Matt Damon is what you might call a superstar. And while he may not be known for throwing himself into his roles quite like Daniel Day Lewis, he can also play more than just a down-on-his-luck kid from South Boston. But what's been the actor's most challenging role over the year? The one that required him to drop roughly 50 pounds in just a few short months.
In 1995, when Damon was in his mid-twenties, he went out for the role of a war medic-turned-heroin addict in the movie Courage Under Fire alongside Denzel Washington and Meg Ryan. To prepare for the emaciated sections of the film, Damon, who currently weighs roughly 190 pounds, dropped to 139 pounds in 90 days.
Damon divulged this info in a Reddit AMA this week, crediting his weight loss to a home-made diet of chicken breasts, and nothing else.
"The hard part was the diet, all I ate was chicken breast," he said. "It's not like I had a chef or anything, I just made it up and did what I thought I had to do. I just made it up and that was incredibly challenging."
In addition to the lean, protein-only diet, Damon says he ran 13 miles a day while preparing for the role. The extreme exercise, paired with the lack of nutrition, didn't do the actor any favor. Damon says a doctor later warned him that his dieting could have permanently damaged his heart, or even killed him.
Luckily, Damon made it through the ill-advised diet and went on to land a role as a slightly heavier, mathematically gifted janitor in Good Will Hunting the next year, becoming a star. Two decades later, nearly a trillion dollars have been spent on his films.