Actress Anne Hathaway has been receiving a new kind of attention lately. Instead of turning heads for her flowing locks, toned physique and stunning red carpet looks, she’s been setting the media abuzz with her new boy-style haircut and gaunt figure for her upcoming role in a new film.
Hathaway will play Fantine – a prostitute who sells her hair to provide for her young daughter – in a new on-screen version of the classic French novel, Les Misérables. The film also stars Hugh Jackman, and the pair have both lost a noticeable amount of weight for their respective roles. Anne’s, however, is made more drastic by her new finger-length do which reveals her now more prominent cheek bones.
According to reports, Hathaway has lost a total of 16 pounds over the course of three weeks in order to speed film production. To achieve her weight loss, Anne’s followed a strict 500-calorie a day diet consisting mostly of ‘a few apples and some protein.’ Compared to the general recommended calorie range for women of 1,800 – 2,000 calories a day, this a major restriction and isn’t healthy to sustain for any length of time.
Hathaway has also been putting in some serious gym time to ensure she achieves a thin enough look for the film by working out up to two hours day, five days a week. If this is the case, her 500 calorie diet is hardly fueling any of her excess activity.
The now frail actress was already thin to begin with, making it all the more obvious that her 5’8” frame has shrunken to a reported 115 pounds. But her publicist insists that the figures for both the calories and pounds have been exaggerated, and that Hathway is simply dedicated to her role.
Dropping weight in Hollywood for a movie role is nothing new, and has in fact, become commonplace. Actresses like Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman have shed up to 20 or more pounds from there already-thin frames. But experts say rapid weight loss can have a devastating effect on the body, and that drastic calorie restriction can cause the metabolism to slow down in order to conserve what it needs for survival. And once a person returns to a normal diet, their metabolism is slower, making weight gain much more likely later on.
In addition to a slower metabolism, dieters who drop more than the recommended 1-2 pounds per week are at risk of losing muscle tissue, and the weight will likely return to the body as fat.
Although Anne will likely bump back up to her healthy weight after the film is wrapped, we hope she isn’t greatly affected by her weight loss, especially since she’s a bride-to-be to fiance Adam Shulman. You can see Anne in Les Misérables in theaters this December, as well as in her role as Catwoman this summer in the popular conclusion of the Batman series, The Dark Night Rises.