I heard somewhere he actually lost weight to play Falstaff...but I can’t feel excited reading about his weight, he was from what I’ve read a really severe binge eater (And drinker, etc, etc.) When it seems so obviously pathological I don’t like to fetishize it.
to be clear, though, I do think he was kind of a magnificent specimen. 6’2”, about 400 lbs at his heaviest, with that deep deep voice.
As good a place as any to say watch Chimes at Midnight!!! It's Welles' cinematic adaptation of Henry IV and Henry V centered around Falstaff, and it's not only his best movie but probably the best Shakespeare film of all time. Streaming on Criterion Channel.