To take on the role of the flamboyant transgender rock star diva Hedwig for the musical "Hedwig And The Angry Inch," actor Neil Patrick Harris pursued a strict weight loss plan that transformed his body.
"I'm skinny," he told hosts Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on "Live! With Kelly & Michael". "When I was filming How I Met Your Mother, I knew this show is coming up and it's such a different type of role that for three or four months I've been doing nothing but cardio and trying to lose some weight. So I lost about 22 lbs."
Harris, 40, says he succeeded in losing the weight by changing the time of day he ate dinner. He and his fiance David Burtka are parents to three-and-a-half-year-old twins Gideon Scott, and Harper Grace - and eating earlier with them made a difference.
"I just stopped eating late. I was the kind of person who, after we put the kids down, we would go eat at like 9pm or 9.30pm. We would order food in and by the time we ate, it was 10ish," he said. "It's easier with kids because kids eat dinner around 5.30 or 6pm. And we would just eat with them and I would try to not eat later."
To maintain the weight loss, all Harris has to do is show up to perform. His role as Hedwig, complete in high heels, is a 90-minute roller coaster of intense energy.
"It is exhausting, but only the following day," he told Rolling Stone last month
. "But the exhilaration of getting to do it – it's a train that doesn't stop. As a piece of art, it is profound. But I'm allowed to be the train conductor – slow it down, go out of control, veer around. And Neil enjoys that power as much as Hedwig. It's fun to be there, in a giant number with strobes and massive craziness, then get to do something small and slight and have people affected by that.
"I just hope I don't destroy my body before my commitment is done," he adds.
Check out a behind-the-scenes look at Neil Patrick Harris in "Hedwig" below:
Related on MNN: