Rahul Kohli Gained 30lbs For Midnight Mass By Following The 'Eat Crap' Diet

Rahul Kohli brought his all to "Midnight Mass." In the religious-themed horror series, Kohli stars as Sheriff Hassan, a Muslim lawman trying to mend his fractured relationship with his son and maintain faith amongst the town's overwhelming Catholicism. Over the course of seven episodes, "Midnight Mass" offers a relentlessly emotional examination of faith, religion and death through the story of an island community altered by a mysterious priest.

Throughout the miniseries, Sheriff Hassan juggles quite a bit — parenting his son, mourning his deceased wife, reckoning with internal demons, and trying to solve the supernatural mystery plaguing Crockett Island. It's a lot for one man to handle, and "Midnight Mass" sees Kohli's character struggle and hurt, but always try his damndest. And whether he's delivering an emotional monologue and watching from the sidelines, Kohli brings great sincerity to the role.

Speaking to Men's Health, the actor revealed that his dedication to Hassan also included a physical transformation — gaining 30 pounds of fat. How, you ask? According to Kohli, his method was "eat crap, eat crap, eat crap." He added:

"It was the stupidest method acting nonsense I've ever done, where I put on all the kind of weight that the industry would be like 'oooh look at him!' only to have to lose it all and hit the gym hard."

Kohli did in fact lose the weight, and actually did so sooner than expected.

The Transformation of Sheriff Hassan

Pandemic shutdowns led to a delay in filming "Midnight Mass," which came after the sets were constructed and the actors had arrived, ready to shoot. Not knowing when filming would resume, Kohli realized he would have to keep the weight on indefinitely. This was obviously a bad decision, healthwise — confirmed when he began waking up in the middle of the night with heartburn and stomach problems. Luckily, since nothing had been filmed, there was still a chance to change the look of the character. In an interview with Thrillist, he explained:

"I ended up texting Mike around July with a picture of Joel, [the main character] from The Last of Us. And I said, 'What do you think about the Sheriff looking like this, instead?' And Mike immediately was like, 'Fuck yeah! That's the look. That's the one.' We did the look and I had to lose the weight."

Kohli ended up losing the 30lbs of fat he'd gained on the "eat crap" diet, only to regain it in the form of muscle with help from a team of trainers in Vancouver — just in time for filming on "Midnight Mass" to finally begin.

Aside from "The Last of Us," Kohli did plenty more research to prepare for the role. He watched Spaghetti Westerns, rewatched "Deadwood," and put plenty of thought into the mannerisms and details of a small town sheriff. Above all, he hoped Hassan would feel familiar. In his own words, Kohli "wanted to make sure that the audience saw the silhouette of the sheriff and thought of everything they've seen before." This was in large part because, despite the outline of him, Sheriff Hassan is distinct from a John Wayne stand-in. As Kohli told Men's Health:

"The Sheriff role in cinema, and TV, for many years is one of the most iconic American heroes, and it has existed for years. And [Flanagan] had taken America's greatest hero in cinema, and cast a man who has the physicality, or at least the look, of America's greatest villain post 9/11: the bearded brown man."

So he tapped into the spirit of the cliché Hollywood character and updated him. "Midnight Mass" reimagines the quintessential American hero as a Muslim man, defending the Qur'an and performing salat (the Muslim daily prayer), all while trying his best to protect the residents of Crockett Island

What's Next for Rahul Kohli?

Looking to the future, Kohli can't imagine leaving Mike Flanagan's orbit. Their relationship began with Flanagan as the creative mind and showrunner behind "The Haunting of Bly Manor," but "Midnight Mass" was a painstakingly personal passion project for Flanagan, so he served as writer-director for all seven episodes. After developing such a great creative relationship, Kohli told Men's Health that he doesn't want to work with anyone other than Flanagan, adding:

"Which is upsetting my team! Because they want to send me for stuff, and I'm like 'No! Because Mike said maybe we might do this later, so I want to be free.' So, that's what's happened right now—I don't want to break up with Mike and be with anyone else."

Despite his undying loyalty to Mike Flanagan's very special brand of horror, actors gotta act. After starring in all 71 episodes of The CW's "iZombie," rising to greater heights with "Bly Manor" and delivering a scene-stealing performance in "Midnight Mass," the offers for Kohli's star power are coming in. He mentioned a (still unannounced) movie he filmed immediately after "Midnight Mass" wrapped, and has since joined the cast of the upcoming Mandy Patinkin-led detective series "Career Opportunities in Murder & Mayhem."

Now that we've seen Rahul Kohli star as a mystery solving small-town lawman and adorably romantic cook, maybe it's time for him to delve into something more sinister. Might Kohli be the murderer at the center of the new series? Looks like we'll have to keep an eye on him to find out.