While the number may sound comically absurd, rest assured that consuming 7,000 calories per day in order to transform into something you’re not is light years away from being a laughing matter.
Take it from actor Khris Davis, who added an incomprehensible physical element to his one-of-a-kind acting challenge: go from portraying the iconic Biff Loman on Broadway (as the first black actor to do so) to becoming vaunted winner George Foreman seamlessly.
Oh, and you have to pack on the pounds to truly become Big George, which involved precise training and a regimen we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy.
“I did it on a pescatarian diet,” Davis told FanSided, regarding the caloric overload. “I didn’t do any dairy. Didn’t do any sugar. I wanted to do it all clean because I had to gain so much weight in such a quick amount of time, and I wanted it to go off as quickly as it came on.”
Pescatarian! Seems simple enough. Seems pleasant.
Uh … nope. Davis didn’t exactly get to enjoy the prepared morsels as he gained 50 pounds in five weeks, getting up to 275 pounds. Instead, he barely got to chew, shoveling/forcing the food into his stomach and taking two hours to get through a plate of food, looking like a “chipmunk”.
“You can expect … to see stars. I mean, literal stars. It feels like your eyes are going to burst out of your head. Then you fall asleep. Then you wake up. And then you have to eat again.”
In other words, don’t try this at home, unless you have Foreman’s blessing and the constitution of a heavyweight champion.
Eventually, even the ultra-determined Davis hit a wall, looking in the mirror incredulously as his pants tightened in ways he’d never before experienced. Suddenly hit with a wave of melancholy, he reversed his mood by shaving his head.
“I cut my beard off. I took my shirt off, and I stood in the mirror and looked at myself. I could finally see what all the work was for. I could finally see my interpretation of Mr. Foreman coming to fruition. That moment, it was like every single calorie I had eaten and every single calorie I was gonna eat was worth it.”
Now armed with a self-described “thumb neck” (“like Kurt Angle,” Davis added with a chuckle), the exceedingly determined actor was ready to give life to Foreman’s story. His pursuit of Foreman’s truth began during a series of early meetings with the great champion, and ended with a fuller body than he’d ever possessed. Somewhere in between, he managed to conjure an exceptional performance, the fruits of which will reach the big screen on April 28.