The actor dropped 60 pounds (27 kilograms) before the hit U.S. programme's final season in 2011, boasting a new healthy figure that was very different than his previous onscreen persona.

But as the big screen version kept hitting delays, the writer, Doug Ellin, wasn't sure he could address his character's physical change without writing it into the movie, and Ferrera reveals Ellin actually confronted him about the delicate situation.

In an interview with comedienne Ellen Degeneres during her U.S. talk show on Thursday (04Jun15), Ferrara said, "Doug actually did ask me to gain some weight back for the movie and I said, 'I'm gonna charge you per pound and it's gonna be very expensive!'

"So he said, 'Fine, keep it off and I'll just have to write skinny jokes.'

He added, "But there's even a fat joke in the trailer, like, 'You used to be fat.' He still managed to work one in."