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Tom Cruise plans on packing on the pounds for new role

Katie McKay-Phillips is a freelance writer and the creator of Ruffled Feathers, an online wedding and event style brand. She lives in Chicago with her husband, son and two English bulldogs. Katie is a Highland Games competitor and streng...

Will Tom Cruise be body-shamed for his role-related weight gain?

Tom Cruise is wrapping up filming of the latest Mission: Impossible.

But after that, he will be packing on the pounds for his next role.

He will be playing a 300-pound man in the true story portrayal of a pilot who trafficked drugs and guns for the Medellín cartel in the 1980s.

According to sources, the normally svelte Cruise will gain a significant amount of weight for the role and not just wear a fat suit.

The film, Mena, is being directed by Doug Liman and is set for a July 2015 release.

It is not uncommon for actors to torture their bodies for movies. You'll remember how Christian Bale bulked up for Batman only to lose a sickening amount of weight for his role in The Machinist.

Jared Leto got crazy skinny for his roles in Requiem for a Dream (he lost 60 pounds!) and Dallas Buyers Club (he lost 40!).

Daniel Day-Lewis lived in the wild for six months to prepare for The Last of the Mohicans.

But it is the women in Hollywood who have to worry more about their looks than men, as we all, unfortunately, know. It is seen as admirable for men, in general, to gain or lose weight for their profession. It shows determination or commitment. And it's not that the women who do the same thing aren't committed, but the focus is clearly different.

No one seems to ask the men if they are freaking out about putting on a few extra pounds for a role. But when an actress has to put on some weight to get into character, it is all about how she will get back to her normal (read: acceptable) body weight and "look good" again.

Renée Zellweger reportedly had panic attacks about the weight she had to gain for her role in the Bridget Jones's Diary films. And Charlize Theron reportedly went against doctor's orders and lost every pound of the weight she had gained for her role in Monster in time to "look her best" for the Academy Awards, a month after wrapping up the film.

It would be interesting if we could have a conversation about why there is such a disparity and the fact that we are asking other human beings to do these terribly unhealthy things for the sake of entertainment and money. We'll see how it plays out with Cruise's weight gain.

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