15 Actors Who Sacrificed Their Beauty to Create Unforgettable Performance

5 months ago

Many people think having a good-looking actor is always necessary in movies. They have a point. We often see beautiful actors in many films. But today, we want to talk about characters who aren’t just known for being good-looking. These characters are interesting because actors need more than just looks to get these roles. However, it’s important to note that handsome actors have also played roles that didn’t look attractive.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Warwick Davis in The Leprechaun

It’s quite challenging to envision leprechauns as menacing creatures in a horror movie context, yet Warwick Davis achieved just that in the Leprechaun film series. He not only embraced the titular role in all six films, spanning from the initial four Leprechaun installments to the unconventional Leprechaun in the Hood and Back 2 the Hood, but he also went the extra mile by personally undertaking the demanding task of heavy makeup and prosthetics for the character.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Jared Leto in Mr. Nobody

© Mr. Nobody / Pan Européenne and co-producers, face to face / FaceToFace / REPORTER

Jared Leto is a unique and talented actor known for his remarkable ability to inhabit various characters seamlessly. In the blink of an eye, he can transition from his portrayal of the Joker in Suicide Squad to his role as a trans-woman in The Dallas Buyers Club. In the film Mr. Nobody, he took on the character of Nemo, a 118-year-old man who stands as the last remaining mortal on Earth.

7. 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.

8. John Travolta in Hairspray

© Hairspray / New Line Cinema and co-producers, Invision / Invision / East News

John Travolta stole the hearts of countless admirers worldwide when he portrayed the archetypal rebellious teenage boy in Grease. It caught most people off guard when they discovered he would be taking on the role of a woman with some extra weight in Hairspray. Each day before filming, Travolta and the production crew had to invest an additional four hours to transform him into the main character of Hairspray. That’s right, it took that long to use a fat suit and five silicone prostheses to make John Travolta appear 30 pounds heavier.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Christian Bale in The Machinist

Christian Bale rose to fame, in large part, due to his unwavering dedication to his roles. This commitment often involved significant fluctuations in his body weight and muscle mass to match the character he was portraying. For his role in The Machinist, he underwent a remarkable transformation, shedding approximately 65 pounds to depict a man plagued by insomnia and haunted by his past. Interestingly, Bale had initially aimed to lose even more weight, but the production team intervened, concerned about the potential risks to his health.

12. 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.

13. Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose

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

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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

While attractive actors often dominate the screen, it’s crucial to acknowledge characters that thrive on substance over looks. These roles demand exceptional talent, transcending mere aesthetics. Moreover, even good-looking actors have tackled unglamorous parts, showcasing their versatility. In the end, the magic of cinema lies in storytelling and character depth, underscoring that true cinematic brilliance goes beyond mere appearance.

Preview photo credit Evan Agostini/Invision/East News, Bill & Ted Face the Music / Warner Bros. and co-producers, Jordan Strauss/Invision/East News, The Toxic Avenger / Legendary Pictures and co-producers


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