The meteoric rise in the popularity of superhero movies over the last decade or so has also led to an increase in the number of Hollywood actors undergoing extreme body transformations in order to look more like the characters they are portraying. For instance, Christian Bale flipflopped from losing a ton of weight for The Machinist, to bulking up considerably for Batman Begins and Chris Pratt went from chubby to fit while preparing for his Guardians of the Galaxy role.

That being said, one of the most shocking body transformations in recent memory is arguably Tom Hardy’s Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, as the actor not only shaved his head and wore lifts to make him appear taller, but also seriously bulked up in order to portray the imposing Batman villain. Given the way things end for his character in the film, it’s unlikely that Hardy will ever have to reprise his role as Bane, which is fortunate considering he readily admits that the training required to get him in shape for the part came at a cost.

In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, Hardy was asked whether his transformations for both The Dark Knight Rises and the MMA-focused movie Warrior had damaged his body and here’s what he had to say:

“I think you pay the price with any drastic physical changes. It was alright when I was younger… but I think as you get into your 40s you have to be more mindful of the rapid training, packing on a lot of weight and getting physical, and then not having enough time to keep training because you’re busy filming, so your body is swimming in two different directions at the same time… I haven’t damaged my body, but I’m certainly a bit achier than I used to be! I certainly have joints that click that probably shouldn’t click, you know what I mean? And carrying my children is a little bit harder than it used to be—but don’t tell them!”

It’s refreshing to hear Hardy speak so candidly about the negative impacts of achieving such an impressive physique in a short amount of time, as many experts have been stressing for years that rapid body transformations such as the one Hardy did for The Dark Knight Rises are potentially dangerous, as they can be harmful to an actor’s physical health and also put unnecessary strain on their organs. Then again, many would argue that actors are free to do what they will with their bodies whilst prepping for a role and at the end of the day, at least the average film-goer can take some comfort in the fact that have achieving a superhero-caliber body is unrealistic for all but the most dedicated fitness nut.

(Via: The Daily Beast)