Just like Matthew McConaughey used a tiny spoon and some tapioca pudding to shed the weight for his Oscar-winning performance in "Dallas Buyers Club," actor Jake Gyllenhaal had his own trick for going gaunt. 

According to co-star Riz Ahmed, Gyllenhaal used flavored gum to fool his brain into thinking that he was eating a meal. 

"He'd have a bowl of luxury chewing (gum) and they were, like, really elaborately flavored, to trick his brain into thinking he was having a meal. So he was on his exercise bike having chewing gum and, like, almond tea with one calorie," Ahmed told the Canadian Press.

"When he started to do it I was a bit baffled ... but now having seen the film and going through the process I realize that's quite an ingenious way into the character, to manifest the hunger and desperation in that character physically."

Just like McConaughey reported that he was irritable as a result of his hunger diet, Gyllenhaal went through the same thing, saying in an interview last week that the experience was difficult, but rewarding. 

"I knew if I was hungry that I was in the right spot," he said, revealing that he ultimately dropped 30 pounds. "Physically, it showed itself, but chemically and mentally, I think it was even a more fascinating journey. It became a struggle for me."

"Nightcrawler" opens on Oct. 31.

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

The 'gum trick' Jake Gyllenhaal used to lose 30 pounds for 'Nightcrawler'
Co-star Riz Ahmed says the actor had to get inventive to trick his brain into thinking he was eating a full meal.