Top 20 Memorable Shirtless Male Movie Moments
Channing Tatum: Magic Mike
With a heart of gold and insane dance moves, Channing Tatum catapulted himself into total babedom in Magic Mike (but he first won us over in She’s the Man). The gorgeous actor with muscles aplenty truly embraced all that was necessary to prepare for the role of a male stripper; from working out three hours a day to following a strict dairy- and gluten-free diet, he even admitted to rubbing self-tanner on every morning, and yes, he waxed too. “I enjoyed the performing part dancing, but I didn’t really enjoy taking my clothes off,” Tatum told People. “It was fun while it lasted.”
Ryan Reynolds: Blade: Trinity
No question, Ryan Reynolds has a blockbuster body. For his action-packed role in Blade: Trinity, the actor got serious about his physique, packing on 25 pounds of pure muscle after three months of six-day-a-week workouts and a 3,200-calorie daily diet. Reynolds was so chiseled and cut in the flick, it’s no surprise the Hollywood hunk has been offered multiple superhero roles since (The Green Lantern and X-Men to name a few). “That time changed my life because it taught me you can actually do things that were previously impossible,” he’s said.
Ryan Gosling: Crazy, Stupid, Love
There really could be a Ryan Gosling Addicts Anonymous group out there—he’s captured the hearts of many since his lusty performance in The Notebook but really grabbed the attention of the world in Crazy, Stupid, Love. With a body like that, and his unequivocal charm, it’s easy to see why the suave lady-killer is one of the hottest stars in Hollywood. How did Gosling get in such ridiculous shape for the role? “James Cameron has a program called ‘Ab-atar.' All you have to do is wear a motion-capture suit, and it gives you abs!” he’s joked.
Gerard Butler: 300
The sexy Spartan flashed some awesome abs action in 300, but it wasn’t easy getting fit for the role. The 43-year-old actor worked out harder than most pro athletes for four months straight, enlisting the help of Mark Twight (a former world-class mountain climber who believes in working out “as if your life depends on it”). To get Butler into warrior shape, the trainer created the “300-rep Spartan workout” that combined nonstop pullups, pushups, deadlifts, jumps, presses, tire flipping, and ring training.“You know that every bead of sweat falling off your head, every weight you’ve pumped—the history of that is all in your eyes,” Butler told Men’s Health. “That was a great thing, to put on that cape and put on that helmet, and not have to think, sh*t, I should have trained more. Instead, I was standing there feeling like a lion.”
Chris Evans: Captain America
Chris Evans showed us his best body ever in Captain America, but just hearing him talk about how he pulled it off is enough to make you feel super sore—and possibly even more nauseous. “We did two hours a day, and it was brutal. I usually like working out. Going in sucks, but walking out, you're like, 'I'm glad I did that!'" the sexy star told PopSugar. "This was different. I'd walk out and I'd be like, 'I need to vomit. I hate this trainer. I hate this movie. I want to go to sleep for a week.' It was just relentless. I've got a fast metabolism and I lose weight very quickly, so for me to get big, it was just eat a lot."
Daniel Craig: Casino Royale
James Bond brought more than just spy action to Casino Royale. Simon Waterson, the trainer who taught 007 everything (okay, not everything) he knows, developed a program specifically for Craig to push him beyond his limits. With a blend of power lifting, heavy weights, and cardio, the actor’s abs were shaken (not stirred) into chiseled, cut condition.
"After a few months of training, Dan was lifting and performing like an athlete. He had full focus on what he wanted and the discipline from me to help him execute it. Even now, I still can't believe the physical changes he achieved. It just shows that with willpower and dedication, you can achieve anything," Waterson told GQ.
Mark Wahlberg: Boogie Nights
Even when Mark Wahlberg was potentially at his smallest body weight, like in Boogie Nights back in 1997, he still had amazing abs. But 16 years later, Dirk Diggler is better than ever, which comes as no surprise since being in swoon-worthy shape is something the ageless actor knows all too well; for Wahlberg’s latest flick, Pain and Gain, he had to put on 40 pounds of muscle in just seven weeks. Marky Mark sure has come a long way since his underwear-modeling-meets-porn-star days! “When I don't exercise and when I'm not eating good and clean, I feel sluggish,” the hunky star told Men’s Health.
Matthew McConaughey: Fool’s Gold
Matthew McConaughey has never been afraid to flaunt his physique, but with a fine physique like that, who would be? His chiseled chest has starred in so many memorable movies over the years it’s tough to choose a favorite, but one look at his tanned, toned, glistening abs in Fool’s Gold and he’ll have you hooked forever.
“Without exercise, I feel like my head doesn’t work right. I just feel better when I work out. I do sit-ups, pushups, and jogging. I think the body is a beautiful thing, and you should take care of it. Whether it’s going for a run, dancing, or loving, my rule is break one sweat a day,” he’s said.
Justin Timberlake: Alpha Dog
Justin Timberlake need not don his suit and tie to look amazing, especially in 2006’s gritty drama Alpha Dog. The actor brought his sexy back in a big way for the role of an edgy teen caught up on the wrong side of the law. How does the man-candy build a better body? During filming, Timberlake keeps a varied exercise regime and avoids on-set catering, which is often laden with high-fat foods. “You have to ignore the catering," the sizzling star told GQ. "It seems like a pain, but it's really not that hard to monitor your own calories once you get it down.”
Brad Pitt: Fight Club
Rules or no rules, Brad Pitt’s abs in Fight Club are too amazing not to talk about. With a washboard stomach, buff biceps, and looks that could kill, the gorgeous actor was so fit in the film, it made a huge impact on the fitness industry—and it’s still seeing the ripple effects. Targeting one muscle group per day with loads of cardio, Pitt’s grueling training for the gritty role brought him down to just 5 percent body fat. “By nature, I keep moving, man. My theory is, be the shark. You've just got to keep moving. You can't stop,” he’s said.
Christian Bale: American Psycho
While we hope that no one is really as soulless as Patrick Bateman was in 2001’s American Psycho, personality aside, man, was he built. Christian Bale is notorious for putting his body through intense transformations to portray a character, and his role in this grisly cult thriller was no different. To prepare, the method actor trained for three hours a day, six days a week with an intense mix of cardio interval-training for burning fat, as well as weight training to develop that muscle mass.
Jason Statham: Transporter
Since his thrill-packed role in Transporter, British stud Jason Statham has become one of Hollywood's biggest action stars. The typecast really isn't much of a stretch, given the actor kicks so much major butt in real life. He enjoys mixed martial arts as a hobby and even used to be on the British Olympic diving team! So what exactly are the hero's secrets to strength, speed, and general badassery?
Statham trains with former Navy SEAL Logan Hood six days each week, one of the reasons he prides himself in being able to do his own stunts. "Muscle-men grow on trees. They can tense their muscles and look good in a mirror. So what? I'm more interested in practical strength that's going to help me run, jump, twist, punch," he’s said.
Burt Lancaster: From Here to Eternity
Burt Lancaster showed how to make love in the waves with Deborah Kerr in the 1953 Oscar-winning film From Here to Eternity. The romantic, salty scene was very explicit for the time and caused quite an outrage, thus making it one of the most iconic in classic film history. Lancaster also had quite the beach bod, saying in a 1949 interview to the St. Petersburg Times that he doesn’t dare let himself get out of physical condition because it’s too hard to train down again.
“If I’m not working in a picture, I get my workout by running around the track at UCLA. I live near there. I have never asked if I am welcome, but nobody has ever bothered me. Once in a while I meet a couple of early-bird students. They look a little surprised at first and then go jogging on. That’s a 440-yard track, and sometimes they grin. But sometimes they puff harder than old man Lancaster after once around,” he’s joked of his workout routine.
Patrick Swayze: Dirty Dancing
After years of fearing his classical dance training would hold back his acting career, the late Patrick Swayze landed the role of macho-yet-tender Johnny Castle in 1987’s Dirty Dancing, and he forever sashayed his way into Jennifer Grey's heart (and ours). But before he was wooing women on the big screen, the smoldering star was a ballet dancer who studied at the Joffrey and Harkness schools in New York. While an old knee injury may have forced him to quit, Swayze still got the chance to show off his moves and body in the most iconic and successful film of his career.
Sylvester Stallone: Rambo 3
Sly Stallone was such a physical specimen of pure perfection in Rambo 3 (and of course in countless other films too) millions across the world became amazed at what could be accomplished with sheer determination. But the brunette beast is no stranger to willpower and grueling work; he trained so hard for Rocky II he tore his pectorals, resulting in a four-hour operation!
"Sly is the most disciplined man that you'll ever meet in any walk of life," says his personal bodyguard Gary Compton. "He doesn't eat real late, he doesn't snack, and he doesn't eat much. Pasta? Yes, but not too often, and only when it's made with a special flour. Fish and brown rice are staples. He even eats fish for breakfast.”
Paul Newman: Cool Hand Luke
Paul Newman had everything: talent, passion, kindness, intelligence, fame, fortune, and yes, he also just so happened to be the most gorgeous thing on the planet. It’s no surprise 1967’s Cool Hand Luke was such a huge hit, given how much the King of Cool with those bright, beautiful blue eyes strutted around in all his shirtless glory. But the kind-hearted star claimed to be baffled by why the ladies made such a fuss over him. “If blue eyes are what it’s all about, and not the accumulation of my work as an actor, I may as well turn in my union card right now and go into gardening,” he’s said.
Denzel Washington: Hurricane
With strength, stamina, and huge sex appeal, Denzel Washington steamed up the screen with his Golden-Globe winning role as Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a middleweight boxer who wrongly spends 20 years in prison for a triple murder conviction. To prepare for the meaty character, the actor had to shave 40 pounds off his frame, and by the looks of his shredded form in the film, whatever he did worked.
Sixteen months before filming began, the Hollywood hunk turned to boxing trainer Terry Claybon, who whipped him into serious shape with astounding four-a-day workouts so he could convincingly portray the fighter. “I told him he was never again going to look this good,” Director Norman Jewison told People. “There wasn’t an ounce of fat on him.”
Marlon Brando: A Streetcar Named Desire
Marlon Brando was absolutely electrifying as the animalistic Stanley Kowalski in the classic 1951 film, A Streetcar Named Desire. Widely considered the greatest movie star of all time, the actor was originally rejected for the role because he was considered too young and too handsome! But once the steamy star landed the part, he began a daily workout routine with weights to build up both his chest and biceps (as prior to the project, he wasn’t exactly known for his physique). Apparently all his hard work paid off; when Truman Capote first observed Brando’s transformation, he said, "It was as if a stranger's head had been attached to the brawny body, as in certain counterfeit photographs."
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Conan the Barbarian
Former Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger may be an actor, entrepreneur, and politician, but he’ll always be most known as one of America’s premier bodybuilders. Given his sheer physical size, Guinness Book of World Records even crowned him “the most perfectly developed man in the history of the world.” The Austrian-born muscle man started weight training at 15 and was so dedicated to his workouts that he broke into the local gym on weekends, when it was usually closed, so he could train. "It would make me sick to miss a workout... I knew I couldn't look at myself in the mirror the next morning if I didn't do it,” he’s said.
Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon
As one of the most influential martial artists of all time, Bruce Lee catapulted into pop culture history after his incredible performances of fitness in films like 1973’s Enter the Dragon. If there’s anyone who knew how to reach a physical goal, it was him. “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them,” Lee has said.