Ben Foster Reveals 60 Pound Weight Loss To Play A Holocaust Survivor


It’s amazing the lengths actors will go through in order to truly embody the roles they play. In order to provide an accurate portrayal of a Holocaust survivor in his latest film The Survivor, Ben Foster went through the wringer to play real-life Holocaust survivor Harry Haft who fought fellow inmates to survive the Auschwitz concentration camp. Holocaust survivors have been through both physical and mental anguish that is unimaginable to most. In order to become the role of this real-life Holocaust survivor, Foster reveals that he made himself lose 60 pounds.

Imagine having to lose a ton of weight only to have to gain it back that much sooner. It reminds me of the time when Christian Bale changed his weight losing 62 pounds to be in The Machinist only to gain 100 pounds back six months later for The Dark Knight. Ben Foster had to lose and gain weight much quicker for The Survivor, explaining to Variety that he lost weight for the camp scenes only to gain weight for the boxing scenes five weeks later.

When I read the script, it had such scope and moral ambiguity. It’s a terribly moving piece. Then you start getting down to the engine room. How are we going to do this? And it was suggested that we could use digital effects to make Harry bigger and smaller for the weight loss and the weight gain. The one thing I knew was that I needed to lose the weight for myself, and fortunately, Barry and production were able to support that and we were able to shoot in order. So I was able to drop 62 pounds for the camp, and we took five weeks off, and I put on 50 for the ring. And then the last section of the film was the last decade with Harry and his story and I was able to indulge a lot more. Following a man’s journey, it’s rare for an actor to read something so complex. There’s so much to be drawn to in this material.

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