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Jesse Plemons’ Weight Loss: See ‘Love and Death’ Actor’s Body Transformation Over the Years

Actor Jesse Plemons has gone through plenty of transformations throughout his long career, including several periods of gaining significant amounts of weight for roles while dropping pounds for other parts.

Jesse first came to the attention of TV audiences starring as Landry Clarke in NBC’s small-town football drama Friday Night Lights from 2006 through 2011, where he sported an athletic build.

His next major character choice took a 180 degree turn when he landed the pivotal part of Todd Alquist in Breaking Bad‘s fifth season and final season. Although he played a violent meth cook, Jesse’s still boyish good looks earned him the nickname “Meth Damon,” for how much he resembled actor Matt Damon.

Jesse transformed for his art in 2015, gaining 45 pounds to play Kevin Weeks in the mafia drama Black Mass, opposite Johnny Depp. He revealed to GQ in 2016 how during the press tour for the movie, he was shocked about how many questions he received about his weight.

“Everyone’s like, ‘You gained all this weight!’ I was like, ‘No, I’ve been fat for a while now,’” Jesse recalled. “Yeah, talking about it, if anything, makes me a little more empathetic – sympathetic? – to what women have to go through. My God! Men in general are just not held under the same microscope in that way. It’s bizarre that that’s all people wanted to talk about.”

“Why is that some sort of a badge or some sort of accomplishment? Like, anyone can do that. You just have to eat s–t,” he said about packing on pounds for the role.

Jesse ended up keeping the weight on when he starred as Ed Blumquist in FX’s 2015 season of Fargo, where he found love on set with his costar, Kirsten Dunst. The couple married in 2022 and share two children, Ennis Howard, 5, and James Robert, 2.

“It carried over to Fargo, too,” he told the publication. “And I had lost a little bit of weight at the Fargo premiere, and I remember this guy, like, ‘What’s your secret to losing the weight? Tell us!’ I was like, ‘Well, I was eating everything, and then I just stopped eating terrible food.’ It’s not too complicated.”

Jesse stunned fans in March 2023 when he debuted the slimmest frame in years at the SXSW Festival premiere of the HBO Max miniseries Love and Death. It even shocked his close friend and Judas and the Black Messiah costar Daniel Kaluuya, who sat down with him for an Interview magazine profile the month prior.

When Daniel asked, “Whoa! What is going on, bro?” about Jesse’s transformation, he responded, “I don’t know, man. Something clicked in my head and I got tired of carrying all that extra weight around.”

When asked how he did it, The Power of the Dog star revealed, “I got asked to do a scene in this movie and I was playing a soldier, and I was like, ‘I don’t know many soldiers that are my size.’ So like everyone else, I started doing intermittent fasting, cut carbs, all that stuff. It’s easy if you just actually do it.”

Scroll down to see Jesse’s body transformation over the years.