Alexander Skarsgard Ate Nothing but Chicken Breast and Broccoli for 9 Months to Play Tarzan
Who says actresses are the only ones that have to go on a diet for a role? The Legend of Tarzan star Alexander Skarsgard went to extremes to get the ripped body of the famous jungle man, he told Conan O'Brien on his show Tuesday. The host said, "Very few people can get into that kind of shape. You and I are probably the only two on the planet. No CGI there, that's you?" "That's me," said Skarsgard. O'Brien then said, "First of all, I find that depressing. I was hoping that was a computer program cause then I could tell my wife, 'That can't be done!'"
So how did Skarsgard do it? He explained his strict nine month diet and routine of mostly eating "chicken breast and broccoli and training." He noted that he had a really good chef who "tried to make it interesting with, you know, herbs and lemon juice, but his hands were tied because he couldn't use creams or sugar. No fast carbs like bread or pasta." That would make it a little tough. Conan said, "I can't stand when a healthy chef is like 'It's kinda like a pizza except there's no bread or cheese or tomato.'" Skarsgard further explained that he ate six meals a day, but because the portions were so small he constantly felt hungry. "I had to eat every three hours so I spent the entire day thinking about food," he said. He literally would count down right after he finished a meal—for nine months! O'Brien said he would rather "dig a ditch" than do that.
Skarsgard even had to go back on the diet a few months after the film wrapped for a new short scene. Skarsgard was hoping they could CGI him since all the animals in the scene were being featured that way. O'Brien said he should have brought in a body double, "slap a wig on him, shoot him from another angle, so you're in a corner eating Häagen-Dazs."