15 “Chameleon” Actors That Can Transform Themselves Beyond Recognition
Of course, if a person can’t transform into other people, they will never become a successful actor. But there are geniuses that do it so incredibly well that we can’t even guess who they are until we see their names in the credits. For example, you may watch a film and think that someone’s face looked familiar. And it turns out that the creepy Vladimir Harkonnen from Dune and the smiley scientist Erik Selvig from The Avengers are the same person. This is because Stellan Skarsgård can be very different.
Let’s take a look at other talented actors that can change beyond recognition.
Bill Nighy played an old rock musician, Billy Mack, in Love Actually. The memes went viral and the song he performed in it, “Christmas Is All Around,” was even on the radio. He also did great as a vampire clan head in Underworld. But were you able to recognize him as Davy Jones, the captain of the Flying Dutchman who kept the chest key?
In Pirates of the Caribbean, Stellan Skarsgård played the father of Will Turner, a pirate called Bootstrap Bill. And later, we saw him in the Marvel universe as scientist Erik Selvig. Of course, everyone remembers him as Vladimir Harkonnen from Dune. It’s an image that’s hard to forget.
The elegant Victoria in Casanova is so little, unlike the powerful Margaery Tyrell in Game of Thrones, that it’s hard to believe that both roles were played by Natalie Dormer. And when she played Cressida in The Hunger Games, she really won us over.
We already know how talented his father is, and we also know that Skarsgård inherited his father’s ability to transform. He performed in Vi and then made the entire world fall in love with him when he appeared in Vikings as Ragnar Lodbrok’s friend. And, of course, it’s impossible to imagine Westworld without Gustaf Skarsgård.
The beautiful Jessica Chastain played the feminine blonde, Celia Foote, in the dramatic film, The Help. But those who remember her in this role had trouble realizing that she also played Murph in Interstellar. And only her vivid eyes can help us recognize her in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
Kate’s golden ticket was the role of Rose DeWitt Bukater in Titanic, and then she played Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And in the long-awaited Avatar sequel, she played Ronal of the Metkayina.
Ron Perlman has played so many roles in his career that one might accidentally fall asleep while reading through the list. And we remember him as the cat fan, Hellboy. Then he took on an unusual role in Season of the Witch. And did you recognize him as the little goblin from Fantastic Beasts?
Josh Brolin has received multiple Oscar nominations, and he’s such a diverse actor that we didn’t even realize that young agent K from Men in Black and Thanos in The Avengers were the same person. In Dune, he played Gurney Halleck of House Atreides who taught Paul, played by Timothée Chalamet, how to fight and became his friend and mentor.
Charlie Hunnam was just hanging out in a shoe store when he was noticed by a manager that got him on TV and then put him in the movie industry. He appeared in Cold Mountain, which earned 7 Oscar nominations.
Hunnam also played a character named Bosie, and Jude Law was his nemesis. The actors met again 15 years later on the set of King Arthur, but this time, Hunnam was the good guy, and Law was the bad one. And if you haven’t seen Shantaram, where Charlie played Dale Conti, you should stop what you’re doing and watch it right now.
People loved Kate Hudson’s portrayal of Andie Anderson in the iconic film of the 2000s, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Then she dyed her hair brown for a role in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, and for Music, she shaved her head bald.
The Scottish actress made her big debut as Amy Pond: one half of the duo with Matt Smith, the eleventh Doctor Who, and Karen Gilan became a fan-favorite. Then she played Nebula, Thanos’ adopted daughter. This role is very different, but Gillan was great in it. And after she played Ruby Roundhouse in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, the entire world learned her name. It was a great role!
Another master of transformation is Paul Bettany. If you like fantasy like we do, you definitely would remember his character, Dustfinger, in Inkheart. It’s very hard to recognize him in Priest, however, and of course, you probably already knew he was Vision in The Avengers.
The elegant Dastan from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time quickly turned into the great Billy Hope, a great boxing champion in the sports drama, Southpaw. And in order to believe this transformation, you had to rub your eyes. And did you recognize him as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home? We almost didn’t.
Andy Serkis is the king of transformation. In his long career, he’s brought many characters to life, like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, King Kong in King Kong, Ceasar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And you can see his real face in The Prestige.
Gwendoline Christie became famous after she appeared in the series, Wizards vs. Aliens, and we love her thanks to her amazing portrayal of Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones. And recently, she’s appeared in the popular series, Wednesday, as principal Larissa Weems. She looks so elegant in this role that it’s hard to recognize the woman that once dreamt of becoming a knight.
What actors did you not recognize until someone told you who they were?