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Q&A: 'Young and Hungry' Star Jonathan Sadowski

In a world full of fit actors, standing out takes more than just chops and chiseled abs. We talked to this up-and-comer about the journey.

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jonathan sadowski

The age of average-looking actors is far behind us. It started with Conan the Barbarian, when Arnold Schwarzenegger proved that muscles belong on the big screen. Fast-forward 32 years and the expectations for actors to look incredible have only gone up. Take Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine; his first portrayal of the clawed mutant pales in comparison to the physique we see in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Chris Pratt is another example. The actor went from chubby to ripped during the past year for his role in Marvel’s new movie Guardians of the Galaxy. While these actors may be well-known, constantly going from role to role, actors of a different caliber take their fitness just as seriously.

34-year-old Jonathan Sadowski is an actor who stays true to these modern ideals. Sadowski, who has starred in The Chernobyl Diaries and Friday the 13th, puts his fitness first. We had the chance to sit down with the up-and-coming actor to discuss his fitness-oriented lifestyle and his lead role in ABC Family’s new show Young and Hungry.

Muscle & Fitness: So first off, how did you find acting as your career?

Jonathan Sadowski: I studied theater at the University of Illinois. I was originally a finance major, and then I transferred into theater my sophomore year. My first audition ever was for the acting conservatory at Illinois. I graduated December of 2001 and ended up moving to Los Angeles in January of 2002.

MF: There is a lot of pressure for actors nowadays to stay in great shape. Do you feel that pressure at all?

JS: You always have to be ready for whatever. I can never get too big because you never know if I have to play a nerd, or I can never get too skinny because you never know if I have to play someone who is beefed up. I walk a fine line down the middle. In my new show “Young and Hungry,” they had me with my shirt off for the first three episodes. You really have to be on point. I work out year round, but when I found out that I was going to be in a towel I upped the ante. I lifted heavier, [had] higher protein intake and cut out fattier foods to get a nice lean look on screen.

MF: What is your diet like in general?

JS: As far as diet goes, I try to eat something every hour, whether it is a handful of almonds, a mini sandwich or a protein shake. It is called the campfire analogy. If you pitch a camp fire and throw one huge log on the campfire, the log will take a while to start smoking. Then finally it will start burning, and burn for a while, before you throw another huge log on. If you get a fire going and throw a bunch of little sticks on it periodically it will keep burning. I try and do that with my metabolism. I am blessed with a really fast metabolism so I am constantly burning calories. I can get away with a hotel gym; all I need is a pull-up bar and a bench press. I slack on the road (laughs) - I can get away with the bare minimum.

MF: Do you train on your own or do you have trainers who work out with you?

JS: I have two trainers. One trainer is very weightlifting oriented and the other is very circuit oriented. If I have to beef up, I can go to one trainer… or if I need to shred up I can go to the other guy…and not be able to move the next day.

MF: You work out six days a week, so do you like working out that much? Or is it something you do because you have to?

JS: I enjoy lifting weights. I really do. The thing about lifting weights is that you see results. I enjoy watching a progression, or feeling a progression. With cardio it is like, I’m getting in shape for what? I don’t play a sport anymore.  I do not like treadmills; I try and stay as far as away from those as I can (laughs).

MF: You have worked with some big names; William Shatner and Bruce Willis. Are there any actors who really inspire you fitness wise to stay in shape all year round?

JS: I think Brad Pitt is a badass. Christian Bale too. Those guys can just really transform their bodies. If you see American Psycho, and then The Machinist where he (Bale) gets down to like 100 pounds ... that is nuts. Tom Hardy is another one too; he was a beast in Warrior. Brad Pitt in Fight club blows my mind, because you have to be so strict.

See Sadowski in Young and Hungry, which airs at 8 p.m., 7 p.m. Central on ABC Family. Also look out for Sadowski in the movie It’s All Relative, which is set to come out sometime this year.

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