Sebastian Stan is opening up about suffering from body dysmorphia, as he recalls his physical transformation being the most difficult part of his portrayal of Tommy Lee.
"It was always difficult because I just wasn't the same frame as him," the 39-year-old actor told Entertainment Weekly about his role in the Hulu series Pam & Tommy. "I had to lose so much weight, and the drums were a real pressure for me; I'd never played any instrument before and I had to learn. The whole thing felt like this just ginormous mountain to climb and there was always a little bit of an unsettling feeling about it."
While Stan is known best for the bulky body that he's maintained for his role as Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, working to achieve the complete opposite appearance was a unique challenge. He explained that he didn't feel he did enough to alter his physique.
"I was trying to lose weight and I still felt I didn't lose enough weight," he said. "And people were telling me I was crazy and going, 'You have body dysmorphia now' — which I always did anyway."
Stan went on to explain that his preparation for the show consisted of "running and trying to get 20,000 steps a day" and "fasting 16 to 18 hours a day." And although they were extreme measures, he said that it wasn't the start of his complicated relationship with his body.
"Anybody that even has a healthy physique to some extent has body dysmorphia," he said. "Because once you're going into a peak, the best look possible, which by the way, I don't care what they say, unless there's like, magic formulas out there — which there are but some of us are not in that pocket — your body can only be at peak 100 percent for like maybe a week or something. At least, how I've experienced it; and I mean diet and exercise and tanning and water and lighting and everything. And then you spend the rest of the time going, 'I'm not what I used to be.' But it's just all in the head."
Ultimately, Stan said, "I'm proud of the whole thing," noting that physical transformations are an important and fun part of his job.
"I look for those things because I get tired of myself," he said. "I don't want to do the same thing over and over again. I know my Sebastian-isms and the things that I do so I like to be challenged. And the physical aspect of it, whether it's losing weight or gaining weight or changing hair color, it shifts perspective."
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