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Another day, another A-list hunk doing unnatural things to his physique in the name of cinema. This time it’s the turn of Mark Wahlberg, who survived on just liquids to prepare for what looks set to be his meatiest role yet in The Gambler.

The Lone Survivor star has slimmed down to play Jim Bennett, an English professor with a slight gambling problem: he’s racked up $240,000 of debt after wasting away at the roulette table. And the casino wants it back. In a week.

This LA retelling remains largely faithful to Karel Reisz’s 1974 film of the same name, which sees Bennett deal with loan sharks, bailouts from mum and an affair with a student (played by Brie Larson).

Fitness-wise, it’s no surprise the bodybuilding fan might have taken things too far. “No energy, no nutrition and there was a complaint that my lips were always looking blue,” he told a US magazine, after shedding 60lb. “What the f*ck do you want me to do? I haven’t eaten anything!” The film is out early next year, just in time for Oscar season. If it worked for McConaughey…

The Gambler is at cinemas nationwide from 23 January 2015

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