Richard E. Grant turned to Gary Oldman for Withnail & I weightloss help

The actor only had a few weeks to prepare for the role after Daniel Day Lewis exited the project.

Richard E. Grant turned to Gary Oldman for help when he had to lose weight quickly for his breakout role in cult comedy Withnail & I.

The Oscar nominee won the role of brooding alcoholic Withnail in director Bruce Robinson's 1987 film after Daniel-Day Lewis exited the project and was told to lose 12 pounds in two weeks.

"He (Bruce) was determined that I lose weight: 'You’re very fat, Grant,' he said, 'You’ve gotta lose 12 pounds before we start shooting'," the actor tells Rolling Stone.

Grant thought it best to call on an expert and asked Oldman how he slimmed down to play skinny punk icon Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy.

"I'd just spent a year in my unemployment trying to put on weight with weight-gain powder," Grant recalls. "I had just worked with Gary Oldman, so I said, 'Gary, what do I do to get this weight off?'"

The Can You Ever Forgive Me? star reveals his pal suggested he try some "weight-off powder", but refused to go into detail about exactly how he managed to perfect his thin, gaunt look for Robinson's film.

Grant won acclaim for the role but recently admitted he was so convinced Withnail & I would be a huge flop he offered to hand back his salary to the director.

"When I saw the first showing of Withnail & I before the music had been done I gauged blood out of my wife's wrist while watching it," he explained. "I was so distraught at what I saw that I said to Bruce Robinson, the writer/director, 'I know that I f**ked up your film. Please take my money back because I know I'll never work again'. I was wholly convinced that would be the truth. I'm very grateful that other people didn't feel the same way."

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