Star transformations: Zac Efron, Emma Watson, and Jessica Alba sport new looks

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Actors and actresses use their bodies like a lump of clay they can mold into different shapes and roles.  It’s not unusual to see a headline about a actress that has become a terrifyingly thin skeleton of a human being only to hear that she’s playing in a dramatic new movie.  They bulk up, slim down, shave their head, and even get fake tattoos to complete the chameleon effect as they transform into different characters.

Zac EfronOne of the latest stars to reveal the alterations done to their body is Zac Efron who put on 18 pounds of muscle to play a marine in the new movie The Lucky One.  For the film he transformed from high school teen to a real leading man heart throb.  Efron’s training method included waking up between 3 and 4AM for five months and working with a veteran of the US Navy Seals.  When asked by in an interview if he would keep up the training and keep his new bulked up body Efron told MTV, “I can’t do it to the full extent that I was doing it for the movie ’cause that’s gruelling and very, very intense, but I’ll never forget the principles I was taught by the trainers.”

Another lesson he won’t forget was his inspiration for playing a marine.  What kept him going through the training sessions was the admiration for the men in the military who truly do accomplish those workouts as part of their job. He had a few meetings with real U.S. Marines in order to get into the character.  Afterwards he said “a lot of them were my height and my build but they looked like superheroes. In my eyes at least, I was looking at real-life heroes.”

emma watson

One of the less dramatic, but equally headline catching changes these days regards tattoos.  Photos have surfaced of both Jessica Alba and Emma Watson sporting ink which led some people to be shocked.  Photos of Emma Watson with a tattoo on her lower back of flames scared fans that the usually demure and elegant Harry Potter star had gotten a permanent “tramp stamp.”  However the flames are fake and are just one of the alterations to Watson’s image that was done to turn her into a rebellious teen in her new movie Bling Ring.  In order to play the role of Nicki Watson, she got brown hair extensions and has been wearing more risque clothing.  The character is one from a group of teens who gained fame for robbing the homes of celebrities like Megan Fox, Orlando Bloom, Paris Hilton, Rachel Bilson, Lindsay Lohan, and Ashley Tisdale in 2008 and 2009.

Jessica Alba was seen at a park with her children also displaying some surprising new artwork on her arm.  A band of roses across her bicep was revealed when the  actress took her kids to a park in Beverly Hills.  Fans wondered if this would add to the other tattoos Alba has: Sanskrit on her wrist, a ladybug and a daisy on her neck, and a bow on he tailbone.  A rep for the star recently reported that the intense ink is temporary and for a movie Alba is in where she plays an unknowing participant of a study done on the children of divorced parents called A.C.O.D.

Today the alterations done to stars bodies are being shed in a different light.  Many actresses who are already too thin receive harsh criticism when they shed pounds for a film.  When Natalie Portman lost 20 pounds to play a ballerina in Black Swan health professionals cited the dangers of stars dramatically altering their bodies.  Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian told, “it’s often not the best thing for their metabolisms and bodies. But if they are getting $10 million for the role, I’m not sure the producer cares if their long-term health is at stake.”  It is refreshing to be able to highlight stars who are taking steps to get into character that don’t evoke as much damage as turning themselves into a skeleton to pursue a part.


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