If you were a fan of the hit TV drama Downton Abbey, which tells the story of the Crawley family and their vast estate, you would know Dan Stevens who starred as Matthew Crawley – Lady Mary’s husband.
The English actor was born in 1982 at Croydon in Surrey and went on to train in acting at the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.
While at Emmanuel College in Cambridge, where he studied English Literature, Stevens acted in several student drama productions, playing leading roles in some of them.
This was the start of his budding acting career that quickly led to stardom as he joined the list of renowned movie stars.
Perhaps one of the most shocking things that happened in Stevens’ life was his weight loss, which startled many of his fans across the world.
How did it happen? Why did he do it? What kind of diet was he on, and what did he look like back then and now?
Follow along to get the answers to Dan Stevens’ weight loss, diet, and before and after photos.
Dan Stevens Weight Loss: How Did It Happen
After being killed off the classic British series, Stevens, who was 30 years old back then, slimmed down by three stones (30 pounds); he barely looked like himself anymore.
Fans of the Hollywood star were appalled by the transformation, and there were several rumors going around over what could’ve happened to the Downton star as he transformed from a well-fed aristocrat to a trim fashion icon in a short time.
Stevens, who chose to leave the Downton Abbey cast after playing Matthew Crawley for three years, said it felt like the right thing to do for him and has gone on to become a fully-fledged film star.
In a surprising twist though, his character in the drama series died in a car accident as he was heading home to Downton after his wife bore a son.
Quashing Weight Loss Rumors
However, the actor quashed any rumors when he came out and said that the weight loss wasn’t due to grief or any other reason. He just needed it for a role.
Stevens lost about thirty pounds (about two or three chins in British terms) after having been fixed as a thoroughly well-bred chap in the public’s perception. To fans, he was the purveyor of good looks, manners, and period dramas.
In fact, one critic likened him to a young Hugh Grant because of his floppy-haired, Oxbridge burnishes, and his polished white bow ties and tailcoats dress code.
To obscure his fine features, Stevens seems to have done much in his recent years including dying his hair black, for the thriller A Walk Among the Tombstones, which made him appear ravaged as a heroin trafficker.
Unlike his Downton days, Stevens appears much leaner, with his hair in its natural chestnut brown color. He also moved to New York from London in 2013 and lives in Brooklyn with wife Susie Harriet, and their three children: Willow, Aubrey, and Eden.
The polite and likeable celebrity says his move to The Big Apple marked a different approach to many things in his life including his personal health.
His workout regime includes yoga, swimming, spending time at the gym, and choosing a dairy-free diet. The hardworking actor says he takes more care about himself and his health now than when he lived in London.
In fact, in his role as the leonine Beast in the classic, live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, he was at the gym every day during the five-month shoot at the Shepperton Studios in Surrey.
For such a role and with the Lycra muscle suit he wore, Stevens needed to strengthen his legs to act in 10-inch stilts, which were painful and hard to wear and walk in. He also developed good core strength that helped him breathe and sing better.
Stevens admits that he lost some of his puppy fat, and says he did a lot of gym work and martial arts, which fed into his character’s psychology for Liam Neeson’s A Walk Among the Tombstones film.
The chubby cheeks of Downton are long gone, which he says were very fitting for his Matthey Crawley role, and part of the job alongside the different accent, physique, and costumes.
He adds that his wife is delighted about his slimmer body, which for her is like getting a whole new husband, and everything worked out for his new film role. He believes in different roles, incarnations, costumes, and sizes, plus he can change his hair when necessary for different roles.
Besides slimming down for the role in the 2014 thriller where he played a drug trafficker desperate to find his wife’s kidnappers and killers, Stevens also grew a beard. He looked jarringly different in the film with a dark mustache, goatee, and thinner face.
Immediately after that, he had a new guest role he had to bulk up for in the thriller The Guest, where he starred as a discharged soldier who tries to protect his identity by going on a killing spree. He had to work even harder to lose weight and gain more muscles for the role.
He later dyed his hair lighter and grew a fuller beard to portray his character as a more innocent, trustworthy, and caring soldier, from a downtrodden character.
Diet: What Did Dan Stevens Eat To Lose Weight
Stevens jokes about his weight loss over the years, but he has carved out a career for himself since he moved to New York.
The 37-year-old acknowledges his new look but fans have been asking what kind of diet he went on to lose a whopping 30 pounds, albeit for a film role.
For him to achieve the level of physical strength and get the physique needed for the various roles he took, he upped his training levels and made diet changes too.
Stevens basically lost weight by following a clean diet plan for his roles and took control of what he ate to lose over 30 pounds. It was pretty intensive as he had to scrutinize each and everything he put into his body.
He doesn’t eat dairy, but his diet was protein-heavy, and he doesn’t eat meat just to redress the balance. If it’s cake, he only eats gluten-free cakes.
Stevens admits he isn’t a natural gym bunny, and he worked hard to change his metabolism. Lots of pain is involved in the process, which saw him train four hours every day for a whole month and continued after two months of shooting for the film role.
To graduate to a cut figure, the Hollywood star took control of his diet and became more aware of what he put into his body. He even worked with a nutritionist to prepare him physically for the kind of training he was undergoing.
In fact, the hardest part was prepping for the Beauty and the Beast role as he had to eat four roast dinners every day to maintain his physicality.
He believes being aware of what you’re eating instead of maintaining a specific diet is important as different people metabolize things differently, and respond to various forms of exercise.
The training and diet were intensive and felt pretty strict for him. He also admits that he misses Indian food and other aspects of the UK, adding that the new lifestyle of workout and diet is a pretty athletic job for him.
As for his favorite drink, he prefers to take sparkling mineral water, nothing heavier than that at the moment. He loves baking brownies and loves to eat at almost any Indian restaurant in London.
Did Dan Stevens Take Weight Loss Pills?
There are many ads and published posts claiming that you can use the same weight loss pills that Dan Stevens used to lose the 30 pounds that changed his body from chubby to knockout.
However, it’s important to note that Dan Stevens never mentioned his weight loss was for the sake of his health, but for a movie role.
He lost weight for the role in Liam Neeson’s A Walk Among the Tombstones thriller and had to bulk up by gaining more muscle for a completely new role altogether in The Guest.
If you search for Dan Stevens online, you’ll meet with several stories from reputable publishers about how he transformed his body over the years, but none of those claims that he used weight loss pills.
Strangely though, there are several sites that claim to have the weight loss pills that Stevens purportedly took to lose weight. These are not to be trusted and there’s no substantial evidence that points to the fact that Stevens took pills for weight loss purposes.
Hollywood Celebrities Who Lost Weight Like Dan Stevens & How They Did It
In order to get in character for a role, many actors transform their bodies by losing or gaining weight depending on the requirements.
Some actors have gone on diets or stopped eating altogether just to ensure they get their winning and/or Oscar-nominated roles as different characters.
There are many of them but here’s a list of just some of the great actors and actresses who like Dan Stevens went all-out to lose weight for movie roles.
He’s well known for several leading roles in different movies, but for his role in Nightcrawler, Jake went all out and lost a whopping 30 pounds. To get into the mind of a career-hungry, deranged freelance journalist, he didn’t take on any special diet – he just stopped eating.
He’d try eating as few calories as he could and when he was hungry, he knew he was in the right spot. This took a toll on his mental and chemical state as it became a struggle for him. Plus, he often went on 15-mile runs to the film set from his home.
Matthew, a leading Hollywood actor also lost 47 pounds for his Dallas Buyers Club role where he played an HIV patient.
He went on to win an Oscar for this role, but dieting was hard-core for him. He lost 7 pounds on a weekly basis eating just a Diet Coke, piece of chicken and two egg whites in the morning – pretty rough diet. He was always irritable and hungry, but to make it last longer, he’d eat tapioca pudding with a tiny teaspoon.
For his role in Castaway, Tom Hanks lost 55 pounds to play the role of a man who had lived on an island for several years. This he says was the most extreme diet he went on, but he never gave up coffee through it all.
He also lost another 26 pounds for his role in Philadelphia where he played an AIDS-stricken Andrew Beckett.
The rapper and business mogul lost 50 pounds for his role in All Things Fall Apart. He looked unrecognizable in a photo of himself that shocked fans because he was so skinny as a football player struggling with cancer. 50 Cent went on a nine-week liquid diet and worked out multiple times a day.
Chris shared a very skinny photo on Instagram while on a restricted diet for his role in The Heart of The Sea. He lost 33 pounds taking a 500-calorie-a-day diet in about four weeks.
At one point, he had only a couple of crackers, a boiled egg, and a celery stick on a daily basis, a diet he says he wouldn’t recommend.
This movie star lost a staggering 60 pounds in just six months for a role in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. He trained quite a lot for the Marvel superhero movie, ditching beer so he could take the Peter Quill role.
His workout routine was also pretty intense with a personal trainer and nutritionist to boot. He would consume about 4000 calories every day and did a lot of swimming, running, kickboxing, and a triathlon.
He said he lost more weight by eating more of the right and healthy foods such that his body never underwent starvation by the time he was done with the movie.
Kingsley was picked out for the role of Gandhi in a film directed by Sir Richard Attenborough. Attenborough was looking for an actor for the role for two decades and finally settled on Kingsley and gave him the offer.
The father of Indian descent went through extensive preparations for his role, which included shaving his head, reading biographies, studying photographs and even losing 20 pounds on Gandhi’s vegetarian diet.
He immersed himself in the logical and mechanical part of the role, which informs his work as an actor.
Bale dropped 63 pounds just to take up his role in The Machinist film. He stopped exercising and eating, though losing and gaining weight for such purposes has been his forte.
He hadn’t even been asked to lose weight for that role but did it on his own anyway. He was intrigued to see whether he could go beyond what he was asked and see if he could push his limits.
His daily diet consisted of an apple, vitamins, a can of tuna, and running every day. He adjusts for what is needed only if he has an obsession with the particular role.
You know him as Kylo Ren in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens film, but it wasn’t until Martin Scorsese asked him to lose weight for Silence that he decided to drop some pounds.
He played as a Jesuit priest together with Andrew Garfield who travel to find their mentor in Japan. After two years of living away from Portugal, Scorsese wanted them to look as if they were losing weight so he asked them both to shed lots of pounds.
They had no idea how much it would be, but Driver decided to control his weight by limiting what he ate. He was so hungry and tired at some point but he couldn’t do anything beyond what he was already doing.
For his role in Moneyball, Jonah Hill lost about 40 pounds and got a nutritionist to help him slim down for the movie.
His diet was chicken fingers and pizza – more like a meal form a kid’s birthday party, but he started eating more vegetables too.
The nutritionist advised him what to take besides physically running, which he did together with about 10 pushups every day, working his way to 100 pushups daily.
Leto stopped eating just to lose more than 30 pounds for the Dallas Buyers Club role starring alongside Matthew McConaughey in the 2013 movie as a transsexual with HIV and then AIDS. In total, he dropped about 30 or 40 pounds, which he says affected everything from how he talked and walked, to feeling unsafe and fragile.
As you’ve seen, Dan Stevens and other celebrities tend to lose weight to take up their roles in different films.
Depending on how much they need to lose, some would go hungry, eat very little, and workout a lot. However, they had the help of a personal trainer and nutritionist.
Before you try any of their weight loss tips, check with your physician, a nutritionist, and a physical trainer for the best results.