The day I start taking political advice from Hollywood celebrities is the day I drive Utah highways without fearing for my life. It’s just not going to happen.
Now, when it comes to diet and exercise, I might be more willing to heed the wisdom of our celebrity overlords.
Last week, early 1990s rapper-turned-actor Mark Wahlberg posted his daily itinerary on Instagram. It’s impressive, inspiring and completely depressing all at the same time — and not just because he gets up at 2:30 a.m. every day.
In addition to fairly normal work hours and family time, Wahlberg’s daily routine includes a pair of workouts, a round of golf, seven different eating times and a bedtime that matches most 5-year-olds. He’s also designated 2:45-3:15 a.m. as prayer time, for those of you who have given up on celebrity spirituality.
Wahlberg’s post is just the latest example of a Hollywood celebrity sharing a well-tuned formula for success. In 2015, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared a detailed breakdown of his diet and workout regiment, and it’s staggering. Stat-junkie website FiveThirtyEight calculates that the big screen action star eats about 10 pounds of food in a day, broken into seven separate meals, and enough cod — 821 pounds over the course of a year — to keep a fishing village afloat.
Ever since I tuned up my own workout regimen and lost a little weight last year, I’ve started taking more notice of these things, wondering what might happen if I got really serious and tried to take things to the next level.
Someone actually did take on The Rock’s diet for a month, and well, he didn’t die. You can point to genetics or make steroid jokes, and wealthy celebrities do have a certain schedule flexibility us little people can’t always match. But looking at guys like Wahlberg and Johnson, it’s hard to argue with the results.
Their routines are pretty much year-round, but Hollywood history is rife with intense method actors who have bulked up for serious roles. Alicia Vikander employed the low-carb keto diet to put on 12 pounds of muscle for her role in the “Tomb Raider” reboot earlier this year, and Brie Larson used plyometric exercises to get ready for next spring’s “Captain Marvel.” Utahns may also remember that Henry Cavill hooked up with a local trainer from invitation-only Gym Jones to morph into a proper Man of Steel.
Still, other examples suggest celebrities aren’t the best role models. Robert De Niro got lean and fast to play Jake LaMotta in his fighting prime for “Raging Bull,” but he also put on 60 pounds to play the fighter in his overweight post-fighting days. Early in his career, Matt Damon dropped 60 pounds to play an emaciated soldier in 1996’s “Courage Under Fire,” and for this year’s “Tully,” Charlize Theron put on 50 pounds over three months to portray a mother in the aftermath of pregnancy.
But Christian Bale is usually the poster child for method acting madness, after dropping 60 pounds for “The Machinist” and then adding 100 to play Batman immediately after. While you can admire the dedication to craft, it’s hard to believe such yo-yo weight gains won’t do long-term damage.Comment on this story
Moderation in all things seems to be the best advice, so maybe picking and choosing some individual items from Johnson and Wahlberg, who are consistent in their regimens, might be the best move. I’ve never been a morning person — if 2:30 even counts as “morning” — but getting up a little earlier each day is rarely a bad idea. And I do like fish, even if I’m not ready to measure my daily intake in pounds.
Still, the idea of a six-month hard-core transformation is tempting, and apparently Cavill is out for future Superman movies. Let’s just say if Gym Jones wants me, I’ll consider their pitch.