15 Actors Who Went Through Makeover for the Role That We Simply Did Not Believe Our Eyes

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In the world of Hollywood, actors and actresses are renowned for their willingness to push boundaries when it comes to preparing for movie roles. Both male actors undergo significant transformations, and women sacrifice their conventional beauty to authentically inhabit specific characters.

Charlize Theron in Monster

When Charlize Theron was selected to portray Aileen Wuornos, it was clear that she had embraced one of the most demanding challenges in her acting career. To fully inhabit her role, Charlize Theron underwent a significant transformation. Her remarkable makeup for Monster eerily transformed her into a mirror image of Aileen Wuornos. The role’s weight, both emotionally and physically, necessitated a profound metamorphosis. Theron gained 30 lbs, shaved her eyebrows and wore false teeth to accurately envisage Wuornos.

Keanu Reeves in Bill & Ted Face The Music

Keanu Reeves is unrecognizable as he sports a beard and a mohawk in the movie Bill & Ted Face The Music. Keanu, who plays the character Ted, also has more muscles. To achieve this new look, Keanu had to wear a muscle suit, which included new prison tattoos for Ted.

Elijah Wood in The Toxic Avenger

In the upcoming remake of The Toxic Avenger, Elijah Wood takes on the unique role of Fritz Garbinger, a character tailor-made for his talents. Within the film, Wood embodies Fritz, the sinister henchman who executes the villainous tasks, sporting a distinctly eerie and gothic appearance, complete with a bald head. The primary objective was to transform him into an unrecognizable figure, distancing him from the sweet, kindly image associated with Elijah Wood and making him almost as monstrous as Toxie himself.

Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta

The iconic scene in the movie where the main female character shaves her hair was true. And Natalie Portman, who played Evey, eagerly anticipated the opportunity to shave her head, as it was something she had long desired to experience. When actress was asked what were she thinking about in a moment of cutting her hair off, she answered: “I was very focused on being where the character is at that moment, which is in a very traumatic place with this violence being committed against her. We only had one shot to do it because you can’t go back and re-shave the head. We had several cameras on, and we had rehearsed the head shaving with volunteer guys from the crew. But, for me personally it was a choice I was happy to make.”

Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Endgame

In all the Avengers movies, Chris Hemsworth portrayed the character of the God of Thunder. It was quite a departure from his usual muscular image. For this specific film, he had to put on a “fat suit” that weighed around 60 to 70 pounds. This was because his character, Thor, had chosen to retire from being a superhero and was now embracing a laid-back lifestyle. He spent most of his time playing video games and indulging in overeating, living the life of a typical couch potato.

Gwendoline Christie in Game of Thrones

It’s astonishing that the actress who portrayed Brienne of Tarth, a determined woman striving to become the first female knight in the Seven Kingdoms, could possess such elegance and refinement. Gwendoline Christie is romantically involved with fashion designer Giles Deacon. In preparation for her role, Christie embarked on a transformation journey. She began by adopting a more androgynous style, wearing unisex clothing daily to align with her character’s mindset. Additionally, she underwent rigorous training to build muscle mass to enhance her impressive 6’2″ stature and authentically embody the look and demeanor required for playing Brienne.

Jared Leto in Chapter 27

In the biographical drama film Chapter 27, Jared Leto took on the challenging role of Mark David Chapman, the devoted John Lennon fan who turned into a murderer. To prepare for this role, Jared Leto went to great lengths, gaining a staggering 67 pounds by consuming a nightly concoction of microwaved pints of ice cream mixed with soy sauce and olive oil. This rapid weight gain led to Leto developing gout, necessitating the use of a wheelchair to manage the sudden physical strain on his body.

Emma Thompson in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Emma Thompson is undoubtedly one of the finest English actresses we’ve ever witnessed. She holds the distinction of receiving two Oscar nominations in 1993, a remarkable feat. This chic and graceful lady transformed significantly to portray the quirky and somewhat bohemian divination teacher, Sybill Trelawney, at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. The eyeglasses she had to wear were quite powerful. They were crafted from magnifying glasses, which must have posed quite a challenge for the actress in her role.

Taryn Manning in Orange Is the New Black

Taryn Manning is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Mimi in Crossroads, where she shared the screen with Britney Spears. Yet, for her role as Tiffany “Pennsatucky” in Orange Is the New Black, she underwent a dramatic transformation in her appearance. When we say “dramatic,” we really mean it — just look at the picture! In the series’s first season, she played a significant antagonist character.

Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine

Ryan Gosling is undoubtedly known for his striking good looks in all his films, including Blue Valentine—at least in the beginning. However, as the movie delves into how its characters evolve, we witness a drastic transformation in Gosling’s appearance. Later in the film, he portrays a working-class, older, overweight, and partially bald character—a far cry from his usual on-screen image. It’s almost unrecognizable, but it’s still him!

Gosling and Michelle Williams went the extra mile for authenticity during the filming process. They lived together in a house in Pennsylvania, sharing a bathroom and handling daily chores like washing dishes, just like a real couple. Moreover, their food budget was determined based on what their characters’ salaries would realistically allow.

Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Actress Rooney Mara is recognized for her exquisitely delicate facial features, often described as a blend of fragility and delicacy. However, when she embraced the role of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, she underwent a remarkable transformation. All of the character’s piercings that you witnessed on screen were authentic. Mara, much like her fellow cast members, was dedicated to faithfully embodying the character as described in the book.

Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose

Marechal Aurore / ABACA / Abaca / East News, © La Vie en Rose / Légende Films and co-producers

Marion Cotillard is celebrated as an actress and a Dior model, known for her exquisite beauty and grace—a reputation that’s hard to deny. However, when she took on the iconic role of the renowned French singer Edith Piaf, she made a striking transformation. Cotillard shaved a portion of her head and eyebrows, which were meticulously recreated using eyeliner. Additionally, she adopted a hunched posture to replicate Piaf’s diminutive stature, standing at just 4’11″. Her exceptional portrayal earned her the Oscar for Best Actress.

Naomi Grossman in American Horror Story: Freak Show

Naomi Grossman gained recognition for her portrayal of Pepper in American Horror Story: Asylum, although the character’s story was actually told in American Horror Story: Freak Show. To embody this unique character, Grossman underwent a remarkable transformation. In addition to shaving her head, she spent extensive hours with makeup artists and wore multiple prostheses. The result was truly astonishing, rendering Grossman virtually unrecognizable in her role.

Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry

Hilary Swank stunned Hollywood with her portrayal of Brandon Teena, a transgender boy, in the film Boys Don’t Cry. In preparation for this transformative role, the actress fully immersed herself in the character, living as a man for an entire month. This commitment to her craft often puzzled her neighbors, as they genuinely believed the young man seen entering and leaving her home was her brother. Swank’s exceptional performance garnered numerous accolades, including an Academy Award for Best Actress.

America Ferrera in Ugly Betty

America Ferrera’s portrayal of Betty showcased her undeniable beauty, cleverly concealed beneath braces and unkempt hair, while her exceptional acting skills breathed life into the “unattractive, geeky, out-of-style” character.

Actors and actresses possess a unique ability to undergo remarkable transformations, both on-screen and in their personal lives. Of course, like all people, celebrities can change a lot with time. While others keep their handsome appearance through the years.


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