13 Actors Who Played Older Characters but Aged Differently in Real Life
Much of the magic of filmmaking lies in the makeup department, which is in charge of transforming our favorite actors into the roles we see on screen. Sometimes, they have to play a character much older than themselves, and over time we can see how well the makeup artists were on set.
1. Maggie Smith in Hook
At the age of 56, Maggie Smith played Wendy’s grandmother in Hook, a movie in which, thanks to makeup, she could look 92 years old. In the photo on the right, we can see Maggie on the red carpet at the age of 81.
2. Robert De Niro in Once Upon a Time in America
Robert De Niro had to convince director Sergio Leone that he could play Noodles as a young man and when he’s around 60. The photo on the right shows what De Niro really looks like in his 60s.
3. Sally Field in Forrest Gump
4. Mel Gibson in Forever Young
5. Anthony Hopkins in Legends of the Fall
6. Melanie Griffith in Shining Through
At 33, the actress played Linda Voss, who in the present time of the film is an old woman telling her story for a documentary. Although Melanie is not exactly that old nowadays, we can see how time has treated her well now that she’s in her 60s.
7. Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future II
When the actor was 28 years old, he returned for the second installment of the iconic sci-fi saga Back to the Future. In this film, Michael’s character, Marty McFly, travels back to the future and meets his 2015, 47-year-old self.
8. Marlon Brando in The Godfather
9. Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2
Linda Hamilton was in her 30s when she played an aging Sarah Connor for the second Terminator installment. You probably don’t remember her, as this scene was removed from the final edit. Today, the actress is in her 60s and looking great.
10. Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Cate Blanchett played Daisy Williams in the renowned film starring alongside Brad Pitt. In this production, the actress played Daisy at different ages. In the scene on the left, her character was around 57 years old, while in real life the actress was not even in her 40s.
11. Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man
For this film, the actor had to age 88 years to impersonate Jack Crabb, a 121-year-old man. Fortunately, this was made possible thanks to the makeup of the talented Dick Smith. Today, the actor is in his 80s.
12. Julianne Moore in The Hours
For this psychological drama, the actress played both the younger and older version of Laura Brown. At the time, she was in her 40s, so the makeup allowed her to make the leap in time she needed for the film.
13. Jada Pinkett Smith in Matrix Resurrections
After 18 years, Jada returned to the role of Niobe, who was given a look that made the passage of time evident to those outside the Matrix. After so many years, the actress still looks very beautiful.
What other actor do you remember who has brought a character older than themselves to life? How difficult do you think it is to act as someone much older than you?