Does Natalie Portman's Black Swan Weight Loss Mean Oscar Gold?
David Letterman may have already declared Natalie Portman the winner of this year's Oscar for Best Actress but the Black Swan star still has quite a few academy voters to woo, too. Could her recent media blitz, in which she tells everyone from MTV to Us Weekly how her extensive ballet training required up to eight hours of bar routines and a 20 pound weight loss, help her campaign? Movieline takes a look at the track record for highly publicized dieting actors winning (and losing) Oscar gold and sees where Portman fits.
· Tom Hanks (Philadelphia)
In anticipation of his 1993 Oscar-winning role, Hanks lost between 25 and 35 pounds to convincingly portray Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer fired for having AIDS.
Oscar Outcome: Win!
· Matt Damon (Courage Under Fire)
After losing 40 pounds to play a heroin-addicted soldier in this 1996 film, Damon was required to take adrenal medication for two years following the picture.
Oscar Outcome: Not nominated. Ouch.
· Christian Bale (The Machinist)
To play a severely emaciated insomniac in the 2004 psychological thriller, Bale reportedly underwent a crash diet of apples and coffee to lose a third of his weight. By the time the low-budget film underwent production, the 6' Dark Knight actor had reportedly lost 63 pounds, weighing in at 121 pounds.
Oscar Outcome: Not nominated. Double ouch.
· Tom Hanks (Castaway)
Production on the 2000 Robert Zemeckis film halted for a year so that the Oscar winner could drop twice as much weight as he did for Philadelphia -- and grow a beard.
Oscar Outcome: Nominated, but lost.
· 50 Cent (Things Fall Apart)
The rapper-turned-actor shed over 50 pounds to play to play a cancer-stricken football player in the film, which he co-wrote, earlier this year.
Oscar Outcome: To be determined, but really: Not nominated.
· Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
The Oscar-nominated actress has already made it known to everyone from the New York Times to Us Weekly that she cut 20 pounds off her 5'3 frame, but will that enough to win her the gold this year?