Jillian Bell has one of the most impressive weight loss journeys. During a jog around the block in the film Brittany Runs a Marathon, the title character stops herself near the front door and decides to change her life for the better.

During this moment of uncertainty, she obsessively frets with her thumbs over her fingers as she stands on the verge of a revelation. However, it isn't just a tic of the character, but rather of the person who plays her.

Jillian Bell explained she balled up her hands like Brittany's character when nervous about something. Doing so, she felt, gave a genuine and authentic dimension to the person on screen.

This little quirk is not the only bit of personality Bell has given to her role. She has gone, or should we say, ran the extra mile. 

The Weight Loss Motivation

For the film's physical metamorphosis, she claims no one requested her to undergo weight loss. Despite this, Bell thought she had done nothing like this before.

Brittany goes through the same thing, so the actress figured it would better help her understand the character.

Jillian Bell posing for a picture

Jillian Bell posing for a picture. (Source: Instagram)

However, a person familiar with Bell's previous work quickly points out that emotional realism is not one of her strong points.

As an office mate in Workaholics and an aggressive dorm-mate in 22 Jump Street, she's arguably most known for stealing the show with her comedy.

However, her unique timing and delivery have made her a regular presence in the genre. When Brittany Runs a Marathon came along, though, she searched for an opportunity to play something beyond her comfort zone.

With the initial screenplay, Bell's manager had included a preface. A few pages into the script, the actress was told that she might be a little perplexed about how it would turn out.

But she urged her to keep continuing because the message was lovely and unique. Her curiosity had peaked.

As soon as she started reading, she was completely absorbed.

Did Jillian Bell Lose Weight for 'Brittany Runs a Marathon?'

Bell had never exercised before, and she didn't like it. So she took up running, just like her character, and suffered mightily with it. 

But she persisted. About two months before filming began, she began meeting with a personal trainer at a gym and sobbed through almost every session. 

It was then time for her to put on the running shoes and experience how it feels to force herself to get out of bed in the morning, prepare a meal, and exercise.

According to Bell, people don't talk enough about the emotional hardship that comes with it.

Furthermore, she stated that there are plenty of moments in movies where a female character goes through weight loss, and then her life is fantastic as she is now a size four. She was fed up with this standard.

Brittany Runs a Marathon doesn't sugarcoat the difficulties of changing one's life, be it physically, emotionally, or professionally. And Bell's portrayal is rendered more vivid by the experience she brings to the role, all 40lbs lighter.

Jillian Bell, after her weight loss journey from Brittany Runs a Marathon

Jillian Bell, after her weight loss journey from Brittany Runs a Marathon. (Source: Instagram)

It wasn't until the movie's end that the actress realized she did not know what to do with her life afterward. But, to her, it ended up being in a state of perfect equilibrium.

Bell commented that it's still fun for her to run. However, she does not keep up with her clean diet as much as she should.

She also confessed that initially, she would beat herself over for not being consistent with her workouts. That's when she realized the line between the movie and real-life blurred for her.

She then had to learn how to give herself a break. Bell now has a more nuanced view of method acting because of the impact Brittany Runs a Marathon has on her outlook on weight loss, health, and fitness.