Is It "Bold" That Bryce Dallas Howard Gained Weight For Black Mirror?

Photo: Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock.
At times it seems that to be a "serious actor" in Hollywood, one has to gain and/or lose weight for a role. Stars like Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, and Charlize Theron have all received critical attention for their respective efforts toward transforming their bodies — Bale for The Fighter, Hathaway for Les Misérables, and Theron for Monster. The work of weight loss or gain is often fodder for late-night talk shows. Whatever it is, people seem to be fascinated by the act of physical transformation for film.

The latest chameleon in Hollywood is Bryce Dallas Howard, who gained weight for her role in Black Mirror. In addition, Howard appears in the recently released film Gold, which stars a bloated and balding Matthew McConaughey. Last night, the 35-year-old actress discussed not just her weight gain, but McConaughey's as well, on Watch What Happens Live.

"Matthew gained 45 pounds to play this," Howard told host Andy Cohen of the actor's role in Gold. "And he shaved his head and he had a bad set of teeth."

"You gained weight for Black Mirror," Cohen pointed out. Howard filmed the Netflix series after working on Gold — presumably, she only started gaining weight after wrapping the film with McConaughey. Howard claimed that when she was shooting the science-fiction series, she saw McConaughey and noted that, hey, he looked back to his usual size. Inspired by his quick turnaround, the Jurassic Park actress decided to work even harder at her transformation.

"And then I saw Matthew right before I was going into Black Mirror, and he was so svelte. And I was like, 'You know what? I'm gonna go even further,'" she said.

But, of course, everyone's body is different. McConaughey may have melted away his weight gain in short order, but for Howard, the process has been slower.

"And I'm, like, still losing this weight," she said. This isn't the first we've heard about it, either. Howard told Page Six earlier this month that she's trying to "get more athletic" for Jurassic Park because she'd gained 35 pounds for the Netflix show.

Cohen seemed to think Howard's decision to alter her figure is bold. "But how bold for a woman to say, 'Yeah, I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna gain all this weight for a role,'" he told Howard.

But is it bold? Difficult to say. Howard pointed out that it's not the gaining that's so courageous — it's the losing weight, which will likely be closely monitored the way new celebrity mothers are scrutinized for their size. Is McConaughey going to be asked about how his weight loss is going? Probably not. Will Howard have to discuss this again as she continues on the press circuit? Probably. Sigh.

Watch the clip, below.
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