12 Actors Who Played Contrasting Roles and Proved They Are True Acting Chameleons

year ago

Being an actor means that you are often asked to portray contrasting roles that take you down different roads. Some actors choose to do comedy or drama exclusively, but most of them are open to trying out new things. And some others are known for transforming into something different for almost every role they play.

1. Charlize Theron

In 2003, the movie Monster was released. Charlize Theron had to drastically change her looks for this role. She gained 30 pounds, shaved off her eyebrows, and wore fake teeth. Her performance was highly praised by critics. In particular, it was mentioned that the actress could convey emotions with both her eyes and gestures.

One of Charlize’s other best works is Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. Her Furiosa is a fearless warrior who risks her life to save others. Magazines wrote that her heroine “stole the show from its iconic lead character.”

2. Emma Stone

Emma Stone usually plays cute girls with a sense of humor. But this time, she will appear in the role of the insidious villain, Cruella. The film of the same name will be released in 2021 and will tell the story of this charming antagonist who adores everything in black and white and dreams of wearing a fur coat made of Dalmatian skin.

3. Lena Headey

Lena Headey is mostly known for her role of Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones. But she’s had so many other great works. Her Sarah Connor was taken by critics and viewers really positively. She was called “a tough leader of people who will walk through anything to achieve her goal.”

As for the role of Cersei, it brought Lena money and fame, but also the anger of fans. Headey was so convincing in this role that the fans of the series directed their hatred toward her character to her personally. She mentioned that during an autograph session at Comic-Con, people were snatching their books from her hands to prevent her from signing them.

4. Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks is not afraid of portraying diverse characters. Moreover, the actress is willing to sacrifice her beauty in order to play a character in the most authentic way. So, for the role of Effie in The Hunger Games, she was made up in such a way that you could hardly tell who the gorgeous blonde, Banks, really was.

5. Margot Robbie

The many different roles Margot Robbie has played over the years prove that she’s a truly versatile actress. One of her most acclaimed performances is in the movie I, Tonya, where she plays the real-life controversial figure skater, Tonya Harding. The character Robbie plays in the movie is ruthless and unlikable, and she goes to great lengths to assure her victory on the ice rink.

But Robbie is just as convincing in more positive roles as well. Another character she plays, Harley Quinn, is someone that viewers can truly sympathize with, which, in turn, has led many fans to cosplay her iconic looks.

6. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is an actor who has enough talent to play both comedic and dramatic roles. The fact that Carrey knows how to make people laugh and cry has already been proven by films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Truman Show, and many others. And recently, he played the main character in the dramatic thriller, Dark Crimes.

7. Sarah Paulson

In the Mrs. America TV series, Paulson’s character is a pretty homemaker, Alice Macray, who eventually reveals an opposite persona. In American Horror Story: Hotel, the actress plays a reckless and vulgar guest of Hotel Cortez, who has a dark personality.

8. Natalie Dormer

Natalie Dormer is not afraid to play different types of characters. The actress can portray a fatal beauty, like she did in The Tudors and Game of Thrones, or have her temples shaved to become a strong-willed warrior, as she did in The Hunger Games.

In the fantasy horror series, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, Dormer embodied a plain woman and earned even more praise from audiences.

9. Heath Ledger

In A Knight’s Tale, Heath Ledger portrays William Thatcher, a peasant who decides to create a new identity for himself. As a result, he’s not the typical knight in shining armor, which leads to many comical scenes. But in the end, Heath Ledger’s character overcomes many obstacles and even finds true love.

In contrast to his earlier naive and adventurous role, Ledger also plays Joker in A Dark Knight. Joker lacks all empathy and is one of the worst villains ever. On the other hand, he’s also a mastermind that counters the movie’s hero, Batman.

10. Peter Dinklage

Tyrion Lannister was the role that brought Peter Dinklage worldwide fame. But the actor managed to star in a dozen new films after Game of Thrones. For example, Dinklage played a charismatic Russian mafioso, Roman Lunyov, in the criminal comedy, I Care a Lot.

11. Angelina Jolie

The Oscar-winning actress can play a wide range of roles equally well. As Lara Croft, she becomes a hero who fights villains while recovering ancient artifacts. Angelina Jolie portrays another positive character in Changeling: a mother who relentlessly is looking for her son who had disappeared.

In the Grimms’ Fairy Tales-inspired fantasy movie, Maleficent, Jolie appears in a very different role. She plays the main villain who curses a newborn princess out of revenge.

12. Tom Hanks

Perhaps, kind-hearted Forrest Gump is the first character that comes to mind when Tom Hanks is mentioned. The movie Cast Away is a story about a man who found himself on an uninhabited island and had to survive there. In general, this is the story of a modern Robinson Crusoe.

One of his recent movies is the biographical drama Sully. Here, Hanks plays a pilot who carries out the emergency landing of a plane and becomes a hero, but not for long.


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