14 Actors Who Look Exactly Like the Historical Figures They Portrayed in Movies
Acting is about bringing your character “alive” so that viewers will believe that they see a real person on screen. But portraying a historical figure is more complicated. In biopics, the work of makeup artists is very important because the actor or actress portraying the historical figure should look as much as possible like them.
At Bright Side, we were impressed with how similar some historical figures and the actors who portrayed them are. See for yourself.
Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani (House of Gucci)
The creators of this movie thoroughly studied Patrizia’s appearance and behavior traits. They wanted the actress to look exactly like her, so they even studied the way Patrizia talked, how she dyed her hair, and how she painted her lips.
Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci (House of Gucci)
The resemblance between Adam and Maurizio was achieved mainly thanks to the eyeglasses and hairstyle.
Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana (Spencer)
A whole crew worked hard to achieve the resemblance between the actress and the princess. Cameramen shot her at a certain angle, with the right makeup and hair, in the proper lighting. Kristen is often shot from behind for this reason. Makeup and costume artists made sure the actress had Diana’s style when it came to clothing and makeup.
Jack Farthing as Charles, Prince of Wales (Spencer)
Jack Farthing is British, just like Prince Charles. Perhaps this was one of the things that helped him embody his character so well. By the way, this was not the first time he’s played a historical figure. Earlier, he portrayed John Lennon in a miniseries.
Granit Rushiti as Zlatan Ibrahimović (I Am Zlatan)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the most fascinating figures in modern-day soccer. The movie talks about a few periods of his life, that is why he is portrayed by a few actors. The main role was given to Granit Rushiti who used to play soccer too.
Shirley MacLaine as Coco Chanel (Coco Chanel)
Shirley MacLaine has an incendiary personality just like Coco Chanel had, and this unites them. By the way, Shirley has been an admirer of Chanel’s since a young age. But she couldn’t afford the clothes from this brand, so she had to buy imitations. According to the actress, when she was in her 20s and 30s, she used to wear them all the time.
Gwilym Lee as Brian May (Bohemian Rhapsody)
When the musician saw Gwilym playing him, he was delighted. According to Brian, it was really impressive to see a younger version of himself.
Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin (Chaplin)
The actor had to accomplish a challenging task. He had to not just look and behave like Charlie Chaplin, but he also had to portray him in different periods of his life. The movie follows Chaplin’s life between the ages of 19 and 83.
Lily James as Pamela Anderson (Pam & Tommy miniseries)
Lily James made a miraculous transformation into Pamela Anderson. Many people still remember Lily in her role of Cinderella. James studied series and interviews that her character had taken part in for a long time, she also had to spend hours in the makeup chair while makeup artists recreated Anderson’s features on her.
Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee (Pam & Tommy miniseries)
Stan’s transformation into Tommy Lee included applying a lot of tattoos. He even had 3-D photos taken of his body to determine his body proportions. Then the tattoos were re-created, printed on a special paper, and applied to the actor’s body. This process took roughly 3 hours every day.
Taron Egerton as Elton John (Rocketman)
The main task of the actor’s transformation was not to make a caricature of Elton John, but to convey the musician’s personality with the help of makeup and costumes. Even the hair on Taron’s chest and arms was dyed because he had to wear a lot of revealing clothing.
Michael Douglas as Liberace (Behind the Candelabra)
Douglas agreed to portray the famous pianist, but filming didn’t start immediately afterward. Only once the actor managed to beat cancer did the filming start. And Douglas did his best. Another factor that helped him get into character is that the movie was shot on Liberace’s actual estates.
Will Smith as Muhammad Ali (Ali)
At first, Will Smith refused to take on the role, saying he didn’t believe he could embody Muhammad Ali. According to the actor, he didn’t want to be the man that messed up the Muhammad Ali story. But Ali and his family personally asked Smith to accept this role. And the actor did a great job.
Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash (Walk the Line)
Reese speaks fondly about her Oscar-winning role. According to the actress, she felt completely transformed into an authentic country artist, and this movie left a special mark on her life.
Who of these actors managed to completely transform into the character they played? Share your opinion in the comments below.