8 schlubby and nerdy actors who went the beefcake route for the sake of art.

8 schlubby and nerdy actors who went the beefcake route for the sake of art.

Acting is a fine art that requires an innate and indescribable sensibility, which must be why Hollywood cares so much about looks. Whether it was to match the physical norms of Hollywood or for the sake of method acting, these eight actors hit the gym harder than you ever will—just to prepare for beefy, lucrative roles onscreen.

1. Jason Segel

Towards the end of the long-running How I Met Your Mother, there seemed to be a general change in audience attitude towards Jason Segel; as in, people started to realize how attractive he was. This could have been aided by Segel's muscular development, which was spurred by his 2014 film Sex Tape.

Fortunately, his pillowy lips did not lose any mass.

2. Chris Pratt

The man once known for playing a lovable, fluffy doofus on Parks & Rec became a lovable, chiseled doofus in preparation for his role in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy.

Chris Pratt mirin.

3. Paul Rudd

Paul Rudd beefed up only to be shrunk down in 2015's Ant Man. Prior to his superhero rebirth, Rudd was looking perfectly fine with the classic dad bod he displayed in films like 2012's This is 40.

Nobody was complaining about the old Paul Rudd.

4. John Krasinski

Krasinski has always been cute, but never in that way that says, "I have much manly blood pumping through my biceps." That changed when Krasinksi found himself starring in the 2016 Benghazi film 13 hours.

More muscle and more hair.

5. Jonah Hill

The rotund comedic actor shed some of the weight he carried around on films like Superbad in order to play a cop alongside former stripper Channing Tatum in 2012's 21 Jump Street. Hill dropped the weight again for the 2014 sequel. 

Left: Hill and baby fat; right: Hill and his neck.

6. Bradley Cooper

In 2001's Wet Hot American Summer, Cooper was a scrawny thing, at least compared to the Hollywood man he'd become by the end of the decade. For his role in 2010's forgettable A-Team, Cooper really brought out his abs. They haven't made as much of an appearance lately, but they're still there somewhere.

Cooper has grown into his pecs.

7. Tobey Maguire

For the first series of Spider-Man movies this century, Tobey Maguire packed on a more generically heroic bod for his three films (in 2002, 2004, 2007). There was much more to see on this body compared to the waif-ish look it took on in 2003's Seabiscuit.

If you picture buff Tobey Maguire the few times you think of Tobey Maguire, than you are the only one.

8. Joseph Gordon-Levitt

To accurately portray a slimey, porn-addicted gym rat, JGL hit the weights for his 2013 film Don Jon. His shapely form was a far cry from other movies his lithe hipster frame had appeared in, like 2010's Hesher.

Wrekin Hill Entertainment/Relativity Media