Weight modifications of all kinds happen routinely in Hollywood, though the expectations placed on women are far greater than those on men. Hence the internet reacting accordingly, if not predictably, to the news that actress Carrie Fisher had to lose weight for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Perhaps what made the revelation all the more inflammatory was the fact that (a) Fisher famously experienced sexism while filming the original trilogy, and (b) it didn’t seem like either Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford were required to do the same.
According to a lengthy behind-the-scenes article published in Rolling Stone, Hamill has endured a “brutal training regimen” for the past few years. The goal? To get himself into shape for his role in The Force Awakens, as well as a much larger rumored role in Star Wars: Episode VIII.
He’d need more than his voice to play Luke Skywalker again. So Hamill, now 64, has spent the past couple of years on what seems to be a brutal training regimen, this time with Yoda only figuratively on his back. He seems to have lost a good 50 pounds, but he doesn’t want compliments: “It implies that I looked so dreadful before! Look at what I’m eating now instead of potato chips and bagels,” he adds, gesturing to a fruit-and-vegetable plate. “I’m on the ‘if it tastes good, don’t eat it’ diet.”
Neither Hamill nor the interviewer used the words “weight” and “loss,” though “brutal training regiment” and something called the “‘if it tastes good, don’t eat it’ diet” sound horrible enough. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the filmmakers asked Fisher and Hamill to do the same thing for the same reason. However, it lends credence to the notion that the film’s motives — be they on screen or behind the camera — are more gender equal than readers of Fisher’s comments might have suspected.