London: Hollywood star Tom Cruise will reportedly pile on the pounds to play a spy in a gory thriller "Mena".
The 52-year-old "Top Gun" actor will portray pilot Barry Seal, who trafficked drugs and guns for Colombian gangsters before becoming a CIA agent, reported Daily Star.
The real-life Seal, who was murdered by a Medellin cartel hit team, was almost twice Cruise's weight.
Cruise wore a 'fat suit' to play an obese movie mogul in the 2008 comedy "Tropic Thunder". He has, however, been told he cannot do the same for Mena as it would not look realistic.
"He is determined to do whatever it takes to pull it off," a source said.
Seal, known as 'Fat Man' by his CIA handlers and his supposed cartel allies, was played by Dennis Hopper in the 1991 HBO TV drama "Double Crossed".
A senior executive at Universal Pictures, which is producing the film, said, "He's determined to become Barry Seal. Tom believes it's the only way he can do justice to an incredible script and he has been meeting director Doug Liman to discuss how he intends to play him."
Cruise's friends are apparently worried that a sudden weight gain could have serious health repercussions.
"He isn't concerned about the risks. Tom believes he has finally found a lead role that could win him the Oscar that has always eluded him. He is determined to do whatever it takes to pull it off," a friend said.