After being lambasted by critics for his performance — in particular, his egregious, syrupy, fake Southern accent — in Red Tails, R&B superstar Ne-Yo apparently shrugged off the hate and kept his acting dream alive.
According to ESSENCE, Ne-Yo claimed that he turned down a recent opportunity to play the legendary civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King for reasons that you might not had never guessed — he didn’t want to gain weight.
Specifically, the singer, whose album R.E.D. drops September 18th, felt the weight gain required for the role would prohibit the promotional opportunities surrounding his late summer release:
“They wanted to start shooting at the time my album R.E.D. comes out and wanted me to gain 30 pounds, so I couldn’t do it,” he explained. “I’m kicking myself but acting can’t take the place of my music. Plus, I’ve been killing myself in the gym for months preparing for this album because I wanted a complete makeover.”
Thespians alter their appearance for roles frequently. Most memorably, in 1993, Angela Bassett turned her already phenomenal figure into a lean, mean dancing machine in order to properly portray legendary rocker Tina Turner in the biopic What’s Love Gotta Do With It.
Some actors have talked about the horrors of gaining or losing weight for roles, citing that it reeks havoc on their bodies, internally. Gaining 30 pounds for his 2009 movie The Informant, Matt Damon said packing on the pounds was “a little horrifying.”
Priorities … priorities!