No one can accuse Michael Dorman of not being fully committed to his craft.
For Season 2 of Apple TV+’s out-of-this-world astronaut drama For All Mankind, the actor’s space cadet character Gordo Stevens emerged from a 10-year time jump with a drinking problem and an extra 40 lbs. to show for it. And, no, Dorman’s formerly slender frame was not augmented through the use of prosthetics.
“Before Season 2 started, [producers] told me they wanted Gordo to be out of shape,” the 39-year-old Patriot vet recalls to TVLine. “And they said, ‘Prosthetics?’ And I said, ‘Nah.’ If we’re gonna do it, I have to do it. So I saw a bunch of doctors and dietitians, and I put on 40 lbs. in a really short amount of time. I [am] usually 170 lbs. I got to over 210. I pushed it as far as I could.”
While Dorman does not regret taking the method approach, he admits it’s unlikely he would do it again. “It was an experience I think I’m good to do once,” he says with a chuckle. “The way that your body becomes toxic — it affects your thoughts and emotions. Everything shifts. And you’re so inflamed and in pain… and the sleeplessness. It’s crazy because it’s so rapid. It’s a whole different chemical shift in your brain.
“I got to the point where I couldn’t see parts of myself,” he continues. “I couldn’t tie my own shoelaces.”
And if that was not challenging enough, midway through Season 2 — as Gordo began conquering his demons — the 40 lbs. had to come back off just as fast. “We had six-week period where I was able to trim down and reverse everything and get back to 170,” he explains.
The whole undertaking “put me in a pretty dark place,” Dorman sighs, adding that it was particularly “tough to have to do it that quick.”
In the end, “You hope that [the authenticity] translates and reads on the screen,” he says, “and adds something to the performance.”
For All Mankind‘s Season 2 finale premieres Friday morning on Apple TV+.