Zac Efron, Will Smith, Christian Bale and more extreme body transformations in Hollywood: How far is too far?
(CNN) — He may have changed his look several times in his life and appeared in dozens of movies but after starring in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” it’s fair to say Robert Downey Jr. hasn’t really changed.
So how far can we take his extreme transformations?
Downey says he’s never considered a body-mod project, but says he has to wear the same clothes on set as he always has.
“It’s a physical thing and it’s not a mental thing,” the 72-year-old told CNN in a recent interview.
What is body-modding?
While there was never an explicit mandate from Downey that he must be able to transform and put himself together for a role, his agent was quite clear about his intentions.
“I believe he wears the same clothes at the end of every day,” said Bob Weisberg, Downey’s managing director. “He works out, he does everything he can to stay in shape and in shape he works.”
Many actors consider body-modding a form of self-expression but Weisberg points out it can be about much more than that – it can be about self-discipline and maintaining a certain level of discipline.
Actors have been encouraged to adopt new styles for decades.
“I think it is a matter of fashion and one of the main reasons is the way we look at ourselves,” says John Larroquette, who has a permanent mullet.
“We have to dress how we feel or how we want to dress and if people think we are different, they look at us,” says Larroquette.
It’s not just actors who do it – models do, too.
While many actors have opted to embrace the trend, others have said they have turned it down.
What about the law?
It’s difficult to know exactly how far actors can go with their body-modding without being criminally or ethically liable for it.