That’s what acting is all about, after all! The actresses that you’re about to see respect the craft so much that they did just that. From Charlize Theron’s jaw-dropping transformation in “Monster” to Tilda Swinton’s insane reinvention as Madame D in “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” here are the starlets who abandoned their looks for some meaty roles.
Pepper (Naomi Grossman)
Pepper, a freakish-looking character from Ryan Murphy's "Freak Show" (appropriately titled) is a woman and former performer with Microcephaly who was committed to an institution. As you can tell, the character looks a little on the scary side, which makes sense as she is supposed to be a troubled ex-circus performer.
In order to play this unusual character, producers of the show needed a woman willing to go the extra mile, which is why they picked Naomi Grossman. Grossman not only underwent a crazy makeover complete with prosthetics and fake teeth, but she even shaved her head for the audition. In real life, the actress looks nothing like Pepper and has a successful stage career.
Tiffany Doggett (Taryn Manning)
If you've seen "Orange Is the New Black," then you know all about the rough and tough-looking lady convicts on the show. Character Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett was one of them. The proud "redneck" from western Pennsylvania came a long way, but in the first season, she was not in good shape. With rotten and even missing teeth, this inmate wasn't her best self.
You can be relieved to know that the actress Taryn Manning does, in fact, have all of her teeth and has led a long career in TV and film, starring in "8 Mile," Britney Spears' "Crossroads, and "A Lot Like Love." Interestingly enough, the actress has gotten herself in quite a few scuffles involving the law, and while she doesn't have the face of an inmate, her fiery personality isn't that far off from OINTB's "Pennsatucky."
Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss)
Elisabeth Moss can pretty much morph into anyone. These days she's one of Hollywood's serious leading ladies and has starred in a string of critically acclaimed TV shows and films. But when we first saw her, she was just Don's frumpy secretary, Peggy Olson. Olson was mocked for her homely looks by her unforgiving male colleagues in the series "Mad Men" and was even pressured to doll herself up, just to fit in.
Soon Olson proves that she's concerned for things far more important than hair and makeup, and achieves exactly what she set out to do. We suppose we can say the same for Moss. The gorgeous actress has played many different roles, including Offred from "The Handmaid's Tale, " horror writer Shirly Jackson in "Shirly" and more. You might even remember her as the tragic burn victim from "Girl Interrupted."
Betty Suarez (America Ferrera)
"Ugly Betty," told the story of the dowdy brace face and walking fashion crime, Betty Suarez, a writer navigating the world of beauty in a top-notch style magazine. That proves hard to do when you're surrounded by gorgeous models. Betty donned her very worse throughout the show, teaching us all about self-love in a world of impossible beauty standards. While we all got that powerful message, what we did learn was that the moment Sauarz wore the right clothes, she was rather beautiful.
Yep, actress America Ferrera is no Ugly Betty. The American actress, born to Honduran parents, is an Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award-winning actress. In 2007 this Hollywood beauty was even dubbed one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She currently stars in the new Netflix series "Super Store."
Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson)
In 2005 the great British actress played the magical Nanny McPhee with warts and all. The mystical nanny was based on the "Nurse Matilda" books, a story about a hideous witchy nanny with powers so magical that she could discipline the unruliest of children. And we see Thomspon do just that, with her big round nose, single tooth, and warts, Nanny McPhee is a sight for sore eyes.
Of course (spoiler alert) as the children shed their ugly behavior, McPhee transforms from hideous to beautiful. The nanny's transformation reveals a more true-to-life version of Emma Thompson. The actress looks fantastic and even better with age.
Kitty Sanchez (Judy Greer)
Judy Greer is a real chameleon. Throughout her career, she portrayed some very unusual characters, one of her most notable roles was as Kitty Sanchez in "Arrested Development" who, with her crazed curls, would become completely cross-eyed the moment she removed her glasses. Naturally, the quirky role got a lot of laughs. ]
But Judy Greer is far from the crazy Kitty Sanchez. The lovely actress has made countless appearances in both TV and film and has even penned a book about her life on the screen. We even see her go from drab to fab in the teen thriller "Jawbreaker."
Agnes "Apple" Bailey (Vanessa Hudgens)
The indie Christian drama "Gimme Shelter" tells the true story of a runaway pregnant teen who finds herself in a home for pregnant girls. Vanessa Hudgens, who is better known for her role in "High School Musical," drastically changed her look for the role of a troubled teen in and out of foster care.
With neck tattoos, piercings, and a totally different haircut, Hudgens is pretty much unrecognizable. Of course, if you've seen the actress on the red carpet, then you obviously know that Vanessa Hudgens is drop-dead gorgeous. There's a reason the beauty was in a five-year relationship with Zac Efron.
Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara)
The world took notice of Rooney Mara once she becomes Lisbeth Salander, the leading character in "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo." In the book, originally published in Swedish, this fictional character gained major notoriety as a troubled yet brilliant goth-punk hacker. Love it or hate it, the look is iconic. Mara's intense transformation, both internal and external (including accent!) even landed her a Golden Globe.
Drop the piercings, the pitch-black mohawk, and you will find the big-eyed beauty in her true form, with prominent brows nowhere close to that of Lisabeth's. Mara has since starred in a string of films, one of them the Oscar-nominated LGBT drama "Carol" for which she was even nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Winifred Sanderson (Bette Midler)
Throughout her long and illustrious career, Bette Midler has played heaps of quirky and eccentric parts, but none quite as kooky as the witch Winifred Sanderson, the head witch of the Sanderson sister in the movie "Hocus Pocus." The mad and clownlike witch would cruelly suck the souls of children in order to stay young and "beautiful." Sadly, no matter how many youthful souls Winifred stole, she was still as hideous as ever.
Middler on the other hand looks nothing like Winifred. The megastar looks flawless, and she's no spring chicken. Having started her career in the year 1970 Midler has been a star ever since. Recently she appeared in Netflix's "The Politician" as Hadassah Gold, the right-hand woman to senator Dede Standish (Judith Light.) The two make a fabulous and formidable pair.
Josie Gellar (Drew Barrymore)
Josie Gellar in "Never Been Kissed" was never cool in high school. With braces and messy hair, Josie was constantly taunted by her peers for being a nerdy freak. Years later, at 25, she gets a second chance when she goes undercover as a high school student for a story that takes place at the school. Once again, Josie lands up being the high school dork, but surprise surprise, ultimately the school discovers that Josie is actually really cute (a truer depiction of Drew.)
Drew has been captivating audiences since she was a baby. The now seasoned actress still maintains that adorable quality she had since her first commercial as an infant. She also recently launched her very own talk show "Drew Barrymore Talk Show" and there's not a shred of dorky Josie there!
Lotte Schwartz (Cameron Diaz)
Everyone knows Cameron Diaz as one of Hollywood's great beauties, so audiences were shocked to find her in the classic Charlie Kaufman film "Being John Malkovich" as an extremely frizzy-haired plain Jane. Her onscreen partner John Cusack even drops her for the sly Maxine (Catherine Keener.)
The role was also a real step for Diaz who up until then was always playing the pretty blonde. We saw this in films like "There's Something About Mary," "My Best Friend's Wedding," and "The Mask." This film showed us just how serious the actress can get. Of course, since then, Diaz keeps wowing us with her great comic chops and beautiful blue eyes.
Justin Bieber (Kate McKinnon)
SNL is home to some of the greatest impressionist showbiz has ever seen, so you can imagine just how amazing Kate Mckinnon is that she stands out. The hilarious cast member has transformed into countless celebs we know, including Ellen, Jean King, and even Hillary Clinton, but one character that she disappears into completely is Justin Bieber.
In the now-famous SNL sketch, the actress and comedian does a Calvin Klein underwear ad as Justin Bieber and it is just it's simply uncanny and hilarious. Underneath all the wigs, costumes, and makeup, Kate Mckinnon looks like any red carpet starlet. Watch her do Penelope Cruz. The mega-talented comedian can do just about anyone!
The Witch (Meryl Streep)
The three-time Oscar winner and 20-time Oscar nominee, Meryl Streep is quite simply Hollywood royalty. Streep underwent some intense movie magic to become the infamous and terrifying Witch in the film "Into The Woods" (2014), a retelling of the classic "Cinderella."
Out of costume, Meryl Streep looks nothing like that wicked witch. To be honest, the actress looks completely different in every movie she plays. From Miranda Priestly to Margaret Thatcher, Streep morphs from role to role. Streep is one of those rare actresses where - if she is told to become a witch - she will do it without hesitation and she will make it look effortless in the process.
Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek)
The brilliant artist Frida Kahlo was a known eccentric. With her colorful clothes, flower crowns, and prominent unibrow, the painter's look was iconic. Salma Hayek, who is also Mexican, had always been a great fan of the artist and did not shy away from any of the less flattering aspects of Khalo in the film "Frida."
In fact, the gorgeous actress who produced the film, fought tooth and nail to depict Frida in the correct way. That meant donning the famous unibrow, and moving and limping in the same way the disabled Frida had moved, all to the dismay of producers, who wanted a more attractive "Hollywood" version of the muralist. But she didn't let all that noise stand in her way, and in the end, transformed into the complex and troubled artist we all know and love.
Velma Dinkley (Linda Cardellini)
We love Velma. The nerdy bob and thick glasses are what make her a central part of the Scooby-Doo team. Perhaps the smartest one in the group, she's not exactly chic. It's just something about that big orange turtleneck.
That didn't stop the beautiful Linda Cardelilini from jumping in. The actress looks nothing like her 2002 role as Velma Dinkley and changed her look completely for the film. And it worked! Truth be told, it is probably the most radical transformation that Linda has ever undergone in a movie. While she is a terrific actress, she usually looks like herself in most movies she's in.
Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik)
It's safe to say that both Mayim Bialik and Amy Farrah Fowler are super smart ladies. The fictional character Amy, from "The Big Bang Theory" is a genius neuroscientist, and in fact, so is Mayim Bialik. Years ago, after some years as a teen star, Bialik took a break from acting to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience.
One huge difference however is that the actress is nowhere near as frumpy as her character on the TV show. Bialik would never be caught dead in the closes that Amy wears! These days Bialik is able to look more like her normal self as one of the hosts of "Jeopardy!"
Ann Veal (Mae Whitman)
Ann Veal was the super religious yet super unforgettable love interest of George Michael in "Arrested Development." Young George soon started to lose interest in Ann, which was helped by his family's constant surprised reactions to their relationship.
Actress Mae Whitman who played Ann Veal, however, is far from forgettable. Whitman has started in "Parenthood," "The Duff," Scott Pilgrim" and much, much more over the course of her long career which she started as a child! Truth be told, Whitman always manages to change things up in whatever role she ends up doing - and that is testament to just how talented she is.
Aileen Wournos (Charlize Theron)
Charlize Theron seriously changed the direction of her career with the role of Aileen Wournos, the notorious convicted serial killer. Having played mostly beautiful leading ladies up until that point, Theron said goodbye to all that for the role of playing the controversial Wournos.
With the help of a great hair and makeup team and some significant weight gain, Theron looked like the crazed and ill-fated drifter that would cause a media frenzy in the courts in 1992. Since then, the South African beauty has taken on extremely diverse roles, cementing her status as one of the most serious actors in Hollywood.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams)
Maisie Williams burst onto our screens as the fierce Arya Stark in the HBO hit series " Game of Thrones." The young actress instantly shot to fame. Stark was the ferocious princess who never concerned herself with frills and social norms like the other women. As awesome as this made her, it really did show.
Maisie Williams on the other hand can look glamorous as ever. The young English actress has received major critical success for her role as Stark, which, given the fact that it was her first real acting job, is pretty impressive. The lovely actress even recently launched her own app!
Liz Lemon (Tina Fey)
It's true that Tina Fey and Liz Lemon both found themselves navigating the difficult and often male-dominated world of improv comedy. And it also might be true that their major weakness is food, okay, and we suppose that both women are pretty nerdy. But, and here's a big but... Tina Fey is no frumpy spinster!
Granted, these two share some similarities (Fey did write Lemon after all) Liz Lemon is far unluckier than Tina Fey. With a comedy empire behind her, a best-selling memoir, a loving husband, and two beautiful children, Tina Fey is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, Liz has nothing on Tina.
Rachel Berry (Lea Michele)
Both Rachel Berry from the show "Glee" and Lea Michele share that x-factor only a Broadway star could have. The breathtaking vocals and killer stage presence is after all how Lea Michele landed the role of Rachel Berry in the hit musical show in the first place. But Berry wasn't particularly liked among her peers.
Overbearing and preppy, Rachel had a rather annoying vibe about her. Interestingly, in a recent Twitter tirade, many of Lea Michele's former co-stars came forward to complain about how unpleasant she was to work with. Looks like this time, perhaps the two aren't so different? At least their style differs!
Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway)
Ah, good old Anne. Gorgeous and consistently giving us all our favorite films, the actress Anne Hathaway is another example of another great Hollywood shapeshifter. In 2001 Hathaway starred as Mia Thermopolis in the beloved teen movie " The Princess Diaries." Looking completely different, the actress actually had us convinced that she was a dorky weirdo who was in serious need of a makeover.
Roughly a decade later, Hathaway wowed us once again as the suffering Fantine in the film adaptation of Les Miserables. Terribly underweight, battered, and with patchy short hair, the Anne Hathaway we knew was almost nowhere to be found.
Debra Barone (Patricia Heaton)
Remember "Everybody Loves Raymond?" The hilarious sitcom featured some colorful characters, among them was Ray's snarky and fed-up wife Debra. Debra - who was impeccably played by the great Patricia Heaton, was constantly criticized by Ray's impossible mother, which had her in a perpetual eye roll.
Of course, when you are told throughout your marriage that you are not good enough for your husband, you are not always going to be at your best. The actress Patricia Heaton, who gave us Debra, is far from her TV character. She is also a mother of four and married to English actor David Hunt. And by all accounts, her in-laws love her.
Daisy Mason (Sophie McShera)
The very talented Sophie McShera is no plain kitchen maid. The actress stars as Daisy Maison in the award-winning period drama "Downton Abbey." Life is not so easy when you are a life-long servant during post-Edwardian England, and Daisy is evidence of that. And also, thankfully, actress Sophie McShera was extremely convincing in the role - for many reasons.
Outside of the memorable role, she has proven that she looks fantastic when out of her grey kitchen dress. The actress somehow keeps showing up in unflattering roles. In 2015, she played one of Cinderella's ugly step-sisters in Kenenth Brannahgh's adaptation. Clearly, she is far from that!
Mona Vanderwaal (Janel Parrish)
The show "Pretty Little Liars" was of course filled with pretty little women, hence the name, and plenty of little liars, to boot. But the character Mona Vanderwaal still lacked some inner beauty. While she was attractive, throughout the show it was clear that Vadnerwaal's low self-esteem and sad past made her kind of unappealing.
The real Janel Parrish, born in Honolulu, has a heart of gold and even dazzled fans in her recent stint on "Dancing With The Stars," coming in at third place. Now that is pretty impressive! The actress also married her long-time boyfriend, chemical engineer, Chris Long.
Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer)
Pam Beesly was the sweet and mild-mannered secretary in the hilarious show "The Office." She may have never won a competition for best dressed, but her dullish looks never prevented her from meeting the love of her life, Jim. Jenna Fischer certainly brought a deadpan quality to the role, in a show where there were just so many larger-than-life personalities.
While Beesly could have done with a new wardrobe, actress Jenna Fischer is far cooler than her character, and always looks great in any public appearance. But one thing they do share is their sweetness. And that can not be argued with.
Violet Bickerstaff-(Tori Spelling)
In the wacky world of "Saved By The Bell," Tori Spelling's character, Violet Bickerstaff, rocked a pair of glasses and pigtails that screamed "naive nerd alert!" Even in the fashion-challenged 80s, her style was a league of its own.
But hold your laughs, because in real life, Tori Spelling is more like a blonde bombshell than an innocent geek – she is practically a walking glam squad, channeling her inner 90210 vibes. From nerdy chic to blonde sleek, Tori proves that in the sitcom universe, fashion choices are as unpredictable as algebra class. And she continues to excuse sheer class wherever she goes.
Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan)
Alyson Hannigan, the queen of adorable, has this magical ability to sprinkle a nerdy potion into all her roles. Maybe it's her red hair and the perpetual hint of a mischievous child trapped inside her vocal cords. Enter Willow Rosenberg from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" – it's like her PhD in Nerdology paid off.
Off-screen, though, Hannigan does a disappearing act worthy of a superhero. She's more like a chameleon in a world of unicorns! It's like her TV and movie characters are running the show, and the real Alyson is in the background, sipping coffee and laughing at her own on-screen shenanigans.
Deandra Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson)
Deandra Reynolds shines as a crude and sociopathic drunk in the hilarious comedy series "It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia." Her disturbing nature gave viewers some jaw-dropping moments throughout the show. She also had some really bad luck with men and even lived out of her car for some time.
Not to mention the fact that Sweet Dee tends to get mistreated a lot by the gang throughout the series. In reality, Kaitlin Olson is nowhere near her Deandra character. The successful comedian and actress even found love on the show with one of the show's creators and stars Rob McElhenney.
Lucy Sketch (Aimee-Ffion Edwards)
Let's get the facts straight. Lucy's last name was indeed Sketch, which, well, pretty much mirrored her sketchy behavior. Joining the intriguing ensemble of "Skins" during its second season, this character was the ultimate poster child for the stalker club, complete with a bouquet of issues.
However, don't let that fool you about Aimee-Ffion Edwards, the Welsh sensation behind the role. In real life, she's light-years away from her on-screen alter ego, the weird-stalker-with-questionable-hair. She's since transformed her acting prowess, gracing the screen in shows like "Peaky Blinders" and "Luther," proving that her talent shines far brighter than any sketchy encounters.
Brienne Of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)
Like other women of "Game of Thrones," Brienne of Tarth is no coward. As a fearless and powerful fighter, this knight couldn't care less about pretty things and fine clothes. Catch her with a sword in full-on armor. Brienne really stood out in the fantasy show as she was even more ferocious than most of the men.
But Gwendoline Christie has a whole other look in real life (not that it's any less awesome.) The SAG-winning actress has been blowing up on our screens looking out of this world, once again, in the "Star Wars" films. And in that example, she also had a pretty cool transformation, wearing the classic stormtrooper outfit.
Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan)
Scottish star Phyllis Logan dons her best servant smock as the drab matron house-keeper in the critically acclaimed series "Downton Abbey." The stoic Mrs. Hughes AKA Elsie keeps her maids in check but still has a good heart.
While her title is somewhat prestigious for a servant, the position isn't particularly glamorous, which is why Mrs. Hughes is often seen in dark and plain outfits. Phyllis Logan is no Elise and has been known to glam it up on the red carpet. If we are going to be completely honest, every single performer in "Downton Abbey" completely transforms for their role - but Logan is right up there with the very best.
Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil (Demi Moore)
Everybody knows Demi Moore as the gorgeous model-like actress with dark and luscious long hair. But she temporarily parted ways with her signature look for her big 1997 role in the film "G.I. Jane."
Moore buffed up like crazy and even shaved her head, making her look like a really hardened trainee in the U.S. Navy Special Warfare Group. Ultimately, the film got some mixed reviews, but even after the criticism, Demi had no problem going back to her normal beautiful self. Demi Moore's performance was so memorable, that even Chris Rock referenced the transformation for the joke he made about Jada before he got slapped at the Oscars. Ouch!
Dren (Delphine Chanéac)
A young scientific couple involved in human cloning gets a little over-experimental one day and creates a human hybrid animal named Dren. Dren has a very strange appearance, with a bald head, alien eyes, and a long tail, this lab experiment of a creature looks, just wrong.
Clearly, there was some kind of CGI work done in post-production to create the eery impression that her eyes are abnormally far from one another. Thankfully the French actress behind the horrifying makeup and special effects, Delphine Chanéac looks 100% like a human being, and a beautiful human being at that! The actress is also, unsurprisingly, a model.
Alex Dunphy (Ariel Winter)
The Dunphy kids from the show "Modern Family" are a diverse bunch. You had the little goofy Luke, the shallow and whiny Haley, and of course the highly competitive nerd, Alex. Alex constantly had her nose in the books and never cared about fashion. Actress Ariel Winter must have had a tough time playing such a plain geek because, in reality, she couldn't be further from that.
No glasses and fabulous hair, the very glamorous "Modern Family" star seems more like her sister Haley in reality. Maybe Haley is more like Alex? Whatever the case, the casting seemed to work.
Suzanne Warren (Uzo Aduba)
We all loved "Crazy Eyes." Suzanne Warren, AKA Crazy Eyes was the brilliant yet emotionally unstable convict in the infamous Litchfield Prison in the show "Orange Is the New Black." Actress Uzo Aduba somehow transformed into this unique character, and it wasn't just the help of those Bantu knots, and scrubs, but rather, some masterful acting.
With the crazed look in her eye, Uzo becomes somehow both endearing and extremely unsettling to watch. In reality, the actress is a wildly talented woman who has nabbed awards for performances, appearing on more and more shows, and even starred in a broadway musical.
Dianna (Tilda Swinton)
She's done it again! Tilda Swinton has an interesting and Avant guard look, and with that comes many unique roles. But perhaps the strangest role she ever took on was the role in Amy Schumer's romantic comedy "Trainwreck." In the film, she played a shockingly conventional fashion editor, who quite honestly, could look like anybody.
But behind that conventional look, she was such a passive-aggressive, demanding boss for Schumer's character. That, in itself, was a transformation from Swinton. With her blond highlights and fake tan, this might be Swinton's most unusual role to date. Swinton looks completely unrecognized in this "normal" LA look (albeit with a British accent.)
Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson)
In the series "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson," actors take on real people, portraying real crime stories that made history in America. When taking on a show like this, you better make sure that you get it as accurate as possible.
Sarah Paulson completely understood the assignment and did just that with her portrayal of Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the infamous O.J Simpson case. Paulson had it down to the finest details, immersing herself in the role of the woman during the notorious 1995 trial. Considering what Paulson actually looks like it proved to be a major feat.
Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan)
In "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" actress Rachel Brosnahan takes on the role of a 1950s housewife who strikes gold as a dynamite stand-up comedian in a world full of men. The show gorgeously depicts New York City in the late 50s and early 60s, a pivotal time in American culture. Brosnahan perfectly plays the (at first) dutiful wife and mom during this conservative era.
Armed with delicious brisket and pearls, Midge finds herself drunkenly killing it on stage at dingy New York nightclubs. Evolving throughout the show, it's hard to get a sense of the actress, Rachel Brosnahan, who just keeps on making transformative performances.
Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown)
Child actress Millie Bobby Brown burst onto our screens as Eleven, the protagonist in the Netflix series "Stranger Things." With telekinetic powers, Eleven has been a victim of cruel lab experiments all her life, giving her a freakish appearance and pretty much zero social skills. Though slowly but surely she finds her way with the help of her trusted friends.
Still, Eleven in season one is very different from the actress who plays her, who, even as a young star is wonderfully graceful, and also has beautiful long hair! Another remarkable part is that Eleven is such an understated character, yet Millie is so bubbly and larger than life in reality.
Madame D. (Tilda Swinton)
Tilda Swinton is renowned for undergoing radical makeovers for many of her roles. And in 2014, she did it again, morphing into this eccentric rich old woman named Madame D from Wes Anderson's incredible film "The Grand Budapest Hotel." The chameleon actress can play just about anything, as we've seen so far.
Madame D is an 84-year woman with an enviable will, she has countless liver spots and old lady lipstick. Tilda Swinton is a super-talented actress with an alien-like face who can blend easily into any character. Just take a look at her IMDB page. Not to mention, that move has an insane cast.
Janice Ian (Lizzy Caplan)
"Mean Girls" is a classic for any millennial. Apart from the hilarious script, what makes it so memorable is the cast, which is full of amazing characters. And such an example is the emo/goth art freak, Janice Ian who gets her need for a Regina George revenge seriously ignited.
The 2004 film put actress Lizzy Caplan on the map. Fans soon discovered that their favorite high school reject was very different under that punky hairstyle and smoky eyes. In fact, Lizzy may have even been able to make it in The Plastics! Since then, Caplan has had a variety of interesting roles, even playing a young Annie Wilkes in the series "Castle Rock."
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)
Lena Headey and Cersei Lannister from "Game of Thrones" could not be more different. For starters, actress Lena Heady is covered in tattoos and is super cool and chic. She is also a staunch social activist, who fights for LGBTQ issues, human rights, and immigration-related matters, and has even dabbled in an organization that funds Alzheimer's research.
Basically, Heady is a really good person. On the other hand, Cersei goes about her reign with a cold heart and a somber face. She will destroy you without much thought and she has also had some extremely wrong relationships during her lifetime.
Blanca Flores (Laura Gómez)
Hold onto your hats, because we're diving into an alternate reality! Laura Gómez, the dazzling star of "Orange Is The New Black," went to a pretty dark place for her role. In the show, she's Blanca Flores, the hair-raising, stare-inducing Litchfield inmate who practically screams "Caution: danger ahead!"
But wait for the punchline – in real life, Gómez is the picture of poise and elegance, the kind that makes Blanca look like a mischievous cousin at a family reunion. It's like witnessing a swanky gala turn into a wild circus act. Whether it's crazy hair or killer stares, Gómez proves that the magic of TV can transform even the chicest swans into feisty peacocks!
Angie (Julie Lake)
Strutting her stuff on the "Orange Is The New Black" stage, Julie Lake takes on the role of Angie Rice, where beauty standards seem to have taken a vacation. Yet, guess who's unapologetically unfazed? You got it – Angie herself! With her dental situation giving us a reason to grimace, it's quite the opposite story for Julie Lake.
Flashing a set of pearly whites that could outshine the sun, she's miles away from her on-screen counterpart's dental dilemma. In a world where prison life has its quirks, it's clear that Julie Lake's dazzling smile has its own VIP pass, making Angie's toothy troubles seem like a hilarious blip on the screen.
Helen (Francesca Curren)
As we know, when creating a world of tough convicted felons, sometimes you have to get a little ugly. Case in point, this skinhead, Helen. If you were to see Helen behind bars, you definitely wouldn't be surprised, but if you were to see actress Franescsa Curren around town you would never think it was the same gal.
Actress Francesa Curren did a lot to that prison look, starting with the basic head shave, creators needed tons of special makeup to get it right, and to top it all off, the face and neck tattoos that say, "I belong in prison."
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
Ah yes, the ladies of "GOT" never cease to amaze us. Without those crazy wigs and icy stares, these women are really just beautiful Hollywood starlets (British ones, in fact.) Emila Clarke of course looks very different from her character Daenerys Targaryen. Firstly, that witchy white blonde hair is fake - she is actually a brunette.
Not to mention the fact that Danny (as Jon Snow calls her) kind of goes crazy - and Emilia seems pretty level-headed in comparison. Also, the Mother of Dragons looks just as good in a romantic drama as she does on a big black throne. Check out Clarke in "Me Before You," where she plays an entirely different person.
Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks)
Since "The Hunger Games" takes place in the uncertain dystopian future in the fictional region of Panem, the minds behind it (both from the books and the films) had to dream up some zany-looking characters. Effie Trinket is an example of that. Her outlandish outfits and makeup, make her the quintessential Capitol resident.
Elizabeth Banks certainly has an innate ability to lose herself in a role and, in this case, transform into a pretty despicable character. But beneath that white powder and crazy clothes is the sweet and funny Elizabeth Banks, who really looks nothing like Effie Trinket, and is a lovely person in real life.
Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris)
The hilarious Amy Sedaris has no fear, and will do whatever she needs to do in order to get the laughs! We definitely saw this in the cult classic "Strangers With Candy" where she plays a bizarre and unfortunate-looking 45-year-old woman who returns to high school, named Jerri Blank.
Fitted with horrific fake teeth and tacky makeup, Jerri Blank and Amy Sedaris couldn't be more different. The very attractive comic is also clearly not in high school and is super smart. In fact, she comes from a family of smarties. Her brother is also a renowned humorist and writer David Sedaris.
Scathach (Lady Gaga)
You know when Lady Gaga jumps into acting, it's going to be big. Gaga has never shied away from outlandish outfits and playing with her looks. So we shouldn't be surprised when the Grammy-winning star immersed herself in the role of Scathach, the bloodthirsty witch from the 15th century.
Gaga was unrecognizable in this season of "American Horror Story," heck she was unrecognizable in "A Star is Born." To be honest, Lady Gaga has developed a reputation of being able to transform into many different characters, especially in her music videos. She also recently became Harley Quinn in the movie "Joker: Folie a Deux."
Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara)
The award-winning comedy series "Schitt's Creek" features some hilarious stars who can look incredible in wigs. That certainly goes for Catherine O'Hara who plays the insane Moira Rose, melodramatic ex-soap star and wife of the formerly very rich Johnny Rose, who is now suffering from serious downscaling.
O'Hara has been sporting these hilarious looks for years as a staple member of another series of films made by mockumentary maestro Christopher Guest. Off-camera, the actress looks totally sane and actually pretty casual. It's amazing to think the trajectory that O'Hara's career has taken over the last few decades. Pretty remarkable stuff.
Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore)
Mandy Moore was a pop teen sensation during the early 2000s, but ever since that, somehow, she has maintained that sweet "girl next door" look. So it was really surprising when we saw her age a couple of decades in the beloved series "This Is Us." The transformation is pretty amazing, and she convinced all of us that she had aged by 30-40 years.
In parts of the show, Moore is playing her character, Rebecca Pearson, years in the future. It's hard to believe that that is not an older woman, but the same Mandy Moore with heaps of makeup and typical "older lady" clothes. Generally speaking, Moore is amazing on that show.
Dee Dee Blanchard (Patricia Arquette)
The wildly talented Patricia Arquette has been moving us on TV screens and in theaters since the 80s, taking on different roles, time, and time again transforming into amazing and complex characters. She did it once again with her character Dee Dee Blanchard in the Hulu series called "The Act."
Her signature blonde hair was nowhere to be seen and she was barely recognizable in the pasty drab cardigans and sweaters. The role earned her an Emmy Award, which is definitely justified. It is no surprise that Patricia is such a diverse actress. After all, she comes from a family full of talented performers - including David and Rosanna.
Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy)
Claire Foy is English, yes, but she is no royal. That is until you see her in "The Crown" where she impeccably portrays the young Queen Elizabeth II around the time that she was crowned. Royals don't speak with just a regular posh accent, it's on a whole other level, just watch those speeches.
Better yet, just watch Foy as she disappears into the role in the brilliant Netflix series. The modest clothing and sensible hairdo also make her look older than she really is. When the actress is out of her Elizabeth costume, she looks totally different. Other actresses played the Queen in following seasons - but Foy nailed it.
Dorota (Zuzanna Szadkowski)
"Gossip Girl" was everyone's favorite guilty pleasure. The show that followed Manhattan's Upper East Side elite revealed the juicy stories of utterly privileged teens and college students. Though some weren't so privileged, like Dorota. The maid and confidant of Blair Waldorf was a special character.
While very prim and proper on the show, the actress Zuzanna Szadkowski is far more stylish in real life and looks like she might even perfectly blend in with the gang while they tear up the streets of Manhattan. In 2021, Szadkowski actually reprised the role of Dorota in the standalone sequel show of "Gossip Girl," making a surprise cameo in an episode.
Janine Ofwarren (Madeline Brewer)
"The Handmaid's Tale" is not an easy show to watch and the trials the characters go through are extremely troubling. The women who wear the red robes and white hoods are stripped of everything and are barely recognizable. That goes for Madeline Brewer, especially, who plays Janine Ofwarren.
Throughout the show, the actress is missing an eye and is deeply disturbed by the events of the story (no spoilers!). The actress of course (thankfully) very much has both eyes and looks like a completely different person when she's not playing Ofwarren. She also had a minor role in "Orange is the New Black."
Shannon Purser (Barb Holland)
We saw Barb for a hot second. The loveable nerdy redhead sadly got swallowed by the Upside Down far too soon. When fans found out who she was, they were all shocked to see that she barely resembles her character on TV.
OK, obviously her character is from the 80s, but still, actress Shannon Purser looks rather different from Barb and is nowhere near as frumpy. And of course, the corpse of Barb made a haunting return later on in the series. She still looks just as sweet though! And we can't wait to see what she ends up doing next in the world of TV and beyond.
Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael)
Bridging the gap between fiction and reality, "Downton Abbey" stars often prove their transformative prowess. It's not just the humble servants – Lady Edith herself takes the cake. Witnessing Laura Carmichael's enchanting makeover from the old-fashioned allure of the show to the red carpet glamour is truly remarkable.
Who knew a mere hairstyle could wield such power? While the estate's residents might sport a vintage charm, Laura Carmichael unleashes a contemporary dazzle that's a far cry from her on-screen persona. It's as if time travel has gifted her a modern-day elegance, leaving us in awe of the chameleon-like magic actors possess beyond the boundaries of period drama.
Detective Sgt. Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman)
In reality, actress Olivia Coleman sports a very fun blonde pixie do. Not at all like the serious Ellie Miller, the detective sergeant from the hit British show "Broadchurch," in which she stars alongside David Tennant.
The actress keeps blowing us away. Whether it be as a wicked stepmom in "Fleabag," the frail Queen Anne in "The Favorite," or once again, another queen (Queen Elizabeth) in "The Crown." In more recent times, Colman has even joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having an enigmatic role in the series "Secret Invasion." Ironically she plays someone hunting down Skrulls - a shapeshifting alien race.
Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby)
If you're a British actor, you inevitably end up playing a royal family member at some point in your career. That generally comes with a huge makeup and wardrobe team. For actress Vanessa Kirby, her time for that was during the first season of Netflix's "The Crown." After a six-month search, Kirby was chosen for the role, and she shows us why.
The actress completely immersed herself in the part, sharing an uncanny likeness to the young Princess Margaret (the Queen's wild sister) in both looks and signature mischievous demeanor. Of course, out of costume, she's the gorgeous Vanessa Kirby.
Dayanara “Daya” Diaz (Dascha Polanco)
Daya is shy and a little reserved, she loves her manga comic books and doesn't draw so much attention physically. Actress Dascha Polanco on the other hand is all colors. The actress has a totally different look with blonde hair, colorful streaks, and bright clothes.
This is just another example of how these "Orange is The New Black" characters are different from the actors behind them. Dascha Polanco did an incredible job playing what started off a timid, scared pregnant lady, who grows into her own over the course of the series and becomes one of the strongest inmates in the entire prison.
Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron)
It's one thing when an actor portrays a historic figure, it's another when they play people we see on TV every day. When Theron played the famous news anchor Megyn Kelly, audiences did a double-take. In the film "Bombshell" it almost looks as if it's Kelly playing herself, alas, it's Charlize Theron.
With eyelid prosthetics and makeup that gave her identical cheekbones, her look was completely transformed and everyone felt like they were watching the real Megyn Kelly. It's safe to say that Theron has a knack for stepping into weird and unexpected roles with relative ease. At least, she makes it look incredibly easy.
Andrea (Paloma Faith)
When you are the leader of the emos you have to look the part. Actress Paloma Faith jumped into the role of the morbid character from the film "St Trinians," which is, aesthetically, very different from her actual look.
In reality, the actress is blonde and loves vintage style colorful outfits. We're sure that Andre and Paloma would never be caught dead walking around together. Truth be told, Paloma Faith might be better known for her achievements as a British pop star. But this clearly demonstrates that she is a jack of all trades in the entertainment industry and continues to surprise.
Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman)
It's miraculous the difference a prosthetic nose can make. When actress Nicole Kidman donned the famous Virginia Woolf snout in the film "The Hours," she was instantly transformed into the famous writer. There was also quite a bit of makeup and the perfect wardrobe.
Kidman is totally blonde and has a very different-looking nose, as we all know. The brilliant actress more or less maintains the same look throughout her movies, though this one was a real step in another direction. Truth be told, everything that Nicole Kidman touches turns into absolute gold. But this really was the cherry on top of an illustrious career.
Karen Walker (Megan Mullally)
"Will & Grace" star Megan Mullaly gave us the hilarious Karen Walker. Walker described herself as "a spoiled, shrill, gold-digging socialite who would sooner chew off her own foot than do an honest day's work." That pretty much sums it up. Oh, and that high-pitched voice.
In reality actress, Megan Mullaly has a very normal voice and has a totally different demeanor from Karen. Her style is also much less flamboyant. In "Parks and Recreation," Mullaly showed up as one of Ron Swanson's estranged wives called Tammy. Of course, Mullaly and Nick Offerman are actually married in real life. How funny!
Billie Holiday (Andra Day)
“The United States Vs. Billie Holiday” is a 2021 biopic about the true story of jazz singer Billie Holiday being targeted by the government in the 1940s. Andra Day lost a significant amount of weight, at least 39 pounds, to appear as the legendary crooner.
She even picked up some of the singer's bad habits like drinking and fuming, which she does not recommend! There are so many crazy things that actors will do to immerse themselves in a role, and this was a prime example. Day said she absorbed herself in the suffering and hurt of the “Strange Fruit” singer and it took a personal toll.
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot)
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot dedicated herself to the 2017 superhero movie. Training for both "Wonder Woman" and “Wonder Woman 1984” required a vigorous workout, first thing in the morning, almost every day for six months. By the time she was done, Gadot was the most superior version of herself.
Gadot had to be in top shape to perform fight stunts and flying scenes. In addition to a vigilant workout, she nourished her body by eating three daily meals consisting of whole foods, healthy proteins, complex carbs, like wild rice, and, of course, vegetables. We imagine she will be back in the gym in preparation for the third installment.
Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
As Avenger Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson upped her fitness game drastically. She revamped her diet and worked out. A lot. She did several 90-minute sessions per week. She went almost completely vegan, except for some lean protein. She also did martial arts training for stunt work. Scarlett dedicated herself to the regime, but she did allow treats like chocolate cake occasionally.
As for tips, Johannsson stresses that everything should be done in moderation. When you do that many films with the same character, that radical transformation ends up becoming second nature. Johansson ended up getting the ultimate acknowledgment when she got her own "Black Widow" movie.
Winnie Mandela (Jennifer Hudson)
Even though nowadays, you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody who doesn't know who Jennifer Hudson is, this beautiful singer was still on her way to the top as an actress back in 2011. This proved to be the year that changed Hudson's life. The former American Idol finalist was cast in the historical drama, "Winnie Mandela." In order to play South Africa's beloved Winnie herself, Hudson had to lose some pounds.
And as if that weren't enough, she had a few months to perfect the difficult, and very particular, South African accent. The part also changed her life. Apparently, Hudson became a huge fan of the Weight Watchers diet regime and adopted it for everyday life, even after filming had ended.
Deena Jones (Beyoncé)
Queen Bey is the envy of women all around the world for her beautiful figure, and she has always been a proud defender of her curves. However, when the producers of 2006's musical drama, "Dreamgirls" decided to cast Beyonce as the film's main character, they made it clear they were looking for a more thin, slender type of look.
She was so invested in playing the part that she decided to go for it. Thanks to a strict juice fast, called 'The lemonade diet', Beyoncé lost 20 pounds in just two weeks. The transformation she made inside and out was truly spectacular.
Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow)
We all know Gwyneth Paltrow as a die-hard superfood and fitness advocate, which is why it was so surreal to see her as a curvy country song singer in the 2010 film, "Country Strong." Paltrow plays Kelly Canter, a country music superstar who is recovering from substance abuse problems and trying to find her way back to the top.
For the role, the actress had to gain over 20 pounds — an experience she said she really didn't enjoy, saying the worst part was not being able to work out. Shot in Nashville, Tennessee, the actress said there was no shortage of places to eat in order to put on weight. The blonde beauty said that she went back to a workout and healthy food regime as soon as filming ended.
Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence)
Jennifer Lawrence has definitely proven herself to be an outstanding actress in recent years. But above all, people have commended her for her very outspoken beliefs that actors shouldn't endure diets for any role. It seems, however, that everybody has their exception, and Lawrence was playing a Russian ballerina in the 2018 film, "Red Sparrow."
The actress not only endured a harsh diet, but she also worked closely with a ballerina coach so she could play the character as authentically as possible. While her dramatic roles have dried up a little over the last few years - we know that Jennifer Lawrence's next groundbreaking role is just around the corner.
Odile (Mila Kunis)
Mila Kunis is known for being one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood, and that includes her gorgeous physique. But that still wasn't enough for Kunis to portray the extremely thin ballerina Odile, in Aronofsky's "Black Swan."
The actress had to lose 20 pounds in just five short months, engaging in a low-carb, high-protein, 1200-calorie diet and rigorous training five hours every day of the week. Needless to say, a very intense regimen. Kunis said the whole experience left a mark on her, as she understood for the first time what actual professional dancers have to go through to make it to the top.
Billie Jean King (Emma Stone)
Training to become legendary tennis pro, Billie Jean King, in "Battle of the Sexes," Emma Stone had no choice but to up her game in every single way imaginable. She worked out with celeb trainer Jason Walsh until her slight figure was transformed into the physique of a professional athlete.
She gained 15 pounds and the physique of a competitor. Stone mastered Billie Jean King’s signature bounce, and she nailed the part, even though it was her first time portraying a real person. The film depicted King's historic 1973 match against Bobby Riggs and the events leading up to it.
Bob Dylan (Cate Blanchett)
Todd Haynes' 2007 film "I'm Not There" is a moving tribute to music legend, Bob Dylan. Several A-list actors play Dylan throughout the film, each portraying a different time of his life. One of those performances is that of Cate Blanchett, who surprisingly plays a young Dylan in the mid-sixties, and she is truly unrecognizable in the role!
The Australian actress said in an interview, that Dylan was very androgynous during the time that she was playing him. Blanchett wore a short-haired, wispy wig, and stuck a sock down her pants so she could "walk like a man." She truly committed to the role.
Tully (Charlize Theron)
In the 2018 comedy-drama “Tully,” Charlize Theron once again immersed herself in a role. This time she played an exhausted mom with young children. She gained 50 pounds to look like the frazzled postpartum wife and mother.
Theron said she wanted to feel like her character would. Packing on the weight did the trick, but it also changed her mood, causing great sadness. At first, it was fun eating In-N-Out and ordering two shakes, but a few weeks later she was in a dark spot. Also, it took a year and a half for the actress to get back to her previous size.
Maggie Fitzgerald (Hilary Swank)
In "Million Dollar Baby" Swank played Maggie Fitzgerald, a Southern waitress who ends up in the L.A. gym Hit Pit. Clint Eastwood, director and producer, co-stars with Swank. She told interviewers that this was one of the most difficult things she’s ever had to do. She started working out five hours a day and had to eat 210 grams of protein a day.
She reached her goal in an astounding 90 days. Producers asked her to pile on 10 pounds of muscle weight, but she went above and beyond with over 20 pounds of pure muscle added to her frame. She earned a second Academy Award for her performance. Hilary Swank certainly has a knack for undergoing incredible transformations for her roles.
Dr. Klemperer (Tilda Swinton)
The normally androgynous-looking Tilda Swinton is utterly unidentifiable in the 2018 horror remake of “Suspiria.” She plays Dr. Klemperer, an 82-year-old psychologist. The end result was absolutely light and day. It seems that the big the challenge is for Tilda, the better.
Not only is the character of Dr. Klemperer decades older than the actress, but she is also playing a man. An old man. It took up to four hours each day to pile on the makeup. Prosthetics were employed. The makeup artist filled in her jawline added prosthetic ears and augmented her belly fat. We wonder what will be the next big challenge for Tilda.
Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie)
The Australian actress Margot Robbie has proven her brilliance on stage time and time again, and it was no different when she portrayed the character Harley Quinn in DC Extended Universe's "Suicide Squad" film. Robbie claimed that it took over three hours to prepare the makeup, hair, and costume for Harley and just under an hour to remove it all again.
That's a lot of prep work, but it paid off because she inspired a great deal of Halloween costumes in the years to come. Following the success of this film, the Warner Bros. makers decided to do a female-centered spin-off, "Birds of Prey," in which Robbie served as one of the producers and portrayed Harley once again.
Elizabeth (Beth) Harmon (Anya Taylor Joy)
The world started taking note of Anya Taylor Joy on a different level when she starred as the leading protagonist in the Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit." This period drama mini-series is based on a Walter Tevis novel of the same name that is centered around a chess prodigy.
Taylor Joy's performance was stark and critically acclaimed as she gained a Golden Globe Award for her role in this binge-worthy mini-series. The character she portrayed, Beth, is an orphaned redhead that battles a dependency on substances which only grows as her skills in chess grow. In real life, she is a blonde beauty and seems a lot more sober-minded.
Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega)
Given the immense success of the Netflix series "Wednesday," it's quite apparent that Jenna Ortega was the ideal person to play this titular role. Acting as a reboot of "The Addams Family," this series placed a greater spotlight on Wednesday by making her the lead character.
The creator, Tim Burton, has also claimed that the show would never have been such a success if it weren't for Ortega bringing out a darkly funny character that can convey so much by saying very little. She really seemed to hit the nail on the head with her goth chic vibes in her role as Wednesday. In real life, Ortega's style is a lot more sleek and edgy and sometimes even bold.
Regina George (Rachel McAdams)
Most people have watched "Mean Girls" and some even know a bunch of quotes from this high school cult classic of the early noughties. Regina George, played by Rachel McAdams, is the main antagonist in this flick and is the so-called 'leader' of the mean girl group 'The Plastics.'
Regina is clever, manipulative and will do anything and everything in her power to get what she desires. In "Mean Girls," Regina looks like a doll with her long, straight blonde hair and fair skin. Luckily in real life, McAdams is much sweeter and has an elegant yet down-to-earth flair about her.
Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy)
It was not only the stars of "GOT" that stunned everyone with their ethereal characters, but also the ones in the series prequel, "House of the Dragon." Emma D'Arcy looks very different from their character in "House of Dragon" as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen. Also dressed in witchy white blonde hair that is definitely fake (just like their supposed descendant Daenerys).
In real life, they usually have much shorter brunette or red hair and have a really edgy style to them, which comes as no surprise as they come from an arty background. D'Arcy studied visual arts at Oxford and has dabbled in a lot of theater productions and has even launched their own theater company.
Esther Shapiro (Shira Haas)
In preparation for her role as Esther (Esty) Shapiro, Shira Haas had to shave her head and take both singing and piano lessons. Shaving one's hair is quite a tall order for a TV production when you usually have long hair in real life.
But it all paid off as the Israeli actress was nominated for a Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Award for her role in the mini-series "Unorthodox." It was this complex role that dazzled the public and really put Haas in the limelight. This hit show took everyone on a ride to get a peek into the ultra-conservative world of Brooklyn's Satmar Hasidic Jewish community.
Lisa Rowe (Angelina Jolie)
The cult classic "Girl, Interrupted" is based on a 1993 best-selling memoir that reveals what it's like to be a female in a mental institute in America in the 1960s. As you can see, Angelina Jolie doesn't really look like herself in this film, where she is portraying Lisa Rowe.
Lisa is the main antagonist in this psychological drama that has been institutionalized since the age of 12. She is a diagnosed sociopath that has manipulative, charismatic, and unruly streaks that acts as a sort of pack leader to the other patients. Luckily in real life, Jolie is relatively stable and sensible and has frequently been involved in humanitarian projects.
Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder)
Winona Ryder has played so many different roles over her acting career, and it has really proved her ability to become anyone on stage. Besides her freaky characters in a number of films like "Beetlejuice" and "Girl, Interrupted" and so much more, she also has played the hysterical mother, Joyce Byers, in the "Stranger Things" series.
Joyce was treated as if she was having a mental breakdown, and rightfully so, as she was certain that her disappeared son was communicating through the lights and other household appliances. Ryder received a bunch of nominees, and even one shared win for her role and Joyce in "Stranger Things."
Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman)
Natalie Portman took everyone by storm in 2011 when she portrayed Nina Sayers in the psychological drama "Black Swan." Nina is a talented but somewhat mentally unstable ballerina on the brink of stardom. Like most in this calling, her life as a ballerina is completely consumed by ballet and dance.
Portman had to shed a whopping 20 pounds from her already slender frame for this role and claimed that she was mostly eating carrots and some almonds to achieve this. It all paid off, though, as she attained an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in this movie. It was this award that checked the box for the first actress born in the 80s to have won an Oscar.
Marion Silver (Jennifer Connelly)
Marion Silver is portrayed by Jennifer Connelly as one of the main characters in the critically acclaimed 2000 film "Requiem for a Dream." In preparation for this role, Connely had to attend Narcotics Anonymous, and she also had to assemble her own wardrobe.
Based on a novel, this psychological drama takes everyone on a rollercoaster ride of what it's like to be dependent on substances and all the misery that comes along with that. Marion gets to a low point where she starts entering the world of prostitution in order to get her next fix. A rather disturbing tale that is definitely not for the faint-hearted!
Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer)
The series "Euphoria" pretty much took over social media when it was released in 2019. The series even got 41 wins and 106 nominations, according to IMDb. The HBO creators also declared that this series was the second most-watched series since 2004, after only the monster that was "Game of Thrones."
Hunter Schafer portrays one of the main protagonists Jules Vaughn. Jules is an all-embracing, free-spirited, and kind soul who tries to support her friends going through all sorts of troubles but ends up stretching herself too thin in the process. Thanks to this role, Schafer got catapulted to stardom and became the young celeb that she is today.
Empress Catherine II (Elle Fanning)
The talented Elle Fanning ruled in her role as Catherine the Great in the award-winning series "The Great." It wasn't easy for an outsider to rise to be the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia's history during the late 1700s, and Fanning is proof of that for her role in this satirical black comedy-drama.
The series is loosely based on real-life events that follow Catherine from her naive youth and marriage to Emperor Peter and focuses on her plot to kill her perverse and perilous husband. It's quite evident that a lot of time and patience must have been spent on creating Fanning's spectacular look in this series.
Cirilla (Ciri) Fiona Elen Riannon (Freya Allan)
"The Witcher" is a fantasy drama series rooted in a series of books by the Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowoski. It is set on a mythical medieval-inspired land known as the Continent and explores the legend of Geralt of Rivia, Princess Ciri of Cintra, and Yennefer of Vengerberg.
Freya Allan portrays Ciri, the Lady of Space and Time, and as you can see, she looks a lot different in real life compared to her on-screen counterpart. Don't be fooled by those blonde locks. They are fake. She actually has brunette hair in real life. The actress received a nomination for her performance as a young actress in this critically acclaimed series, as she was only 18 on the set of the first season.
Eva (Billie Eilish)
The "Happier Than Ever" Grammy award-winning singer Billie Eilish has been famous from a relatively young age, primarily for her pop music. However, recently, she also dabbled in the Hollywood acting scene for her role as Eva in the psychological drama series "Swarm."
Eva is a bashfully manipulative all-women cult leader who ensnares others under the impression of 'female empowerment.' The series focuses on toxic fandom, which is something that Eilish has juggled in real-life given her global stardom status. The singer and now the actress has admitted to wanting to try acting prior to this series, as both of her parents are actors, but she obviously focused on singing given her immense talent.
Nebula (Karen Gillian)
"Guardians of the Galaxy" is a three-part superhero series based on a group of intergalactic criminals from Marvel Comics of the same name. Karen Gillian portrayed Nebula as a blue-skinned cyborg. As you can see, this costume is no easy feat and must have taken ages to create on each day of filming!
Gillian has admitted that it took over four hours to get into the complete Nebula costume, which is finished with contact lenses and prosthetics, of which one hour was allocated to get her long hair into a bald cap. Not sure how long it took to take the full costume off, but four hours just to put it on shows a lot of commitment for this character.
Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter)
Helena Bonham Carter is one of England's most successful actresses, and this can partly be attributed to her extraordinary range and versatility when it comes to acting. In the cult classic 1999 film "Fight Club," Carter portrays Marla Singer, who is obsessed with death. She is a depressed young lady who frequents cancer support groups to make herself feel better.
Eventually, Marla discovers another imposter at one of these meetings whom she can't seem to avoid and who ultimately changes her life's trajectory. Other than this strange character, she has also carried a bunch of other freaky characters in productions like "Sweeny Todd" and "Alice in Wonderland," to name a few.
Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst)
"Marie Antoinette" is a historical drama film showcasing the ridiculously lavish life of the Queen of France in the 18th century, which is underlined by the enchanting costume design. Kirsten Dunst portrays Marie, whose opulence and grandeur are represented by silk, frills, and flowery and pastel-colored attire. It is most likely the costumes that took the lead in the film.
Thanks to the costumes, it became the visual and cinematic sensation that it was and gave everyone a peek into the 18th-century world of Versailles. A good costume designer should tell a story through dress, and that's precisely what happened here. The costume designer Milena Canonero even won an Academy Award for 'Best Achievement in Costume Design' for the film.
Elinor St. John (Jean Smart)
"Babylon" is a 2022 period comedy-drama movie featuring a star-studded cast that includes Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Jean Smart, and many other big names from Hollywood. The film may not be based on real events, but the creator certainly leaned on historical figures when crafting this film.
Many of the characters in this three-hour-long movie are loosely based on famous figures of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and that includes Jean Smart's character Elinor St. John. Elinor is a witty gossip columnist based on Elinor Glyn, who left England for Hollywood in the roaring 20s to pursue a career in screenwriting. Glyn was known for her scandalous romance stories and columns in initial issues of the magazines like Cosmopolitan and Photoplay.
Professor Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith)
Another actress with a mesmerizing presence is Maggie Smith. She has an immensely long acting career that started back in 1956 and has won several awards, including two Oscars. She was even given the title of Dame by the very Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for her services to the Arts and a Companion of Honor award for contributions to Drama in 2014.
In the Harry Potter series, she portrayed Professor McGonagall, who is the head of Gryffindor. Given that Hogwarts was a school for witches, Smith was always suited up in witch attire, like the hat you can see here. We're sure she has a lot of powers in real life, but not really of the magical kind.
Titania (Jameela Jamil)
Jameela Jamil is a British actress mostly known for her role as Tahani in "The Good Place," and it was this role that catapulted her into other big roles, such as her character Titania in "She-Hulk." Titania isn't your typical Marvel villain. Much like She-Hulk, Titania has superhuman abilities, and both of these characters are obsessed with staying on top in the public eye.
Jameel claimed that it was tough to put on the tight body suit for this character and even posted a video on Twitter that showed her trying to squeeze into the suit on set. In real life, Jameel has black hair and brown eyes, unlike Titania, who has red hair and green eyes.
Martha Walker (Harriet Walter)
Another actress with an extensive acting career is Harriet Walter. She has not only acted in dozens of films and series but has done a lot of work in theatrical productions, too, to the point where she became a partner of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1987.
She also has received five Emmy Awards and was assigned Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her contributions to Drama. She has starred in hotshot series like "Succession," "The Crown," and "Downton Abbey," just to name a few. In the Apple TV+ series "Silo," she portrayed Martha Walker, who looks quite different from the star in real life with her long braids.