Actor Jeff Daniels has taken up early morning weight training to help him slim down for his lead role in U.S. drama The Newsroom.

The Dumb & Dumber star, who plays news anchor Will MCAvoy in the series, admits he needed to get creative with his exercise regime because lackluster gym sessions were not helping him lose weight.

He says, "Kettle bells have been my thing because for Newsroom (sic), the anchor's got to stay in shape and so you go to work at six in the morning and I'm like, 'What can I do at like four, 4.30 in the morning?' So I got these kettle bells and started doing all this core (work) and suddenly that (weight loss) happened."

Daniels also reveals he has found a healthier solution to his penchant for late night snacking, replacing his favourite junk foods with bland rice cakes.

He explains, "My favourite snack that eliminated all the ice cream, pizza and... chips... what replaced it was rice cakes with ketchup, mustard and sweet relish. You get like, three of those on a plate and you really load the condiments up, (and it's like) you're eating hot dogs. In your head, you're eating hot dogs. I tricked myself."