Almost more than anyone in any other profession, an actor needs to take excellent care of his or her body. This is for a much more important reason that just fitting into the Hollywood mold of good looks. That is a trend which will pass in time. The reason being physically fit is so important for an actor is that your ability to play diverse and physically interesting characters is limited only by your own physical capabilities. This means that in order to be the best actor possible, you have to be as fit as you can possibly be. Don’t forget, fit doesn’t mean thin! Fit means being flexible, being strong, and having the stamina for this very difficult job.
Flexibility was mentioned and with good reason. Being flexible is one of the most overlooked areas of fitness, and only the recent yoga craze has really emphasized how much flexibility training can contribute to one’s overall fitness levels. Being flexible is good for your body in all ways, and makes you much less prone to injury. This makes your body much more able to withstand the stresses that acting places upon it. For many people that sounds silly, but most of the time acting on a film or TV set means long days with a great deal of repetitive motion. That can be hard on even the healthiest body, so it is important to take good care of yourself. There are many things an actor has to worry about maintaining and training at all times, and physical fitness is a very important item on the list.
While flexibility is important, so is stamina. Those long days require a great deal of cardiovascular fitness. Not to say that more out of shape people can’t act, but the chances are that by the end of a twelve hour shoot they will be giving much less than their best performances. Given the choice between that actor, and the one who is still giving it 110% at the end of the day, which one do you think the director is going to want to hire for his next big project?