Neil Patrick Harris: I Got 'Jared Leto Manorexic' for My New Role

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How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris, 40, is gearing up for his role in the Broadway musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and in a new interview with ABC News, Harris reveals he lost 20 pounds off his already skinny frame to play the role of Hedwig, a transgender East German rocker.

In fact, fans were shocked when a racy, shirtless Vanity Fair picture of the actor showing off his notably more defined physique hit the Internet this week.

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"I've lost 20 pounds almost for the role to try and be more sort of more feminine, which changed my whole posture,” Harris told ABC News Wednesday.

Harris likened himself to Jared Leto, who famously lost a shocking amount of weight to play transgender woman Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club.

"I'm becoming like Jared Leto 'manorexic,'" Harris joked. "Every time I eat like half a sandwich I'm like, 'All right, just one chip.' And I eat the chip and I'm like, 'Oh no, what have I done?'"

He also revealed that his transformation into a transgender woman, who suffers from a botched sex change, requires nearly two hours of hair and makeup before each show.

"For me, it's fun to play Hedwig and start the show with a lot of people kind of quizzically staring at me and thinking it's for show value and by the end feeling like they're united with her," Harris said.

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Hedwig and the Angry Inch is set to hit New York's Belasco Theater on April 22.

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