[movieperson id="7708"]Adrien Brody[/movieperson] knows that his Oscar-winning turn in "The Pianist" didn't thrust him to the top of Hollywood's action-star wish list. He's well aware that quirky comedy "The Darjeeling Limited" or even CGI-heavy "King Kong" had studio execs rushing to cast him in their summer tent-pole flicks. Critical praise and art-house cred don't count for much when it comes to valuable franchises and hundreds of millions of dollars in potential profits.
So what's an ambitious actor who feels he's perfect for a certain action role to do? Work like a madman. That's how Brody nabbed the lead role in "Predators," the reboot of the sci-fi horror franchise previously led by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"I know that I'm not one of the guys on the studio's list for this movie," Brody told MTV News recently. "It took a great deal of work on my part, even before I got the role, that I would do what is necessary. I gained 25 pounds for this role. I put on a lot of muscle."
Yet Brody's decision to pump iron — and to abstain from drinking and sex during the shoot — was not just made because he wanted to look good in comparison to a 1987 version of Arnold. Rather, the sinewy biceps and ripped abs had Brody feeling like, well, an action star.
"I did [gain weight] more for amusement's sake," he explained. "I felt like it'd be fun to get yoked for a role like this, but not because I like the quality of that. What that does is, the physical transformation does a psychological transformation as well. You feel tremendous confidence."
What's more, Brody pointed to recent action heroes like Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Matt Damon as Jason Bourne as evidence that Hollywood casting agents are starting to realize that not just hulking Schwarzenegger types are right for big-budget franchises.
"Young people today are aware of Hollywood's superficial depiction of strength," he said. "Physical brawn is not what's going to make my character prevail against aliens who are still much stronger and more advanced and have a culture of hunting and killing for trophies. It's about inner strength and military training and survival skills."
Check out everything we've got on "Predators."
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