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12 Gorgeous Actors That Had to Hide Their Beauty for a Role

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There is a widespread belief that a pretty face is always something you want in your movie. People saying that certainly have a point. There’s a certain number of good-looking actors we repeatedly see in movies. But today we want to focus on those characters that aren’t defined by their good looks. Those are especially interesting because, in order to get the role, actors have to be talented not just good looking. However, that doesn’t mean that good-looking people haven’t played “ugly” characters.

Bright Side carried out a little research to figure out how actors that were cast for these special roles prepared themselves and what changes they had to undergo, both physically and mentally. Here’s what we found!

1. Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Endgame

Chris Hemsworth played the God of thunder in all the installments of The Avengers. Far from the bodybuilder image we had of him, for this particular film, he had to wear a “fat suit” that weighed approximately 60 to 70 pounds. That’s because his character, Thor, decided to leave his days as a superhero behind and is now about living the life. He mostly spends his days playing video games and overeating, like a good couch potato.

2. Emma Thompson in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Emma Thompson might be one of the best English actresses that we’ve had the chance to see so far. She is also one of the few people who can proudly say she has received a double Oscar nomination (in 1993). This stylish and elegant lady got a complete makeover to play the eccentric and somewhat hippie divination teacher Sybill Trelawney from Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. The glasses she had to wear had a lot of strength. In fact, they were made with magnifying glasses, so you can imagine that they didn’t really make the actress’s job very easy.

3. John Travolta in Hairspray

John Travolta managed to break more than a few hearts after virtually every girl in the world fell for him when he played the typical rebellious teenage boy in Grease. Clearly, learning that he would play a woman with a few extra pounds came as a huge surprise to most people. Each day before shooting, Travolta and the production team had to spend about 4 extra hours to make him look like Hairspray’s main character. Yep, that’s how long it takes to make John Travolta gain 30 pounds using a fat suit and the 5 silicone prostheses.

4. Gwendoline Christie in Game of Thrones

It is hard to believe that the actress who played Brienne of Tarth, a woman determined to become the first woman knighted in the Seven Kingdoms, could actually be so elegant and refined. Gwendoline Christie is in a relationship with fashion designer Giles Deacon. To get into her character’s mindset, the actress started by wearing unisex clothing outside the set and changing her look to be more androgynous. She also had to train. Her goal was to gain muscle mass, which she thought added to her impressive height (6’2″), but also managed to give her the look and feel needed to play Brienne.

5. Jared Leto in Mr. Nobody

Jared Leto is one of those rare and skilled chameleonic actors capable of stepping into the shoes of almost any character. In a matter of seconds, he can mutate from being the Joker we saw in Suicide Squad to a trans-woman from The Dallas Buyers Club. In Mr. Nobody he played Nemo, a 118-year-old man who is the last of the mortals on Earth.

6. Taryn Manning in Orange Is the New Black

You might remember Taryn Manning for her role as Mimi in Crossroads, a film where she played alongside Britney Spears. However, for her role as Tiffany “Pennsatucky” in Orange Is the New Black she completely changed her looks. And when we say completely, we mean it: look at the picture! She was, as you might know, one of the main antagonists in the first season of the series.

7. Christian Bale in The Machinist

Christian Bale became famous, in part, for his commitment to his characters. Part of that is gaining and losing weight as well as muscle mass depending on the role he has to play. When he worked on The Machinist, he had to lose about 65 pounds to play a man suffering from insomnia and who was tormented by his past. Actually, Bale wanted to lose even more weight, but the production team forbade him fearing that he would put his health at risk.

8. Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Actress Rooney Mara is known for her very delicate facial traits. Her beauty is often described as a mix of delicate and fragile. However, when she accepted the role to play Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, she had to dramatically change her look. All of the character’s piercings you saw on screen were real. Mara, just like her other colleagues, was committed to looking exactly like the character from the book.

9. Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine

Ryan Gosling is, without a doubt, the handsome guy in all of his films. And that’s also the case in Blue Valentine, or at least in the beginning. Since the film shows how its characters change with time, later on we see a working-class, old, fat, and half bald Gosling. Clearly not the guy we’re used to seeing... It’s almost impossible to tell it’s him, but it is! During the shooting, Gosling and Michelle Williams actually had to live together in a house in Pennsylvania. They even had to share a bathroom and wash dishes 3 times a day, like a regular couple. In addition, their food budget was based on their characters’ salaries.

10. Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry

Hilary Swank left Hollywood speechless with her performance as Brandon Teena, a transgender boy, in the film Boys Don’t Cry. To prepare for the role, the actress lived a whole month impersonating a man. This made her neighbors scratch their heads more than a few times. They actually believed that the boy coming in and out of her house was her brother. Thanks to the amazing performance she delivered, Swank won a number of awards, including an Oscar for best actress.

11. Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose

In addition to being an actress, Marion Cotillard is a Dior model, so her beauty and delicacy are sort of her trademark and pretty difficult to dispute. However, to play the famous French singer Edith Piaf, she shaved part of her head and eyebrows, which were then drawn on with eyeliner. In addition, the actress hunched over to reach Piaf’s small height of just 4’11″. Thanks to her performance, she won the Oscar for best actress.

12. Naomi Grossman in American Horror Story: Freak Show

Naomi Grossman became well-known after playing Pepper in American Horror Story: Asylum, even if the story of her character was actually told in American Horror Story: Freak Show. To bring this peculiar character to life, besides shaving her head, the actress had to spend many hours with makeup artists and get several prostheses placed. The result was amazing and Grossman was definitely unrecognizable.

So, which of these radical makeovers surprised you the most? Did you ever think it was a shame to see these beautiful men and women suddenly become unattractive for a particular role, or were you amazed by their acting skills?

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