Brie Larson is the professional name of Brianne Desaulniers. She grew up in Sacramento, California and was homeschooled, and she started studying at the American Conservatory Theatre when she was just 6. Larson relocated to LA just a few years later and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 1998 but her breakthrough came in 2013 when she starred in the film Short Term 12. While she often played comedic roles as a teen, she has a wide range and has acted in more dramatic roles including in Room, and action films like Kong: Skull Island and Avengers: Endgame. She also had a brief music career and released an EP. Larson has co-written and directed several films and won many awards including an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA. She is an activist for gender equality and outspoken about political and social issues. Larson has millions of followers on social media, has been on People’s list of Beautiful people several years in a row, and was named on Time magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in 2019. She is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 125 lbs.
Brie Larson’s Diet
Training to be a superhero in Endgame, Larson followed a clean Paleo-style diet, but she ate plenty and she didn’t find it overly restrictive. Ironically, her diet for Room in which she plays a malnourished captive required a much stricter plan. Still, she didn’t have to skip all carbs, she just eat certain things at certain times of the day. She worked with a nutritionist and all of her meals were carefully calibrated, and involved counting macros. To jumpstart her metabolism in the morning she would have some healthy fat and a dash of carbs, followed by protein after her workout. She also used ate between-meal snacks to keep her energy up. As the day went on, she would remove carbs and stick to primarily protein and fat. Larson drank about a gallon of water a day along with this diet to boost metabolism and help her feel full.
- Low-Medium Carb 25% 25%
- Medium Fat 25% 25%
- Medium-High Protein 60% 60%
A Little Fat Doesn’t Hurt
And neither does a spoonful of sugar. Larson put on 15 lbs. of muscle for Room. She worked with a nutritionist who had her eat almond butter and a teaspoon of jam before her morning workout.
Shake It Up
After her a.m. training session, Larson would have a shake made with whey protein, fruit and more almond butter, or eggs, fruit and a vegetable.
Larson’s trainer took care that everything she ate promoted fat-burning and provided energy, so she never struggled with low blood sugar that can lead to poor eating choices.
A bridge meal is basically a snack, something you eat to keep from getting too hungry between meals. In Larson’s case, her morning bridge would be a piece of fruit, and in the afternoon, some almonds and veggies. She was allowed another small snack of berries before bed to raise insulin and help her sleep.
Larson’s meals were very basic: things like chicken breast, fish, salads and veggies. Her nutritionist recommends lean poultry in the middle of the day because it is ‘neutral’ and doesn’t make you tired, but fatty fish at night because it combats inflammation and promotes good sleep.
Larson drank water all day long, starting with first thing in the morning to initiate digestion. Her nutritionist’s rule was that a fish must be able to swim in the water, so no bubbles or flavors. He recommends people drink about 1/2 oz. of water per lb. of body weight.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Any water a fish couldn't swim in
Larson on her Room diet & Lifestyle
‘I had to stay out of the sun to get rather pale. I went on a restrictive diet…and worked with a trauma specialist to talk about how the brain would organize itself around the sexual abuse and being trapped in a room that long, but it didn’t stick to me.’
Larson on her Room diet, Take II
‘I ate 6 small, bland meals throughout the day, and there was only 2 or 3 things I could eat. At first I liked it because I knew exactly what I was going to have…but then I started to feel trapped by it.’
Larson on Sacrifice
‘When I take on a character, it’s a sacrifice. There’s something that you give up every time.’
Brie Larson’s Fitness Routine
Before landing the role in Endgame, Larson admits she wasn’t especially into going to the gym. She worked with celebrity trainer Jason Walsh to get in shape.
Larson trained for 9 months in a variety of disciplines including wrestling, boxing and judo prior to shooting Endgame.
Get Into Character
Even though she wasn’t supposed to be especially healthy for her role in Room, Larson worked out strenuously to lose weight.
Larson worked out 5 days a week for the better part of a year to become a believable superhero. Her trainer said she worked as hard as anyone he’s ever dealt with, and got as strong as any man of a similar size.
Larson grew her muscles using progressive overload, which is achieved by changing the routine, reps and weight to constantly challenge the body.
Upper Body Focus
Larson did a lot of pull-ups and deadlifts for Endgame. By the end of her training, she could deadlift 215 lbs.
It’s not always hard work for Larson. She also likes to dance, climb rock walls and get outside in nature to mix things up.
Full body foam roll. 1-3 min in each position.
World’s Greatest Stretch: 5-6/side
Half-kneeling band rows: 8-10 reps x 2 sets
Hip thrusts: 8-10 reps x 2 sets
Bench Y-T-W Raise: 10-15 reps x 1 set
Medicine ball slam: 10-15 reps x 2 sets
Landmine deadlift: 8-10 reps x 3 sets
Single-leg landmine deadlift: 8-10 reps x 3 sets
Eccentric bench push-up: 3-4 10-sec holds at each position x 2-3 sets
Isometric pushup: 3-4 10-sec holds at each position x 2-3 sets
Weighted pushup: 8-10 reps x 2 sets
Dumbbell Total Body Complex
6 reps of each:
Isometric: 3-4 10 sec holds x 2-3 sets
90-Degree: 3-4 10 sec holds x 2-3 sets
3-Step Isometric: 2-3 x 2 sets
Assisted Eccentric: 8-10 reps x 2-3 sets
Assisted: 8-10 reps x 2-3 sets
Full: 8-10 reps x 2-3 sets
Larson on Exercise
‘I just wanted to be a brain, so I’ve only cared about reading books…anything that involved my body made me itchy.’
Larson on Training for Endgame
‘This was an opportunity for me to…make my body mine.’
Larson on Training for Room
‘The muscle gave me this surge of testosterone where I just felt so much more power. I’m a pretty relaxed person, so it gave me this sense of urgency and strength to really fight that I had never felt before.’
Brie Larson’s Supplements
Omega-3s also offer many benefits, including reduced inflammation, immunity, healthy brain function and an increase in fat-burning.
Brie Larson’s Lifestyle
Larson’s father is French Canadian and French was her first language. As a child, she would dream up and direct her own home movies, using her cousins as her cast and shooting in her garage. She changed her name from ‘Desaulniers’ to ‘Larson’ because it’s easier to pronounce.
At age 6, Larson was the youngest person ever to be admitted to the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Her parents divorced when she was 7 and her mother moved to Los Angeles to encourage her daughter’s acting dreams.
School of Hard Knocks
Larson’s artistic career got off to a slow start. Her attempted music career fizzled and she missed out on big roles like Thirteen and Juno. She says she considered giving up plenty of times, and supported herself by DJing.
Larson is a feminist and was originally skeptical of taking the role of Danvers in the Marvel Universe, but eventually came to see it as empowering young women.
Larson is a proponent of gender equality and advocates for survivors of sexual assault. She is a member of the Time’s Up initiative and on the board of Women of Cinefamily which promotes films directed and starring women.
Larson on her Activism
‘I’d put it all on the line and be an activist for the rest of my life because it just doesn’t feel right to me to be quiet.’
Larson on Female Heroes
‘I believe that just seeing women be strong and tough is not answering the question of what a female hero looks like. Women have their own set of skills that are worth exploring and seeing on screen.’
Larson on her Parents
‘Sometimes I laugh with my parents, and sometimes I yell at them, and both are therapeutic.’
‘I’m learning the older I get that some feelings are just universal and that I’m not the only one who hates their hair or their life at times.’
Larson on Privacy
‘It’s very scary to allow the world to see you.’
Larson on Hope
‘Maybe you’re not perfect, but you’re willing to actually look at yourself and take some kind of accountability. That’s a change. It might not mean you can turn everything around, but I think there’s something incredibly hopeful about that.’
Larson on Facing Difficulty
‘I’m so used to swimming with the piranhas. And they’re really not that bad.’
Larson on Female Camaraderie
‘Surrounding myself with women of different backgrounds and on different paths and in different stages of their lives has become so valuable to me.’
Short Term 12