Bale, Fassbender, Jobs
By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
November 5, 2014

According to the Hollywood Reporter, which seems to know about these things, Sony Pictures is talking to Michael Fassbender about playing the title role in Steve Jobs, the movie based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography.

This rumor comes two days after THR reported that Christian Bale — like Leonardo DiCaprio before him — had passed on the part.

I can see why director Danny Boyle would want DiCaprio. Who wouldn’t?

But why Fassbender, best known for playing a Nazi killer in Inglourious Basterds and a plantation owner in 12 Years a Slave?

Or, for that matter, why Bale, known best as Batman in The Dark Knight?

Neither actor has DiCaprio’s star power, and they don’t look any more like Steve Jobs than the dozen or so names we’ve been batting around. (See Poll: Who should play Steve Jobs).

But there’s one talent they could both bring to the part: They know how to lose weight.

According to IMDB:

  • Bale dropped 63 lbs. to play an insomniac in The Machinist (2004).
  • Fassbender lost 33 lbs. to play an Irish hunger striker in Hunger (2008)

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Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is reportedly planning to tell Jobs’ story in three keynotes: One staged before he lost the company, one after he got it back, and one near the end of his life. To do the part right, some actor going to have to drop a lot of weight before the third act.

For the record, Matthew McConaughey — who got my vote — is another guy who can act and lose weight: 38 lbs. for his Oscar-winning role in Dallas Buyers Club..

A few diet tips from the stars: Fassbender lived on berries, nuts and sardines. Bale ate a lot of salads and apples, chewed gum, smoked cigarettes and drank nonfat lattes. McConaughey did it with egg whites, tapioca pudding and Diet Cokes.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at fortune.com/ped or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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