Jennifer Grey, 62, looks UNRECOGNIZABLE transforming into cult leader Gwen Shamblin
Jennifer Gray has shared a sneak peek at her transformation into Christian cult leader Gwen Shamblin for upcoming Lifetime series Starving for Salvation.
The Dirty Dancing actress, 62, channeled the late diet guru with her signature voluminous blonde hairstyle.
She threw a cold and expressionless face in a photo shared to her Instagram account on Monday.
Call Me Gwen: Jennifer Gray has shared a sneak peak at her transformation into Christian cult leader Gwen Shamblin in the upcoming Lifetime movie Starving for Salvation
“Call me Gwen #starvingforsalvation #gwenshamblin @lifetime wig: @robpickens hair: @lynelapiana monitor grab: @nancydarabennett,” Jennifer captioned the photo.
Jennifer appeared to offer another glimpse into her new role with a photo shared last week.
In the picture, Jennifer rocked the same blonde hairdo and a heavy dose of makeup while clad in a leopard print.
“Up to no good in Montreal,” she captioned the picture.
Coming up: Jennifer’s new film is slated for release early next year; pictured May 2022
Starving For Salvation will chronicle the controversial late diet guru, who died last year when her plane crashed into a lake.
The new Lifetime movie is set to follow Shamblin’s success with her weight loss program, Megachurch Remnant Fellowship and death, according to E!
The film follows the release of the HBO Max documentary The Way Down, which spoke to Church survivors and the horrifying details of the dieting and brainwashing they were subjected to.
Sarah Paulson will also play Gwen in a scripted adaptation of the HBO Max doc, according to Deadline.
Raised in the ultra-strict Church of Christ, Shamblin was a trained nutritionist who began her Weigh Down workshops in the 1980s. The Weigh Down workshops were held in communities and, as word of mouth spread, grew to more than 250,000 subscribers in over 14,000 communities in 70 countries.
‘Up to no good in Montreal’: In the picture, Jennifer rocked the same blonde hairdo and a heavy dose of makeup while clad in a leopard print
Controversial: Starving For Salvation will chronicle the late diet guru Gwen Shamblin, who died last year when her plane crashed into a lake
She expanded her business in the 1990s with merchandise, t-shirts, hats and a slew of books such as: What would Jesus eat?, The Divine Diet and Body by God. Her 1997 juggernaut was a book she published called The Weight Down Diet.
Shamblin and her weight loss diet were a “massive media hit,” Rev. Rafael Martinez, a cult interventionist, said on the show. The book sold over 400,000 copies and Shamblin was all over CNN from 20/20 to Larry King. She also embarked on nationwide tours, with devotees appearing on stage and holding up their taller dresses to a cheering audience: “God took 86 pounds from me!”
Shamblin gave her approach a biblical twist, teaching people to “honor God in their bodies.”
“Any time you reach for food 15 to 20 times a day, run to God instead,” she said.
Raised in the ultra-strict Church of Christ, Shamblin was a trained nutritionist who began her Weigh Down workshops in the 1980s. The Weigh Down workshops were held in communities and, as word of mouth spread, grew to more than 250,000 subscribers in over 14,000 communities in 70 countries
In reality, her weight-loss approach was a disguised version of intuitive eating, a decades-old practice of eating only when hungry. Martinez said, “For her, it was a divine revelation.”
Terasseee Morris said she started losing weight right away. “I lost 27 pounds in two months. So the program itself works and it’s just a proportion control.”
In 1999, Shamblin founded the Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, Tennessee with a focus on “helping people turn away from the love of food and towards the love of God.”
Morris, who lost 138 pounds in 18 months, said she was told to stop eating to lose more weight. If people didn’t lose more than two pounds that week, they were instructed to fast. “The faster you do it, the holier you are,” she said.
The film follows the release of the HBO Max documentary The Way Down, which spoke to Church survivors and the horrifying details of the dieting and brainwashing they were subjected to
Soon after, Shamblin began preaching that her creed of weight loss was effective in curing every other supposed ill in the world, touting that members of the Remnants were able to break free “from slavery, from drugs, alcohol, cigarettes… , overeating and overconsumption”.
“I was advised that to be in God’s good will, you have to lose about four pounds a week,” Laura Alvarez said in The Way Down Part Two.
“Then they put me on 10 bites a day,” she says. She was also told to fast every other month with no food except a few sips of broth.
The extreme starvation diet caused so much damage to Alvarez’s body that she became ill the first time she conceived. When doctors did a biopsy, they asked if she was struggling with bulimia or anorexia. “I said, ‘I’m starving myself,’ and they said, ‘Your body has eaten away its kidneys, that’s what it does when you starve.”