Jessica Chastain Shares her Weight Gain Secrets for her Role in 'The Help'

August 12, 2011

To play her role of Celia Foote in The Help, Jessica Chastain had to put on 15 pounds. So how did she gain the weight? Chastain says the secret ingredient was soy.

"I had to be soft and curvy, so I ate a lot of soy," the actress said. "What I would do -- and this is really gross -- is buy cartons of soy ice cream, microwave it, and drink it. It was disgusting, but wait until you see my boobs in the movie!"

Soy isn't exactly the conventional way most actors put on weight for a role. Chastain, however, needed to find a method that was at least kind of healthy. Since she was filming several movies around the same time, Chastain needed to gain the weight fast and shed the pounds even faster.

While not appetizing, her soy diet was definitely effective for her role in The Help!

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Evan Thomas's picture

I kind of wish she hadn't put it that way. It gives the false impression that soy itself will add on pounds, when it's actually the fact that she was eating ice cream which packed on the pounds. Ice cream, even the soy kind, is still loaded with fat and sugar which will contribute extra calories. But healthy sources of soy like tofu and tempeh have a place in any healthy diet for weight loss or maintenance.

Leslie's picture

I didn't get that impression that was what she was saying---she chose soy ice cream because to her it was healthier to binge on than conventional ice cream--or tons of carbs=-and with that, it probably at least provides some more protein than regular milk. Who knows, maybe she is a vegan and doesn't do milk??

IWouldKnowFromExp's picture

Soy will in fact cause weight gain regardless of sugars, carbs, and fats added to foods with soy in them. See soy is the worst possible food for the thyroid which is a major role in your metabolic rate I don't think any body part plays a bigger role in fact so soy is the worst food for weight loss and I have gained weight before from eating soy on a 800-1000 calorie diet with soy in it. I removed soy from my diet though and managed to lose some of the gained pounds I gained eating 1200 calories a day although my metabolism has slowed significantly and still seems to be recovering from the soy. Just thought you should know since many people out there seem to think soy is healthy when in fact if you do the research you'll find out it's far from it not even counting it causing weight gain.