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Gwyneth Paltrow’s body double in Shallow Hal developed eating disorder after filming movie

Gwyneth Paltrow’s body double in Shallow Hal developed eating disorder after filming movie

She underwent gastric band surgery

The woman who played Gwyneth Paltrow’s body double in Shallow Hal battled eating disorders and said she was ‘technically starving to death’ after filming.

Ivy Snitzer was a 20-year-old acting student when she landed the role in the 2001 romantic comedy.

For those who haven’t seen the film it centers on the titular ‘shallow’ Hal (played by Jack Black) who becomes hypnotized so that he can only see the inner beauty of women - and then falls head over heels in love with overweight Rosemary (played by Paltrow).

For the role of Rosemary, Paltrow donned a fat suit - but for certain scenes, which showed closeups of the character’s arms, torso and thighs, Snitzer acted as stand-in.

Now 42 and running an insurance agency, Snitzer recently took part in an interview with the Guardian where she opened up about her experiences following the movie’s release.

Snitzer said that filming the movie was a great experience.

Gwyneth Platrow in Shallow Hal.
20th Century Fox

“It was so exciting. It was just fun to be part of a movie – there are so few people who actually get to do that,” she said.

She added that Paltrow and Black were ‘delightful’ and ‘really nice’ and that she was treated as though she ‘mattered’.

However, Snitzer says she wasn’t quite prepared for what would happen after Shallow Hal was released, admitting ‘it didn’t occur to me that the film would be seen by millions of people’.

Being in the movie, and taking part in promotional interviews for it, led to attention from the public, with one cruel person even finding her address and sending her diet pills.

Snitzer began to suffer with extreme body image issues and less than two years after the movie was released she underwent gastric band surgery - although she told the Guardian that the decision wasn’t connected to taking part in the movie.

“I hated my body the way I was supposed to,” she said. “I ate a lot of salads. I had eating disorders that I was very proud of.”

Ivy Snitzer played Gwyneth Platrow’s body double.
20th Century Fox

Alongside the surgery, Snitzer revealed she attempted to speed up her weight loss by over exercising and restricting her calorie intake.

But things went badly wrong when the band slipped, with Snitzer explaining: "I got a torsion – like dogs get and then die."

With no health insurance in place until she passed a probationary period at a new job, Snitzer was left unable to consume anything thicker than water for three months and became so malnourished doctors were unable to operate to remove the band and she had to be hooked up to an IV drip daily to ‘not die’.

In the end, medics decided to perform a gastric bypass operation, which involved removing parts of her stomach, meaning she still has to eat ‘weird tiny portions’ and is no longer able to eat and drink at the same time.

If you've been affected by any of the issues in this article and would like to speak with someone in confidence, call the BEAT Eating Disorders helpline on 0808 801 0677. Helplines are open 365 days a year from 9am–8pm during the week, and 4pm–8pm on weekends and bank holidays. Alternatively, you can try the one-to-one webchat

Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox/ Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Topics: Film and TV, Health, Mental Health