Apple TV+’s crime series ‘Black Bird’ follows James “Jimmy” Keene’s efforts to elicit suspected serial killer Larry DeWayne Hall’s confession to killing Tricia Reitler for the FBI in return for his release from prison. Jimmy befriends Larry after getting transferred to Larry’s penitentiary in Springfield, Missouri. The crime drama also offers a detailed depiction of Larry’s past. Paul Walter Hauser, known for his performances in ‘Cruella,’ ‘I, Tonya,’ ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ and ‘Richard Jewell,’ portrays the real-life alleged killer. Since Hauser had transformed significantly to play the character, the viewers must be wondering whether the actor had lost weight. Let us share the answer!
Did Paul Walter Hauser Lose Weight to Play Larry Hall?
Yes, Paul Walter Hauser did lose weight for ‘Black Bird.’ The actor had lost 40 pounds for portraying his character Larry DeWayne Hall depending on the available photographs of the real-life suspected killer. “I really just had to kind of go to my laboratory and construct this character based on the writing and based on what Taron was doing,” Hauser told EW. The actor was able to seemingly draw inspiration from his co-star Taron Egerton, who was also changing his physique by gaining weight and building muscles to portray James “Jimmy” Keene.
It wasn’t easy for Hauser to be a disciplined actor while performing as Larry during the six-month filming period. “Being Larry Hall 12 hours a day, you want to go home and eat junk food, drink booze, have an edible. It was like living in a haunted house,” the actor told New York Times. Still, Hauser succeeded in maintaining his physique despite temptations to consume junk food. Along with losing weight, Hauser said he let himself “be weird and improvise and try things that would creep out the cast and crew” to fulfill his transformation to Larry, as per THR.
Losing weight wasn’t the only change Hauser had to consider while portraying Larry. The real-life Larry’s voice was higher in register than the actor’s, which led Hauser to make adjustments to his voice. “When Mahershala Ali did that film Green Book, the real guy he was playing, he said the register was so high-pitched that he had to kind of cut it in half to make it believable and also not distracting for the viewer in the film, and I kind of did the same thing with Larry,” Hauser added to EW.
Hauser’s exemplary transformation to play Larry wasn’t the first time the actor had shown his determination to perfect his character through a physical transformation. Hauser had gained 30-35 pounds to play Shawn Eckhardt in ‘I, Tonya’ after losing 35 pounds before committing to the film. The actor lost the added weight and dropped 13 more pounds for ‘Da 5 Bloods,’ only to gain more weight for ‘Richard Jewell.’ Thus, it is evident that Hauser is a resilient actor who doesn’t mind going to any lengths to perfect his characters.
Over the years, Hauser has gained assistance from trainers and fellow artists to lose weight. “I have a lot of help from this gentleman named Diamond Dallas Page, a former wrestler turned health guru and actor. Also a trainer named Danny Joe. I also met Mark Wahlberg a few months ago and he’s been a big champion of mine, and he has helped me lose weight,” the actor told Vanity Fair in September 2021, after losing weight for ‘Black Bird.’