26 June 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Thomas Haden Church was shocked when producers of Spider-man # insisted he work out intensely for over a year to prepare for a part in the film. The 45-year-old plays the villain Sandman and found it a shocking change after having to gain weight for his role in Sideways. He explains, "When I met with the (Spider-Man 3) producers and director last year they said, 'We probably need you to get in a specific physical shape for the movie. Do you mind taking off your shirt?' I took off my shirt and the director Sam Raimi said, 'We're going to need you to gain about 100 pounds of muscle. You've come here today with the physique of a fishwife and that doesn't fit into our scheme...' I gained a bunch of weight for Sideways, because the director wanted me to appear bloated. I thought, 'I'll make a special cocktail of beer and ice cream in the blender and it will suit this purpose quite nicely!'" Church began his intensive training for the role and is now in top-form. He adds jokingly, "I had to start working out last year, it's been about 16 months of five days a week lifting weights and all right...steroids!"

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