Big Hollywood: Steroids find their role in entertainment industry
“They told me I was neither big enough nor buff enough,” Mr. Jackson said.
He wasn’t about to let that happen again.
“I was thinking of becoming an action star,” said the 30-year-old actor best known for playing David Hasselhoff’s teenage son on the television show “Baywatch.” “I saw maximizing my hormonal levels as something that would facilitate my business.”
Mr. Jackson’s capital investment in his physical equipment came to include the abuse of testosterone, human growth hormone, insulin (he is not diabetic) — even a drug normally reserved for pre-slaughter cattle. His bulk-building melange of illegal steroids was enough to add 40 pounds to his 5-foot-10-inch, 170-pound frame — and ultimately landed him on the series “Celebrity Rehab.”
Chris Evans as Captain America gained a reported 20 pounds of muscle ... more >
Performance-enhancing drugs: They’re not just for jocks anymore.
When it comes to hormonal maximization in Hollywood, Mr. Jackson has plenty of company.
Suzanne Somers and Nick Nolte publicly extol the virtues of growth hormone. Charlie Sheen claims he took steroids while filming “Major League.” Former “Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond alleged that co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar juiced. “Rocky” and “Rambo” star Sylvester Stallone, still pumped-up at 60-something, was arrested on charges of testosterone and growth hormone possession during a customs inspection in Australia. A 2008 steroid-trafficking investigation in Albany, N.Y., linked shipments of juice to musicians 50 Cent, Wyclef Jean, Timbaland and Mary J. Blige, as well as — no, really — actor-cum-director Tyler Perry.
“I think [steroid] use is very common in Hollywood,” Mr. Jackson said. “Very. Everybody who wants to be an actor, everybody who wants to be fit, there’s a lot of stuff going around.”
Art imitating life?
In the recent summer blockbuster “Captain America: The First Avenger,” scrawny Army reject Steve Rogers transforms into a pectorally gifted supersoldier via the injection of a top-secret serum.
In “Thor,” an early-summer hit, a doctor is asked about the title character’s bulging muscles. “Steroids,” the doctor replies. “He’s a bit of a fitness freak.”
The irony is as thick as a superhero’s biceps. Actor Chris Hemsworth — last seen playing a tall, relatively lean character in the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot — gained a reported 20 pounds of muscle for his lead role in “Thor.” Actor Chris Evans did the same for “Captain America,” while Mr. Momoa added 30 pounds for “Conan.”
Like other thin-to-thick thespians before them — think Edward Norton in “American History X” or Hugh Jackman as the “X-Men’s” Wolverine — all three actors attributed their striking physical transformations to diet and exercise.
Then again, so did athletes such as Marion Jones, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez — that is, until they subsequently were found to be gobbling more than just protein shakes and skinless chicken breasts.
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