For his role in the new film In the Heart of the Sea, Chris Hemsworth dropped 33 lbs. in four weeks thanks to a strict diet of only 500 calories a day.
The dramatic weight loss affected his body and mindset, but the actor credits his wife Elsa Pataky for supporting him throughout the process.
“She had to put up with my moods unfortunately,” Hemsworth, 32, told PEOPLE Monday night at the New York premiere of the film.
“She’s great. I’d kind of done it before in Rush but not to this extreme. By the end of it she was happy for me to start eating again.”
And after production wrapped on In the Heart of the Sea, Hemsworth feasted.
“We went to an Italian restaurant and had all sorts of pasta and pizza and all the wrong things.” he told PEOPLE. “It gave me a bit of a food hangover to honest with you. I hadn’t eaten anything like that for a while.”
Director Ron Howard told Playboy that Hemsworth, Ben Walker and Cillian Murphy were devoted to the extreme weight loss. “I was careful in the interview process to be clear about my expectations,” Howard said.
“I had to crack the whip with a couple of people early on, but Chris Hemsworth, Ben Walker and Cillian Murphy were so committed that if anybody had needed disciplining, these guys would have taken care of it. I’d turned to Tom Hanks about losing a lot of weight for a movie, which he d done for Philadelphia and Cast Away. He told me how miserable he felt having to do it alone, so I should make it a team thing for the guys.
Indeed this wasn’t the first time the father of two underwent a body transformation for a character. He dropped 30 lbs. for his Rush character and had to gain 30 lbs. pounds of muscle back that same year to become superhero god Thor.
Hemsworth previously told Good Morning America that his diet for his latest role consisted of eating boiled eggs, salads and “nothing much.”
Adding, “The gaining is fine, you just eat a lot and you lift weights but that was underfed, which led to a pretty moody existence and inconsistent emotions.”
In the film, Hemsworth stars as Owen Chase, the vessel’s first mate and one of the men who spends 90 days stranded at sea after the whale destroys their ship.
In the Heart of the Sea hits theaters Dec. 11.
•Reporting by JODI GUGLIELMI