03/11/2011 at 12:00 PM EST
When Larry the Cable Guy was offered the title role of Tooth Fairy 2,
he jumped at the opportunity – despite the tight pink outfits and inevitable comparisons with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who starred in the first film.
"The Rock is buff and ripped, so it was funny to see him dressed like the tooth fairy," says Larry, 48. "But it's even funnier to see a fat white guy in a tutu. I didn't care that I was gaining weight. I thought that fatter was funnier."
But as shooting wraps up on the movie, Larry (real name: Dan Whitney) admits that he needs to shed some weight to be healthy.
After losing 50 lbs.
last year, he has gained it all back through a poor diet and inactivity. "I was down to 225 lbs.," says the 5'11" funnyman. "Now I weigh about 275 lbs. I've got a lot of work to do."
The fundamentals of weight loss are not a mystery to Larry. "I need to cut out sugar, not eat late at night, and do some cardio," Larry told PEOPLE on the Tooth Fairy 2
set. "I get what needs to be done, but it's hard work."
So hard that he has enlisted the aid of a trainer who will coach him through the process. "A trainer is good," he says, "but it's ultimately up to me to do the work. I always joke that my wife gets me a trainer and I lose 50 lbs. by trying to run away from him. But I know I need to do something drastic."
When Larry gets heavier, he struggles with sleep apnea. "I can't breathe when I'm heavy," he says. "That freaks me out. And everything else takes a lot of effort. Just tying my shoes can make me winded."
Plus, Larry says playing with his kids – Wyatt, 4, and Reagan, 3 – is nearly impossible. They like to wrestle and run. They want to shoot baskets or play baseball. I can't do that as well when I'm heavy."
So what is his ultimate weight loss goal? "I'd like to go down to a B-cup," he quips. "No, I just need to get healthy. I've got a lot going on right now; I want to be healthy enough to enjoy it."
And if there's a Tooth Fairy 3
? "I'll get back into the tutu," he says. "But it will just have to be smaller."