton for American History X? He put on 30lbs for that. Taylor Lautner is probably going to kill himself bulking up for New Moon, I think he put on 26lbs. What about Hillary Swank for Million Dollar Baby? or Brad Pitt for Troy? c'mon. Read More

43
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 17:15 by The_Hat
A while ago i made a comment to some Wolverine article or other saying something along the lines of "if i could have a pound every time Hugh Jackman is described as being buff or ripped in the new film... "... Well, my Ferrari has just turned up at the dealers and i'm just off to pick it up. I'm taking the helicopter earned with my "visionary" Zack Snyder money. Read More

44
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 17:09 by crazymoviesdude
I was expecting De Niro all the way as well, how odd. Read More

45
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 17:04 by LizzieJ1
Jake Gyllenhal did not impress...I would have included James McAvoy in Wanted. Read More

46
Posted on Friday March 13, 2009, 16:37 by Mr. Chumba
Where the fuck is Robert De Niro with Raging Bull !? He got fat as fuck and ripped as shit for that! Read More


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