“There was nothing fun about”: George Clooney Hated His Most Drastic Body Transformation For His Oscar Winning Role

He had to eat nine meals a day to bulk up for the role, but he was not able to enjoy the food, even though he was in Italy.

"There was nothing fun about": George Clooney Hated His Most Drastic Body Transformation For His Oscar Winning Role


  • Syriana is a 2005 film based on Robert Baer's memoir about the oil industry.
  • George Clooney's performance was praised, and he gained 35 pounds for the role.
  • However, Clooney did not enjoy the experience and found it physically and emotionally demanding.
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Syriana is a 2005 American political thriller film based on Robert Baer’s 2003 memoir See No Evil. It is about the state of the oil industry and its personal impact on those who are involved with it. The performance of George Clooney as Bob Barnes was highly praised by critics of the film.

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George Clooney as Bob Barnes in Syriana
George Clooney in Syriana

To play the role of CIA Agent, Clooney gained 35 pounds, grew a bushy beard, and shaved back his hairline. However, it was all worth it because he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the role. But the actor certainly didn’t enjoy his weight gain journey for this thriller flick.


Also read: “It was a no-no, you know?”: Sandra Bullock’s Phobia Forced Gravity Director to Give Up His Dream While Filming $723M Movie Starring George Clooney

George Clooney Hated His Drastic Body Change for Oscar-Winning Role

George Clooney in Syriana
George Clooney as Bob Barnes

Portraying a CIA operative on the set of Syriana was not enjoyable for George Clooney. Directed by Stephen Gaghan, the movie involved filming in over 200 locations across four continents. Traveling to various locations didn’t trouble Clooney as much as the events that occurred that year. The actor told The Sydney Morning Herald:


“There was nothing fun about it. There was not a moment that was fun about shooting this film. That’s not a slap on the film or (the director Stephen) Gaghan. It’s just that everybody has that year where you age a decade and this was that one for me.”

The now 62-year-old was not clearly fond of the experience while filming the 2005 movie. He found it both physically and emotionally demanding, which caused him to feel like he had aged a decade during that year.

Also read: Denzel Washington’s Career Kamikaze: Refused Working With a First Time Director, George Clooney Said Yes and $93M Movie Won a Whopping 7 Oscar Nods


George Clooney Ate 9 Meals a Day to Prepare For His Oscar-Winning Role

George Clooney Syriana
George Clooney in Syriana

According to  Irish Examiner, Clooney had to gain over 30 pounds for his role in Syriana in a short period of time. He took on the role after another actor left, giving him only a month to put on the weight.

To bulk up, he had to eat nine meals a day. Despite staying at his Villa Oleandra in Italy, he didn’t enjoy the food. As he said: “I was miserable because there I was in Italy, and I wasn’t looking forward to eating. Who doesn’t look forward to eating in Italy?”


“People always think, ‘Oh, that’ll be fun,’ but it’s like going to a pie-eating contest every day,” he added. As the Hollywood actor reiterated his experience in another interview with The Tech, he took as many calories as possible to achieve the desired physique.

“My job was just to eat as fast as I could, as much as I could. But mostly you just ate until you wanted to throw up and made sure you didn’t throw up. So that was my job for a month, was eating,” Clooney asserted.


Even Matt Damon, Clooney’s close friend and co-star, also noticed some changes in him. Damon said that Clooney was usually the “life of the party,” but he had to put in the weight, which was really “depressing.”

Watch Syriana on Prime Video.


Also read: “He’ll do it for nothing”: Ben Affleck Desperately Tried to Convince George Clooney For His Dream Role, Was Ready to Sacrifice His Movie Salary


Written by Shreya Jha

Shreya is an Entertainment News Writer at Fandomwire. She has over a year of experience in journalistic writing with a deep knowledge of entertainment world. After completing her bachelor's program in Journalism and Mass Communication, Shreya is now pursuing her master's degree in the same. Apart from being an avid reader, she's a huge Swiftie and K-culture buff. So yeah, when she's not writing, she will be caught listening to Tay or watching "Business Proposal" for the 100th time.