Will Poulter opened up about body image as he discussed his physical transformation into a superhero for Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3.
The Maze Runner actor, 30, joined the Marvel franchise for the third film as Adam Warlock, where he stars alongside Chris Pratt.
The film was released in cinemas on May 3 to much critical acclaim.
The role required Will to add a lot of muscle to his naturally slight frame – a process that has been rigorous and demanding for the actor.
In a new interview with GQ Hype, he discussed his transformation into the superhero and the fact he doesn’t consider himself ‘conventionally attractive’.
Opening up: Will Poulter, 30, discussed body image and his physical transformation into a superhero in a new interview with GQ Hype
New look: The Maze Runner star put on a lot of muscle to star as Adam Warlock in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3
Will told the magazine: ‘All I know is I worked as hard as I could, safely and naturally, to conceivably pass as a superhero.
‘If that isn’t enough for people, fair enough, but I’m not prepared to compromise on the way that I went about it.
‘I can’t be an advocate for mental health and simultaneously be promoting anything other than responsible and natural bodybuilding. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like I’m suggesting there is a body type that is better than anybody else’s body type.’
The star has previously credited Chris Pratt for helping him to get into shape for the movie by offering workout advice but added he ‘wouldn’t recommend anyone do what I did to get ready for that job.’
Scrutiny of his appearance is something he has not been able to avoid in the film industry – as he admitted he doesn’t think he is ‘conventionally attractive’.
He continued: ‘It was weird when people started to debate my physical appearance online as to whether it was deemed attractive or unattractive.
‘I am very comfortable and secure in the knowledge that I’m not conventionally attractive as I’ve always had remarks about looking unusual – whether it’s my eyebrows or whatever else, people have made a thing of that.
‘I think it just speaks to a wider issue, of: why are we discussing or spending so much time discussing people’s physical appearance?
Transformation: The star has been open about the rigorous routine he undertook to play the Marvel character (pictured at the World Premiere of Guardians Of The Galaxy on April 27)
‘Especially in the case of women. But whether you’re male or female, why is that the focus so much? Unfortunately, social media has created this problematic idea that everyone’s opinion on everything matters equally.’
But although he has mixed feelings towards his transformation, Will views exercise as the thing that has sustained him the most as he deals with fame.
Cover: Read the full feature online at GQ Hype now
He said: ‘Physical exercise has been the thing that has really sustained me more than anything else.
‘I have been physically active for years thanks to my long-term agent Christian [Hodell], whom I’ve been with since I was 16 years old. I was going through a tough time mentally and he said, “Get in the gym.”
‘And I was like, “I don’t think putting on muscle is going to help me feel mentally more well.”
‘And he was like, “No, it will feel great.” He said this the best part of 10 years ago now and it really did change my life.’
The first Guardians Of The Galaxy movie, which also starred performers such as Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and Bradley Cooper, premiered in 2014.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe entry was followed up by a 2017 sequel, and its characters subsequently appeared in both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Development on the third Guardians Of The Galaxy movie was revealed to the public in April of 2017, and director James Gunn was famously fired and then re-hired to work on the project.
Poulter was later revealed to have been cast as Adam Warlock in October of 2021.
Other new additions to the cast of the movie were Maria Bakalova and Chukwudi Iwuji, who voice Cosmo The Spacedog and play the High Evolutionary, respectively.
It comes after Will powerfully hit back at body shamers as he revealed the true reason behind why he once dressed as Toy Story character Sid Phillips for Halloween.
Back in 2017, Will dressed up as the character, after trolls compared his appearance to the cartoon for years.
Fans were initially left confused as they thought the actor hated the comparison – but he revealed there was a much more serious reason behind his decision.
‘I did do it in light of some of the comparisons between me and Sid from Toy Story that were going around on the internet,’ he explained.
‘I work with Anti-Bullying Pro and the Diana Award, I did it during anti-bullying week to raise awareness of that organisation.
‘So, that was that.’
Read the full feature online at GQ Hype now.
Throwback: Taking to Twitter, the star stumbled across a message from someone asking why he dressed as the character Sid Phillips from Toy Story back in 2017