Alexander Skarsgard beefed up for his starring role in Tarzan, eating 7,000 calories a day to gain 25 lbs.

By Julie Mazziotta
July 01, 2016 11:45 AM
Jonathan Olley

Alexander Skarsgard‘s secret to his washboard abs? Eating 7,000 calories a day!

The star of The Legend of Tarzan went to dieting extremes to get his incredibly ripped body for his role as the rope-swinging jungle-dweller.

For three months before filming started, Skarsgard, 39, tripled his food intake and lifted heavy weights to add 25 lbs. to his frame. To do it, he trained with his friend Magnus Lygdbäck, a trainer-nutritionist also from Sweden.

“When you have to see the same person every morning at 4:30 am, it’s important you get on well with them,” Skarsgard told Mr. Porter.

But the real diet started once Skarsgard got on set. For another six months, he followed a strict sugar-, gluten-, wheat-, dairy- and alcohol-free regimen, eating six small meals throughout the day and working out twice a day.

His co-star Margot Robbie told EW that he used to ask her to describe her meals from the weekend when they would come into work on Monday.

“I remember the day that he was allowed an apple, and he kissed the apple,” Robbie says. “It hit me how deprived you are if you’re that excited to see a piece of fruit.”

But that was the key to his eight-pack abs, and Skarsgard says he feels fairly comfortable with his clothes off.

“Although obviously you don’t want it to feel gratuitous,” he adds to Mr. Porter.

Once filming ended, though, Skarsgard went straight to his father’s house to get back on the carb train.

“I spent four days just in bed, being fed by Dad,” he told EW. “He cooked these pastas with rich sauces and bone marrow and fried mozzarella and tons of beer and wine. It was the most incredible weekend of my life.”

Advertisement