Charlize Theron previously gained 30 pounds for her Oscar-winning role as real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. She outdid herself for her upcoming movie Tully, for which she gained 50 pounds.
This time, the South African actress plays Marlo, a depressed and overwhelmed mother of three. The movie reunites her with her Young Adult collaborators, director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody.
It also reunited her with fast food-binging habit she employed for Monster. Theron revealed to Entertainment Weekly that putting on the weight was even more brutal this time, and she resulted to eating macaroni and cheese at 2 a.m. like clockwork.
“I would literally wake up at two in the morning and I’d have a cup of cold macaroni and cheese just next to me,” Theron said. “I would wake up and I would just eat it…I would just, like, shove it in my throat. It’s hard to maintain that weight.”
It got harder as the weeks rolled on.
“The first three weeks are always fun because you’re just like a kid in a candy store. So it was fun to go and have breakfast at In-N-Out and have two milkshakes,” Theron said.
“And then after three weeks, it’s not fun anymore. Like, all of a sudden you’re just done eating that amount and then it becomes a job. I remember having to set my alarm in the middle of the night in order to just maintain [the weight].”
The weight gain also sunk Theron into a depression.
“I just I wanted to feel what this woman felt, and I think that was a way for me to get closer to her and get into that mindset,” she said.
“You know, it was a huge surprise to me. I got hit in the face pretty hard with depression. Yeah, for the first time in my life I was eating so much processed foods and I drank way too much sugar. I was not that fun to be around on this film.”
It also took her much longer than it did on Monster for her to take the weight off.
“There’s nothing fun about that. It took about a year and a half. It was a long journey, very long journey,” she said
“On Monster, I just didn’t snack for five days and I was fine. You know your body at 27 is a little different than your body at 43, and my doctor made sure to make me very aware of that. Like, you are 42, calm down, you’re not dying, all good.”
Her work paid off. Theron is earning early praise for her work in Tully, which hits theaters May 4th. It currently has a 92% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.