[ On preparing to play The Strongman in Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013) ]
For my homework for the Strongman I met with Sam Raimi at Raleigh Studious in Michigan to talk about my character two months before shooting. Sam asked me, in the nicest way, if I was going to work out at the gym for this role. I explained I have not worked out in over a year, because my wife and I are raising our newborn twin boys right now; however, I will start training every day and continue doing so during the shoot.
I weighed 220 lbs when I started training. I got up to 245 lbs by the end of shooting. I trained every day, sometimes twice a day. I did no cardio, only lifted heavy weights, ate everything I could think of: ice cream, steak, pasta, etc., and spent a thousand dollars a month on weight gain powder, protein powder and 10 other things the huge guy at the health food store told me to take. Weighing that much was strange to adjust to. I bumped into walls in my home. I actually fell out the shower and broke the shower curtain rod. When I would tie my shoes I would be out of breath from bending over. I researched carnival strongmen and wanted to feel and look like how one would during that time period. They looked like lumber jacks who could toss a log or knock out a horse, and I did look like that in my eyes.
I would walk around in costume all day, to lunch and all rehearsals. I had pictures of several carnival strongmen in my room and listened to heavy metal all day with my Bluetooth earphones as I read my favorite Uta Hagen book. Then I would take out the headphones off right before we shot our scenes. I even brought some dumbbells and a bench to my dressing room and left it there. I would train before I went to set at 5 A.M. and continued throughout the day in my dressing room. Those were some good times and a lot of bad but tasty food. I definitely feel better since I've lost the weight.