T Nation

Too Big For Your Profession?


Hey guys,
I am going through a "dilemma" right now. I am in college for acting yet have been weight training for quite a while now. People in "the industry" who go to my gym have been telling me that I am getting too big. I am not large by a bodybuilder's standards. I am 5'10 and 185lb in the morning and around 192ish during the day. I don't know my bf percentage(I doubt most people really do and I don't care about the number although its probably around 12%) but I've got a four pack. Most actors my age and their available roles are skinny little shits so this puts me in an awkward place.

There are not a ton of main roles other than "the asshole" character available to a "more muscular" actor. I am going to try and become a leaner 185 or 190 and then work on relative strength from there. But, there is a part of me that wants people to know I am a lifter by simply looking at me unflexed, however I don't want to play one character my entire life.

Has anyone else gone through a similar situation and what has come of it? Any words of wisdom are much appreciated.


I guess Arnold was too big to make it big as an actor?

The estrogen boys are just jealous.


What about "the Hero"? Or the tough guy detective or something like that.

Sounds more like jealousy than constructive criticism. Who's telling you that you're getting too big? Other actors who may be competing for possitions?

Even if they're not potential competitors, there is still the strong possibility for jealousy and/or ignorance.

If you truely find a role that you realy want to play, and a director (or anyone else of importance) tells you that you're too big, then you can make the decision about getting in shape (or out of shape) to play the charactor.

That's just my take on it though. I never like when people make negative comments like that. If you're getting "too big", you can always get smaller. Many big time actors change their body to fit their rolls.


I guess you might have to decide which is more important to you. Keep an average body and be able to play a wide range of roles, or get big enough so people know you work out and play limited roles.

Keep in mind it seems half the actors these days are bulking up for their roles anyway.


second that --- Batman Begins, The Blade series and X-man etc. come into my mind when I see your "problem".

Geek boy


Arnold was an actor? I don't know what to tell you dude. It's a choice you have to make. It really doesn't seem like you should be deemed too big to me at this point even by Hollywood standards. But the reality is that the bigger you get the more limited you will be. The extreme is Arnold. Of course, you will never get that big. But he was certainly typecast. On the other hand, a lot of that could just have been lack of talent and depth and range. And his accent.


This is true. I really don't see why Christian Bale or Ryan Reynolds would be deemed to big for roles that don't focus on physques based on where they were for those movies. In real life there are fit and muscular doctors, lawyers, Investment bankers, etc... It may not be the norm, but they certainly exist. But then Hollywood doesn't necesarily reflect reality much of the time. So, I really don't know.


Nope, he was a movie star.


Yes, Arnold did make it big as an actor professionally but he also has had very few roles that require much more than basic entertainment value. I've never seen Arnold in a role that really moved me more than making me want to kick some ass.


You make some good points. My only concern with altering my physique for roles is that this is generally not asked of actors who are not well known or already famous.

In the gym that I just left (where everyone was telling me that I was too big), it is mainly a "performance" gym. Maybe a handful of the guys there actually have some good size on them. I suppose being in workout clothes with a good pump, lifting relatively large weights can also make other people percieve a person as bigger than they normally would be seen as in a loose t-shirt.


Are you telling me you didn't almost cry at the end of Terminator 2?

'Cause any guy who says he didn't . . . is either a heartless jerk . . . or a stone-cold unethical liar.


I guess my goal should be to do the things that allow me to work my hardest and improve the most while not stepping out of my ability to play a "normal" person. Getting leaner and gaining relative strength seem to be viable options.

Thanks for all the thoughts guys.


Haha...Certainly not because of Arnold's ability. I hope and assume that was a joke.


Like I said, Arnie was no actor. He was a movie star. And he made a huge mistake trying to play the everyman role in his later movies (End of Days, The Sixth Day, that other one). He should have stuck to what he did best (and what the people wanted): Robotic superhuman heroes that kill and/or blow up stuff while saying funny catch phrases and puns.


Yeah but it still moved you... You can't say that seeing Arnold on the big screen didn't inspire you to get to the gym and get big. Isn't that what movies are for? Who cares if you make a chick cry because of your "moving" performance? Were I you I'd be excited about the possibility of inspiring some young adolescents into looking big and being healthy...

Oh, and stop being a Hollywood Pussy...

"I'm too built for roles! I'm worried! What am I goona do? Hollywood is fucked up and it's not fair!"

So what. Either conform to the way Hollywood/Broadway wants their actors to look, or stay the way you are and get more action type-villian roles.

I personally know what you mean about Hollywood guys being, well, not built at all. I used to run with the "aspiring actor/waiter" set back in my brief stint as a "clubber" and all of those guys were pretty small. By small I mean SMALL, like 5'6 135-145lbs small. Probably couldn't do 3 chins in a row if you put them on a high-boy. Once I learned they were superficial Jackasses and didn't know the difference between an end around and a suicide squeeze I bid them adieu.



I have been in 2 movies, 1 bigscreen, (Blackhawk Down) Not big roles but good enogh, I have had many offers, and many based off of my appearance and military background, I guess what you need to do is just type cast yourself, only look at doing roles that will benefit from your appearance as well as your acting ability...
By the way I have had no acting classes or training, I just act myself and the Directors love it when you don't ACT you just Are!


I LOVED that movie. What was your charachter?


Thanks for your kind words. I am not sure if you are an artist in any way, but one of the main purposes of acting in my opinion is to inspire in more ways than one. Pam Anderson inspires my cock in her films, yet she offers nothing of substance to my life.

And I would not say that my primary goal for lifting or acting is to get laid or inspiring people to lift for that matter. Those things are great and may come along with it, but I tend to value movies like Rocky or Cinderella Man not because they make me want to bust my ass but because they inspire people about overcoming adversity.




I agree. A movie is not good because it makes me want to go to the gym. It might be inspiring and provide additional motivation to train hard. But it's not a good movie because the actor has a good physique. Sheer entertainment value or hot chicks for sexual thrills is a different sotry. What problems have you been experiencing exactly though? Have you been getting negative feedback in terms of your physique limiting roles other than by the people at your gym? Direct or otherwise? It's not like you're the Incredible Hulk.