12 Actors Who Played Characters That Aren't Their Real-Life Counterparts

A genuinely talented actor or actress is able to make a character seem like a real person. But occasionally they perform their roles a little too well, leading us to believe that they are the exact same person as the character they played. These actors played characters that aren't their real-life counterparts.

Sure, some actors might resemble the characters they've portrayed on screen quite closely, but many of them are very different. Obviously, when you've been associating them with specific character traits for years, this comes as a huge shock. Even though none of the characters they play in their other roles are the same, some of the actors on our list are incredibly versatile and have played one character so well that we were surprised to learn it was only acting. These actors who play characters who are not real-life partners.

We are captivated by actors who totally immerse themselves in the characters they play. Here are some extreme contrasts between on-screen and real-life scenarios that may astound you.

#1 Ariel Winter as Alex Dunphy

Actors Who Played Characters, blair waldorf quotes, walter white rdr2Source: © Modern Family / 20th Television, © arielwinter / Instagram

We watched her grow up as the overachieving, driven, and geeky Alex Dunphy, characterized by her signature glasses and casual sense of fashion, over the 11 seasons of Modern Family. Ariel, on the other hand, does not appear to be sharing her wardrobe with her character. As seen on her social media, the 24-year-old is glamorous and trendy, and she isn't afraid to experiment with daring hair colors.

#2 Bryan Cranston as Walter White

Actors Who Played Characters blair waldorf quotes, walter white rdr2Source: © Breaking Bad / Sony Pictures Television, © bryancranston / Instagram

He is best known as the dark and cunning anti-hero in the crime drama Breaking Bad. However, it appears that in real life, actor Bryan Cranston has nothing to do with his severe and threatening on-screen persona. The actor is known for his sense of humor and love of pranks, and he does not take himself too seriously.

#3 Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo

Actors Who Played Characters, blair waldorf quotes, walter white rdr2Source: © Game of Thrones / Warner Bros. Television Studios, © emilia_clarke / Instagram

Jason's behavior and physique in Game of Thrones were menacing and even terrifying as the powerful and imposing tribe chief in the first season. In real life, however, the 6-foot-4 actor is known for his lovely personality, goofiness, and kindness. He's even revealed that he travels the world with his children's stuffed animals and enjoys wrapping his co-stars in a warm hug.

#4 Laura Gómez as Blanca Flores

Actors Who Played Characters, blair waldorf quotes, walter white rdr2Source: © Orange Is the New Black / Lionsgate Television, © mslauragomez / Instagram

The former inmate in Orange Is the New Black, with messy hair and a unibrow, is nothing like the glamorous actress who plays her. Laura is an activist, writer, and director who received the NYU Technisphere Award for her short movie.

#5 Leighton Meester as Blair Waldorf

Actors Who Played Characters, blair waldorf quotes, walter white rdr2Source: © Gossip Girl / Warner Bros. Television Studios, © itsmeleighton / Instagram

Blair, one of the main characters in the Gossip Girl series, is a super-rich and spoiled heiress. The actress who plays her, on the other hand, was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. In fact, her mother was incarcerated at the time Leighton was born. The actress had a difficult childhood, revealing that she "experienced food insecurity" as a child.

#6 Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay

Actors Who Played Characters blair waldorf quotes, walter white rdr2Source: © Friends / Warner Bros. Television Studios, © LCLA/Broadimage/Broad Image/East News

For years, Phoebe Buffay, one of Friends' six main characters, made us smile by portraying a free-spirited and spontaneous woman. Despite her intelligence, Phoebe preferred to trust her intuition and was skeptical of scientific theories. In reality, Lisa Kudrow has a degree in Biology and has co-authored a scientific research paper on headaches with her father.

#7 Natalie Portman as Alice

Actors Who Played Characters blair waldorf quotes, walter white rdr2Source: © Closer / Columbia Pictures, © ZAK BRIAN/SIPA/EAST NEWS

Natalie, in addition to being an accomplished Oscar-winning actress, graduated from Harvard with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. This was around the time she was filming the role of Alice, a pink-wig-wearing club dancer, in the 2004 romantic drama Closer.

#8 Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson

Actors Who Played CharactersSource: © How I Met Your Mother / 20th Television, © nph / Instagram

Neil Patrick played Barney, one of the five main characters on the hit TV Show How I Met Your Mother, for nine years. In the show, he was a serial womanizer who refused to settle down with just one person. In real life, Neil Patrick came out in 2006, and he and his 17-year partner, now husband, are proud parents of twins.

#9 Rami Malek as Elliot Alderson

Actors Who Played CharactersSource: © Mr. Robot / Universal Content Productions, © VALERIE MACON/AFP/East News

Rami plays an introverted professional hacker with a dissociative personality disorder in the Mr. Robot series. In an interview, Rami admitted that the character he plays on screen has nothing to do with him, admitting, “He’s my polar opposite. I’m an exuberant person. I thrive on affection. I like chitchat.”

#10 Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean

Actors Who Played CharactersSource: © Mr. Bean's Holiday / Universal Pictures, © AFP/EAST NEWS

Rowan Atkinson developed and has played the famous comedy character of Mr. Bean for decades. The latter is distinguished by his childish behavior and silly antics, which frequently get him into trouble. In real life, the actor is known for his exceptional intelligence. He also has a degree in Electrical Engineering.

#11 Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy

Actors Who Played CharactersSource: © Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures, © t22felton / Instagram

We know that spoiled Draco, who enjoys bullying his peers and enviously looks up to Harry Potter, hates other students at the school of witchcraft. However, a look at Tom Felton's Instagram shows that the actor is kind and caring to Harry Potter fans and never misses an opportunity to show his love for the franchise by paying tribute to the main character.

#12 Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Actors Who Played CharactersSource: © Thor / Paramount Pictures, © ANGELA WEISS/AFP/East News

Tom has admitted that he enjoys playing Loki, a mischievous villain in the Marvel franchise, and exploring all of his sides. However, in real life, the actor is far from this mercurial character and is a sweet person who enjoys doing charity work and is a UNICEF ambassador.
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