Oliver Stark, the British star of the hit Fox series 9-1-1, is approaching his seventh anniversary as a vegan. “I went vegan for ethical reasons,” he says. “I like animals. I didn’t necessarily want to eat them... It’s just become my lifestyle now. I don’t have to think twice about it.” Men’s Health caught up with Stark at his Los Angeles home, where he lives amid shelves of tofu; he gave us the fridge tour.
Stark’s diet is important. He plays a firefighter on television and often has to perform real feats of functional strength, including rescuing other characters from drowning and carrying them out of buildings. (He says he changed his training to make such stunts possible. “It gives me a lot of confidence when a director says, ‘Oliver, do you think you can pick this person up?’ Absolutely. It makes me feel really good about myself. It makes me feel connected in the scene. I think it gives the other actor I have to manhandle a lot of confidence.”)
To maintain that strength, Stark prioritizes protein, a macronutrient one might think hard to consume—and especially to the quantity needed for a muscular Stark—when vegan. Stark says there’s little difficulty. He gets most of his protein through tofu, supplementing it with nuts and garbanzo beans. He’ll also snack on plant-based yogurt with jam and protein powder.
Stark says his role helps him maintain discipline. “I play a firefighter,” he explains. “And I feel like there is a pressure to honor the athleticism of real-world firefighters. It makes my [dietary] choices a lot easier to stick to.”
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