Gwyneth Paltrow's Shallow Hal body double almost 'starved to death' after film

Gwyneth Paltrow’s body double on noughties rom-com Shallow Hal has revealed she almost ‘starved to death’ following the film’s release.

Starring Paltrow as well as Jack Black, Tony Robbins, Jason Alexander, and Susan Ward, Shallow Hal tells the story of Hal, a man who will only date ‘conventionally attractive’ women and shuns anyone who doesn’t fit his vision of ideal beauty.

After being hypnotised to see the inner beauty of women reflected in their appearance, he falls in love with Rosemary, not realising that she would be deemed overweight by society.

The 2001 film proved a success at the time of its release, gaining mainly favorable reviews and being nominated for two Teen Choice Awards.

However, it has since been criticised for its representation of plus-sized bodies with leading lady Paltrow describing it as ‘a disaster’ and her ‘least favourite performance’.

Her body double, Ivy Snitzer, who now runs an insurance firm, has revealed the devastating impact that the film had on her health, saying that she almost died following a weight loss procedure.

She said that she inititally had no issue with the premise of the film, saying: ‘At that point, if you saw someone obese in a movie, they were a villain,’ whereas Rosemary was seen as ‘cool’ and had friends.

While she said that she had no regrets about her time shooting the film, she revealed that the release and reaction made it feel like ‘the worst parts about being fat were magnified’.

In 2003, the actor underwent gastric band surgery and was ‘technically starving to death’ as a result of the procedure.

Things went from bad to worse for Snitzer when the band slipped, leading her to ‘get a torsion – like dogs get and then die,’ she told The Guardian.

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‘I was so thin you could see my teeth through my face and my skin was all grey,’ she recalled.

‘And I was just so bitchy all the time. I kind of alienated a lot of my friends. My mother was also dying; it was bleak. Humans shouldn’t have to experience how very bleak that particular time in my life was.’

She said that she became so malnourished that she was not able to have her band removed initially, with doctors instead having to provide her with liquid nutrition through a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line.

Afterwards, she underwent a gastric bypass operation where parts of her stomach were removed, meaning that she can no longer eat and drink at the same time.

When asked why she had the initial surgery, Snitzer said: ‘I was supposed to, if you’re fat, you’re supposed to try to not be.’


If you suspect you, a family member or friend has an eating disorder, contact Beat on 0808 801 0677 or at [email protected], for information and advice on the best way to get appropriate treatment

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