Holt McCallany had a breakout year in 2017, stepping out of his usual supporting roles to take one of the leads on Netflix’s new hit series Mindhunter. McCallany transformed his body for that role—adding 25lbs of pudgy weight to play the chain-smoking, fast food-eating Bill Tench. But Mindhunter wasn’t his only project that called for a transformation. McCallany added rock-hard muscle for his role as a hardcore criminal in the prison drama Shot Caller, which also starred Game of Thrones’ favorite Lannister, the fair-haired (also shredded) Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. McCallany wanted to have more mass than muscle on this project, so he bulked up with a steady diet of bench press, squats, and deadlifts, while staying away from isolated exercises that some actors use when, in his words, “you’re trying to get that beautiful Hollywood torso,” he said to Men’s Fitness.
McCallany summed it up like this: “With this character, he’s in prison, he’s the head of the Aryan Brotherhood, so what kind of a body would he have? Sure, he works out, maybe doing pushups and burpees in his cell, but he won’t have a great diet—he's eating prison food. This guy is not gonna be all cut up and shredded like it's Baywatch. That's not his life.”