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10 Actors Who Can Transform Into Good and Bad Characters Like a Chameleon

Researchers have found that the average person spends 78,000 hours of their life watching television. And while we all appreciate seeing our favorite actors time and time again, we can also get bored if we watch them play the same characters all the time.

That’s why we at Bright Side made a list of 10 talented actors who often portray heroes, villains, and ordinary people while giving equally convincing performances.

1. Margot Robbie

The many different roles Margot Robbie has played over the years prove that she’s a truly versatile actress. One of her most acclaimed performances is in the movie I, Tonya, where she plays the real-life controversial figure skater, Tonya Harding. The character Robbie plays in the movie is ruthless and unlikable, and she goes to great lengths to assure her victory on the ice rink.

But Robbie is just as convincing in more positive roles as well. Another character she plays, Harley Quinn, is someone that viewers can truly sympathize with, which, in turn, has led many fans to cosplay her iconic looks.

2. Heath Ledger

In A Knight’s Tale, Heath Ledger portrays William Thatcher, a peasant who decides to create a new identity for himself. As a result, he’s not the typical knight in shining armor, which leads to many comical scenes. But in the end, Heath Ledger’s character overcomes many obstacles and even finds true love.

In contrast to his earlier naive and adventurous role, Ledger also plays Joker in A Dark Knight. Joker lacks all empathy and is one of the worst villains ever. On the other hand, he’s also a mastermind that counters the movie’s hero, Batman.

3. Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep gave a convincing performance as the lead character in the movie, Silkwood. Karen Silkwood was a real-life activist who decided to investigate the wrongdoings at the factory she worked at. Streep’s portrayal of Karen even got her an Oscar nomination for the “Best Actress” award.

Since then, Meryl Streep has appeared in many other movies, including Mamma Mia! and The Devil Wears Prada. In the latter, she convincingly plays the role of a demanding and often cruel boss at an important fashion magazine, who makes rookie Andrea Sachs’ (Anne Hathaway) time at the company very difficult.

4. Michael B. Jordan

Michael B. Jordan played a real-life hero in the biopic, Just Mercy, a defense attorney named Bryan Stevenson who works to free wrongfully convicted prisoners. The movie and Jordan’s performance were acclaimed by critics and he even went on to receive an award for this role.

Proving that he can play a great range of characters, Jordan also portrayed the main villain in Black Panther. Erik Killmonger challenges the protagonist T’Challa’s right to rule the kingdom of Wakanda and subjects him to many obstacles.

5. Ian McKellen

One of Ian McKellen’s most famous roles is that of Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings. Gandalf is a wise old man but also a powerful wizard who seeks to protect Middle-earth.

The talented actor can play the bad guy just as well, like in the X-Men film series, where he portrays Magneto, a supervillain who can manipulate magnetic fields for his own gain.

6. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has had the chance to play a range of diverse roles since the start of his career. In 1990, he portrayed Edward Scissorhands in the iconic Tim Burton movie of the same title. Edward is an artificial man who lives alone until a kind lady welcomes him into her home.

Depp also played a villainous main character in another movie from the Tim Burton franchise, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, just as convincingly.

7. Chris Evans

One of the most well-known and beloved characters Chris Evans ever played is Captain America in a number of Marvel movies. Captain America is definitely the textbook superhero who’s willing to sacrifice anything to save the world.

However, this doesn’t mean that Evans can’t transform into a negative character just as easily. In the mystery thriller, Knives Out, he plays Ransom Drysdale, the main antagonist.

8. Rachel McAdams

In the popular romantic drama, The Notebook, Rachel McAdams portrays a woman that cannot stay with the man she loves and has to face several hardships, making it very easy for the audience to empathize with her.

In the same year, the actress also played a mean character, Regina George, in the comedy, Mean Girls. Her convincing portrayal of the snobbish but intelligent and manipulative antagonist proves that she can quickly switch roles.

9. Matt Damon

Matt Damon is most famous for his role in Good Will Hunting, but he also gave movie-goers several other convincing performances. In The Great Wall, he played a mercenary who eventually becomes a hero, helping locals in the fight against supernatural, monstrous creatures.

Damon’s talent is also obvious in The Talented Mr. Ripley. In this movie, he portrays Tom Ripley, a scheming, manipulative character who is willing to go to great lengths to get what he wants.

10. Angelina Jolie

The Oscar-winning actress can play a wide range of roles equally well. As Lara Croft, she becomes a hero who fights villains while recovering ancient artifacts. Angelina Jolie portrays another positive character in Changeling: a mother who relentlessly is looking for her son who had disappeared.

In the Grimms’ Fairy Tales-inspired fantasy movie, Maleficent, Jolie appears in a very different role. She plays the main villain who curses a newborn princess out of revenge.

What is the best performance you’ve ever seen in a movie? Share it with us in the comment section below.

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