Charlize Theron most notably transformed her body for her Oscar-winning performance in 2003 film Monster, and now she’s done it again for her latest role in Tully—with a lot of help from the snack aisle.
On Wednesday’s episode of The Ellen Show, the actress opened up about how she gained 50 lbs. for the film, in which she plays an exhausted mother of three who befriends her new nanny. “I ate a lot of everything, but my drug of choice is potato chips,” she said. “I ate them everywhere. I had a bag in my car, a bag in the bathroom, a bag in the kitchen, a bag on the counter, a bag in my trailer. Everywhere I went there was just a bag.”
This time, though, she acknowledged it was harder to bounce back. “I was younger , I was like 27,” Theron, now 42, said. “I just didn’t snack for a week and I was back into shape; it was insane. That doesn’t happen anymore!”
Theron also opened up about how her diet for the role affected her mental health. “The hardest thing for me was I wasn’t prepared for how that amount of processed food will affect your mood,” she said. “I dealt with depression for the first time.”
“What they say about ‘what you eat is who you are’ is so true, because I ate like a person who just didn’t move and I felt like that,” she continued. “I was lethargic and tired all the time, and that was a hard thing to break. Because it’s more mental than it is almost physical.”
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As an actor, though, she emphasized how important the transformation was for her to get into character. “Mothers do this every single day—they get pregnant and they gain all that weight, and it takes them a year and a half to lose it and if they don’t they get judged,” said the mother to Jackson, 6, and August, 2, both of whom she welcomed through adoption in 2012 and 2015, respectively. “And I feel like I had to do it for the film.”
Tully hits theaters nationwide on May 4.