Charlize Theron would wake up at 2 am to eat mac & cheese to gain 50 lbs

Premiere Of Focus Features' "Tully"

Here are some photos of Charlize Theron at the LA premiere of Tully last night. She wore Dior, because she’s still one of the faces of Dior (I think she’s THE face of Dior perfume). I actually sort of love this look? My only thing is that I wish this was two separate pieces, so I could wear the butterfly blouse separately, with jeans or a pair of black trousers. The top part is just magnificent, but I wish the skirt was longer. I’m sure it would have looked longer on someone else, it’s just that Charlize is so leggy.

Anyway, Tully is the movie where Charlize gained 50 pounds in real life to play a stay-at-home mom struggling after giving birth to her latest kid. I actually think the movie looks really good, and I’m excited about Charlize’s re-team with Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman. For the promotional tour, Charlize keeps talking about what she did to gain that weight and how it affected her. Some quotes:

Why she decided to put on the weight IRL: “I wanted to feel what this woman felt, and I think that was a way for me to get closer to her and get into that mindset. You know, it was a huge surprise to me. I got hit in the face pretty hard with depression. Yeah, for the first time in my life I was eating so much processed foods and I drank way too much sugar. I was not that fun to be around on this film.”

She would eat around the clock to keep the weight on: “Like, all of a sudden you’re just done eating that amount and then it becomes a job,” she said after confessing to eating In-N-Out for breakfast. “I remember having to set my alarm in the middle of the night in order to just maintain [the weight]. I would literally wake up at two in the morning and I’d have a cup of cold macaroni and cheese just next to me. I would wake up and I would just eat it … I would just, like, shove it in my throat. It’s hard to maintain that weight.”

It took a year and a half to lose the weight: “I was worried. I was like, this is taking a really long time. Because on ‘Monster,’ I just didn’t snack for five days and I was fine. You know your body at 27 is a little different than your body at 43, and my doctor made sure to make me very aware of that. Like, you are 42, calm down, you’re not dying, all good.”

On being a single parent: “I knew a long time ago that this was going to be my family and I am so blessed and lucky that this is my family. As of right now, as a single parent this is what I can handle and I think it’s a good thing to know what you can handle. This is perfection for me. I feel very blessed.”

[From Page Six & E! News]

Is anyone else feeling a little bit eyeroll-y towards Charlize and her “OMG it is soooo hard to keep on the weight” thing? And obviously, it wasn’t that difficult for her to keep the weight on, considering it took her 18 months to drop it. Ask anyone who has tried to lose that last 20 pounds – it’s not difficult to KEEP THE WEIGHT ON. For most of us, all you have to do is basically live normally and eat whatever you want, and bam, the weight stays on. There’s no need to, like, keep a cup of emergency 2 am mac & cheese by the bed just so you’ll keep the weight.

Premiere Of Focus Features' "Tully"

Film Premiere Tully

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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75 Responses to “Charlize Theron would wake up at 2 am to eat mac & cheese to gain 50 lbs”

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  1. Anastasia Beaverhausen says:

    Oh. I do that. But you know, just for fun. 😂

  2. BaBaDook says:

    Ugh. Wherever Charlize is right now she just sat up and looked around to the sound of my disembodied fat girl eye roll.

    • MostlyMegan says:

      I don’t get how she just had to eat at 2am in order to maintain that HUGE level of body weight (huh?) but then she found it so difficult to take it off? You can’t have it both ways. Drama queen.

      • Milla says:

        Why? She was always on the skinny side and this wasn’t just her looks. Her brain got used to certain foods and trainings. This is a schock to the system…

      • Sherry says:

        I’m with you @MostlyMegan – She could get in those calories during her waking hours. The idea that she had to do this at 2 am to keep on the pounds, but it’s taking her 18 months to get rid of it? Please!

      • Dally says:

        It makes sense that she might have to really concentrate on eating to stay at a weight 50 pounds over her normal weight, and that she could lose some of that weight quickly, but it would take her a longer time to lose the last 10 or 20 pounds to get back to her Hollywood movie star weight. Ask any breastfeeding mom….

      • Lizz says:

        For one thing, sleep deprivation does seem to increase the brain’s sensitivity to the smell of food so that may have been a schedule recommended by her doctor. And just for the record I do like Charlize both from what I know of her personally and professionally but tend to be curious about her stories at the same time. Anyone going on and on about how happy they are or how fulfilling their life is as much as she does you know something must be up with that.

    • mannori says:

      she’s a gorgeous woman of course and her main blessing is her height: imagine her being 5′ 6 and all of a sudden she goes from goddess to just a very pretty. Very pretty but that’s about it. She doesn’t have a great bone structure so time won’t be gentle with her, already in many photos you can see her growing double chin. She will look soon like her momma, which is some sort of inevitable law for all of us, and who by any means is a great looking woman, but who looks her age if not older. I’m sorry to sound mean and hater, but I think her huge ego and narcissism will have cosmic justice and it won’t be easy for her getting older and loss her sex symbol status. That will mess up her head pretty badly.

      • Mmmo says:

        > it won’t be easy for her getting older and loss her sex symbol status. That will mess up her head pretty badly.

        You almost seem excited.

        Also, I think she’ll age just fine.

  3. Jess says:

    I cried watching the trailer for this, can’t wait to see it. Hopefully it lives up to the hype!

    • Tulip Garden says:

      I am looking forward to it too! Charlize certainly seems believable in the role. I enjoy watching her on screen and think she has had interesting and varied career choices.

      • Lizz says:

        Charlize Theron is an incredibly talented, intelligent actress, absolutely no doubt. She also sends a LOT of mixed messages, both verbal and nonverbal, and needs to get a better grip on her messaging. Either stop talking about these lightweight issues entirely or stop complaining about not being taken seriously. I wouldn’t be surprised if she and Penn got back together quite frankly. She seemed much calmer and more at peace with herself in interviews then than she does now.

  4. Seraphina says:

    I think my eyes rolled into my cup of coffee. And yeah, body is way different in 40s then 20s. Duh!

    • RYotGrrrl says:

      I was so smooth and pretty at age 20, but I was a peer pressure drinker, so I was never happy, and looked bloated. All those hangovers and drunk sex; my self-esteem was a plastic bag on the roadside. Now at 50 I work out every day- mostly hot power yoga and dance- I don’t eat junk and of course zero drugs/booze. My metabolism is as fast and eye rolly as this tall goddess Charlize. (I’m 5′ 3″) Maybe my skin is a bit more elastic, but I am clear headed and laugh easy, the weigh just falls off!

  5. Spikey says:

    Well, let me say this: If you’re used to a certain way of eating it’s quite a challenge to suddenly change course. People like Charlize probably have been on some sort of diet / healthy eating plan for decades. High caloric foods would not be what she’s used to and would fall back on. Everyone who’s tried a weight loss diet knows how hard it can be. I’m a vegetarian and exist on a very plant based diet, lots of fruits and veggys all day every day. It would be nerve wrecking to switch to some form of weight gaining regimen. I’ve tried several times and failed epically.

    • Tulip Garden says:

      Yes this was my thoughts too. That said, I can’t feel sorry for her :) . I wish I had a “keeping weight on” issue. Even better if someone would pay me a few million or even one million to get in shape as my job with all the attendant help that would require.

      • Spikey says:

        No, I don’t feel sorry for her either. It’s part of her job and I suspect she’s generally competent enough to manage this well.

      • Rhea says:

        I was skinny almost all of my life untill I gave birth to my second one. I tried diet, exercising…but there’s just some weight that stubbornly stayed behind no matter what. By the time I got my third one, I gave up and accepted that my body has changing. Yeah, I would love to had a problem in keeping my weight on like I used to be.😭😭

    • Betsy says:

      May I borrow some of your gut biome? #oppositeproblem

  6. Jussie says:

    It is hard to gain and maintain weight if that’s not how you normally choose to eat. I eat what I want in the amounts I want, and that keeps me on the lower end of a healthy weight. I’ve had to gain weight for various reasons a few times, and it is hard. I’ve eaten one way my whole life, and been happy with that. It was a chore to have to think about my meals, eat things I didn’t want when I didn’t want them, count calories, keep track of my weight etc. Just like losing weight.

    Also looking at photos she clearly lost the bulk of the weight within a couple of months. She’s really talking about losing the last 5-10lbs and getting her old shape back here, and that does get harder as you get older.

    • Kathleen says:

      ITA. I feel like she was saying being able to keep all the weight on during filming was hard because she is obviously naturally thin. But yeah, losing those last 10 pounds is rough. I gained 50 lbs with my second pregnancy and the last 10 lbs took me a lot longer to lose than the first 40.
      Also, if she said it was easy to lose the weight everyone would attack her for not knowing the struggle of weight loss.

    • jwoolman says:

      Chronic food deprivation (such as happens with people always “on a diet”) apparently results in a higher body weight setpoint, the weight your body naturally tries to hit if you go under and maintains with no fuss .

      So if she’s been deliberately restricting food to keep a lower weight than her body thinks is proper – she might just have lost weight down to her real setpoint. So that might really be why she is having trouble losing the last 5-10 pounds – she might be wanting to go below her real weight setpoint while her body has other ideas.

      I don’t understand the forcing mac&cheese at 2am bit. Maybe she incorrectly thought eating mid-sleep would make a difference in how the body utilized the food and stored fat. That is a common myth, but actually it doesn’t matter when you eat. So stoke up at midnight if you want! Or have an extra side of mac&cheese at lunch or dinner. Or for breakfast.

      I don’t know why she didn’t just add more fat to her normal meals and go for high calorie smoothies and salads. Add nuts and seeds to them, for instance. Use more high-calorie dressing. Spread more butter, mayonnaise or peanut butter on your sandwiches. Eat lots of olives… If you like cheese, eat more of it. Ice cream!!! Pizza!!!

      Anyway, if I ever wanted to gain weight, setting an alarm to eat cold mac&cheese in bed is not what I would ever imagine doing. I would just eat more of what I already eat. Actually, when I did need to get back to eating after an illness (several weeks of not really keeping anything down), I added butter or oil to things I ordinarily never did to try to get the calories up, since it was a such a struggle to eat enough volume. I was getting at most an estimated 500 calories a day at one point even when I could keep food down. Didn’t help that the antibiotics made everything taste like cardboard. But once I was eating more normally, I easily gained ten pounds a month until I was back to where I started. That’s weight setpoint in action. You don’t have to count calories or force feed if you really do need to gain weight. I’d noticed this long before with minor illnesses, if I lost five pounds then I was just hungrier for a while until I hit the magic number, with no effort on my part. She was in a different situation, but still may have initially been below her setpoint.

      • Egla says:

        I agree with you on the weight setpoint. Bar any other reasons (illness, medicines, traumas etc) our bodies have that “goal weight” and if we don’t put pressure either way our bodies will go there. I have seen this with my body during my whole life. Before 30 I was skinny and no matter what I ate I would go back to my 45 kg easily. I could gain 3-4 kg in 6 months during winter and loose it in a week in May just in time for the summer just by eating my usual. After my 30 things changed and I reached 63-64 kg at one point but slowly. It looked good on me except my a$$. Then I regulated my food intake (more meals as opposed to two but same quantity) and I started moving more, walking, zumba, swimming. It’s been 7 years and I stay around 60. I was 57 at one point and my body as weak. I looked ill. My body wanted his 60 kg.

        I understand her not gaining a lot of weight easily in the beginning and her body resisting but after it got acostumed to that weight not wanting to let go. If I want to loose weight now I have noticed that it is more difficult to loose the first 2 kg than the rest. I basically have to starve for days before my body gives up and starts loosing.

        And yes these women working in this industry have, sometimes, impossible thin and toned bodies and most are not at their ideal weight so their weight goal is hard to achieve and to maintain so I kind of understand her struggle. She is beautiful though.

  7. H says:

    Wait till you hit 50, Charlize. As a friend said the other day to me when I told her I’d hit 137 pounds, “but you were always so skinny and ate everything in sight!” Yeah, no more.

    The thing they never tell you about menopause: wrinkles, weight gain, add that to the hot flashes…I’ll take Charlize’s body and being 43 again.

  8. Aang says:

    My husband is thin and he eats like crazy. Cheeseburgers or sausages as a bedtime snack. Or Chinese takeout as a second dinner. In the cold months he keeps a taco in his car just in case he gets hungry while driving. Plus a few beers every day. He works out most days, but still. And he is in his 50’s. Some people just have a crazy metabolism. I guess besides the beer he eats little sugar. Never sweets. Maybe that has something to do with it.

    • Esmom says:

      Lol at him keeping a taco in the car, that’s cute. My son is an athlete and he wanted to gain muscle and he seriously eats all. day. long. Along with working out a ton. He was able to make some decent gains but he’s recently lost some because it is hard for him to keep it on, even with eating constantly. He also hasn’t touched a sweet or junk in four years.

  9. Alix says:

    Amateur hour; I can eat enough before lunch to gain 50 pounds in short order. Step aside!

  10. Marigold says:

    The trailer for this was in my Facebook feed yesterday. It showed a breast pumping milk, it being poured into a freezer bag and then set on the counter where it spilled. I flinched and sucked in a breath. It wasn’t even real and I was all “noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!”

    • smcollins says:

      Gah! I can relate all too well. That happened to me and I had a total meltdown. My son had latching issues so I had to pump and bottle feed him breast milk. It took a while to build up a supply so, yeah…that was not a good moment.

    • Lizzie says:

      omg – that scene is too devastating. i hated pumping and barely got milk when i pumped so every drop was sacred. i screamed into a pillow the first time that happened to me.

      • Ladykeller says:

        Lol, that’s what struck me most in the trailer. My son just turned 5 months so it’s all too relatable.
        I kind of want to see this movie bit another part of me feels like I’m already living it anyways (minis the nanny) so why bother.

  11. Snowflake says:

    I wish it would take that much effort for me to gain 50 pounds. I actually think I have a pretty good metabolism, I just love to eat

  12. slowsnow says:

    I remember seeing an interview with Michael B. Jordan where he said that to bulk up (Creed, Black Panther) he had to eat all the time and to dring gallons and gallons of water, which made him unbearable company: he peed all the time, even during the night! He said he was just socially unavailable,
    Add to that someone scarfing Mac’n'Cheese in the middle of the night…
    Although I wonder why she didn’t use baggy clothes and prosthetics instead of gaining weight (“it’s called acting!!!!!”) I think this is hilarious.

  13. susiecue says:

    LOL please.

    I really really like the cut and fit and everything about the dress, but the print could’ve been a little more thought out, maybe? The butterflies are pretty, but their placement seems like an afterthought. She looks really pretty though

  14. Lala says:

    I would have LOVED if that outfit were a (2) piece…where the top was cropped! However, I would wear the HELL out of the outfit!!! I have a similar shaped outfit in burgundy that I love wearing to work! “Tully” looks like a winna!

  15. Mrs. WelenMelon says:

    Ooo, call on me, Charlize! I know how to keep weight on!

    I’ve found my second career: Hollywood weight keeping-on coach! Not talking about actual needing to put weight on problems. Those are real and frustrating and even scary.

    Don’t want to brag but keeping the extra poundage is natural to me. I will outlast you all in a famine! And forget that “I was so busy I forgot to eat” stuff – for my ENTIRE life I have never, ever forgotten to eat. I WAIT for it, as in is it time yet???

    Yes, I will be a legendary Hollywood weight keeping-on coach.

    • Rhea says:

      Lol. My husband would shakes his head at me because whenever we have a breakfast, I somehow already make a plan of what to make for lunch and yup, when lunch time almost over, he knows that I’m already thinking about dinner. In my defense, I got three little monster that always checking out the fridge and asking me if there’s anything to eat. My world revolves around food.😅

    • lucy2 says:

      I will be your assistant! I too am quite skilled at keeping it on, and only by eating in the waking hours.

      Any drastic change is hard on your body though, so I’m not surprised she struggled with it, both putting it on and taking it off.

    • jwoolman says:

      I actually have forgotten to eat, even though I’ve never been skinny.

      Once I was working up against a tight deadline (I was originally supposed to translate half the docs in the pile but they reassigned the other translator and asked me to do the whole thing, meaning double shifts for a few days). I had the sense to push away from the computer periodically to drink some water and take some vitamin C, but my appetite and digestion shut down under stress so I didn’t think about eating anything while working. Usually I just pig out when the job is done, but this job was all-consuming for days. Toward the end, when I would start falling asleep at the keyboard, the hours for sleeping were minimal and I wasn’t even thinking about eating before bed.

      So when I was making up the invoice after submitting the job late on a Thursday morning, I noticed an odd feeling in my stomach. Finally realized I was very hungry. Thought back and realized the last time I had eaten anything at all was Tuesday evening…. Truly had forgotten to eat!

      So I can understand why people can actually be so preoccupied with other things that they forget to eat… Don’t recommend it. After that episode, I tried to keep things on hand that require no prep/cleanup and my digestion can handle under stress, such as San-J rice/sesame crackers and flavored soy milk in individual bottles. When Slimfast had dairy-free options in cans, I kept those on hand just for such emergencies as a quick protein drink. Very useful if I had to get started immediately to proofread something for an early morning deadline and was already operating on very little sleep. Just pop open the top and pour into a glass. Even baby food fruit and veggies can be helpful to maintain some semblance of nutrition when digestively challenged, they do taste fine straight from the jar even at room temperature.

      Nowadays it can be even easier, since there are serious protein drinks available like Vega and Orgain that are non-allergenic for me (non-dairy) with 16-20 grams protein in a small bottle. (Make great popsicles also…) I also have a good shaker bottle and vegan protein powders on hand, so if a little less stressed out I can mix those fairly quickly. The vitamix isn’t that hard to use to mix up something really substantial as well as very easily digestible (I keep portions of veggies and fruits in the freezer to add to protein powder and could also toss in nuts or seeds), but my threshold for doing anything but work is very high under deadline ….

      And yes, I need pets that will bite me if I forget to feed them. But even when diligent, I am Death Incarnate to friends’ aquarium fish or plants if they are foolish enough to ask me to take care of them when they are away.

  16. Robert Boyd says:

    Total eye roll. Poor Charlize, I feel so bad that she had to eat mac and cheese at 2am to keep the weight on. She’s just so method in her acting. Double eye roll.

  17. bunichow says:

    **sigh** that’s just tuesday nights for me…

  18. Rocky says:

    I hate stuff like this. Here’s an idea hire a normal sized actresd

    • Blaire Carter says:

      amen

    • DP says:

      Exactly!!!
      I hate how thin actresses discuss how hard it is gaining weight for their role, like it’s a dedication to their craft. As if it’s such a terrible sacrifice/shame to be fat.
      Why not just hire a normal sized woman?! Who can actually relate to the reality of living this way?!

  19. perplexed says:

    She is really tall. Maybe that’s why it was harder for her to gain 50 pounds.

    I actually think trying to get off that 5 pounds on the tummy (which everybody expects to look nice) is harder than taking off 20 pounds overall. With the latter, I think you just have to go back to your normal eating routine. With the former, I think you have to quit eating altogether.

  20. bella says:

    I don’t like that dress at all, but she looks her usual gorgeous self.

  21. reverie says:

    If its hard to lose weight its because you are used to eating a certain amount of food and it’s difficult to adjust that. It’s difficult on a mental level and on a physical level. And by that same logic, it’s just as hard to gain weight into unhealthy proportions (50s lbs is overweight for her) if you’re not used to eating like that. She had to eat at 2 am because she couldn’t put more food into her body during the day at meal time… that shows you how difficult it is to mentally and physically make that adjustment. There’s a reason why starving people aren’t fed steaks and while she was never starving herself, it’s the far end of the same spectrum.

  22. Jenn says:

    I don’t think she’s lying.
    As I haven’t seen any pics of her where she looked bigger at all, she’s probably talking about the last ten pounds being hard to take off. Generally the body likes change – be it gaining or losing – to be slow.
    Anything else is a strain.

  23. DP says:

    I appreciate her saying it’s hard to lose the weight in your 40s… And for discussing how eating badly affects your mood. However, big, huge eye roll to how hard it was to gain it in the first place. Pick a lane.
    Wish they had picked an appropriately sized actress that didn’t complain about how hard it was to gain weight. That is not relatable to most women. Still excited to see it!

    • mannori says:

      shhh…she absolutely HAS to highlight her “struggle” because pretty actresses gaining weight and uglyfying themselves are oh-so-committed and get Oscars…shhhh…don’t tell anyone

  24. Joannie says:

    She’s gorgeous!

  25. Film Production Manager says:

    OMG … I wish I could reveal her real age, (not her Hollywood or Wikipedia age) You would hate her. She looks fantastic. I love these pics.

  26. Felicia says:

    I imagine that Charlize probably continued to work out while she was trying to put on weight, simply for health reasons. She also may have had other committments prior to filming that required her to look her best, leaving her a relatively short period of time to gain that amount of weight. Creeping up by 50 lbs over several years or a decade is not the same thing as having to gain that amount in a few months. 5 lbs a year is not that much, unless you’re tiny and it shows immediately. Particularly if you’re not used to eating much in the way of carbs or sugar. Personally, I would seriously have to work at it to gain 10lbs a month over a 5 month period (excluding being pregnant when just looking at food seemed to make me gain weight). I can maybe deal with pasta once or twice a month but I don’t really like it, can’t stand rice. Adore mashed potatoes, but would probably hate them after a couple of weeks of “this is about the only regular carb I like” so I’d have to have it every day. Don’t sleep well if I have a heavy meal at dinner and sugary drinks are something I’ve never had a habit of, the sweetness is almost nauseating when you aren’t used to it.

    I can well imagine that if she’s a protein and vegetable, hardly any sugar and low carb kind of eater (which she probably is normally), forcing yourself to eat things that make you feel like hell and you don’t like, to the point of putting on 50 lbs over a few months would not be easy. Having to eat Mac and Cheese at 2 am makes me think she did that in a relatively short period of time and was on a schedule.

  27. mannori says:

    she would always does this: talk about unflattering, normal things for everyone else but because happened and/or made to HER then is all oh-so-extraordinary.
    Remember this is the woman who said that life is so difficult and unfair to HER because she’s a 7 foot Amazonian goddess. No wonder that she and Penn lasted less than two years together as the ego stank in that house probably was killing every living creature around them.
    Charlize Theron or as I like to call her: ME, MINE AND MYSELF.

  28. jferber says:

    Hell, I’d do that just for the hell of it.

  29. Danielle says:

    Gaining 50 lbs in a short amount of time on purpose (no medical issues involved) probably is difficult. That said, i hate her phrasing. Does she really think overweight people eat sugary processed crap all day, with cold Mac n cheese for a midnight snack? Or that the average person could lose significant weight by cutting put snacks for a week?!?

  30. crazydaisy says:

    I want to see the down and dirty on how she LOST the weight. Gaining, not a prob.