When an actor plays a made-up role, the character's appearance might be developed from scratch. However, when they portray someone from real life, things become a little more tricky. Inevitably, audiences compare the actors with the historical figures they portray.
It's clear that representing a real-life person typically needs more than simply a strong performance. The actors also need to have a look that makes the audience feel as if they are seeing Princess Diana, Coco Chanel, or Muhammad Ali. Thanks to the combination of their look-alike appearance and the right makeup artist, these performers make the characters come alive on the screen. And many actors who played historical figures received major awards for their diligent research and hard work.
In this post, we have gathered 14 actors who look exactly like the historical figures they portrayed in movies. Let's scroll down and enjoy!
#1 Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani (House of Gucci)
Source: © House of Gucci / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and co-producers, © VOLPE / IPA / IPA / IPA / IPA / SIPA / East News
The film's creators wanted the performer to appear completely like Patrizia Reggiani. So they carefully studied Patrizia's looks and personality features, such as the way she spoke or how she painted her lips.
#2 Shirley MacLaine as Coco Chanel (Coco Chanel)
Source: © Coco Chanel / Lux Vide and co-producers, © Cleveland State University Libra / East News
Shirley has been a Chanel fan since she was a child, and interestingly, like Coco Chanel, she has a strong personality. She couldn't afford the clothes from this brand, so she had to settle for imitations, which she wore all the time when she was in her 20s and 30s.
#3 Jack Farthing as Charles, Prince of Wales (Spencer)
Source: © Spencer / Fabula and co-producers, © HUSSEIN ANWAR / SIPA / East News
Jack Farthing, like Prince Charles, is British. Perhaps it's one of the reasons he was able to embrace his role so well. By the way, this isn't his first time portraying a historical character. Previously, he played John Lennon.
#4 Lily James as Pamela Anderson (Pam & Tommy miniseries)
Source: © Pam & Tommy / Hulu and co-producers, © Courtesy Everett Collection / Everett Collection / East News
Lily James unexpectedly transformed into Pamela Anderson. She had to spend hours in the makeup chair while makeup experts reproduced Anderson's looks on her.
#5 Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci (House of Gucci)
Source: © House of Gucci / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and co-producers, © ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News
Thanks to the use of eyeglasses and a similar hairdo, Adam now has a resemblance to Maurizio.
#6 Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin (Chaplin)
Source: © Chaplin / Canal+ and co-producers, © Strauss-Peyton Studio / National Portrait Gallery / Wikimedia Commons, © CC BY 1.0
The performer had to complete a difficult assignment. He had to not only appear and act like Charlie Chaplin, but also describe him at various points in his life. Chaplin's life is shown in the film between the ages of 19 and 83.
#7 Granit Rushiti as Zlatan Ibrahimović (I Am Zlatan)
Source: © I Am Zlatan / B-Reel Films and co-producers, © imago sportfotodienst / East News
Granit Rushiti, who used to play soccer, was cast in the lead role as Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Zlatan is one of the most captivating figures in modern sport. The film talks about Zlatan at various points in his life, which is why it needs many actors to portray him.
#8 Michael Douglas as Liberace (Behind the Candelabra)
Source: © Behind the Candelabra / HBO and co-producers, © Allan warren / Wikimedia Commons, © CC BY-SA 3.0
Douglas accepted the role of the legendary pianist after the actor had defeated cancer. Another thing that helped him get into character was that the film was shot on Liberace's actual properties.
#9 Will Smith as Muhammad Ali (Ali)
Source: © Ali / Columbia Pictures and co-producers, © ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News
Will Smith initially declined to take on the job. He thought that he wasn't able to portray Muhammad Ali. Will added that he didn't want to be the one who ruined Muhammad Ali's image. However, Ali and his family specifically requested that Smith accept this role. And the actor did an excellent job.
#10 Gwilym Lee as Brian May (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Source: © mrgwilymlee / Instagram, © Carl Lender / Wikimedia Commons, © CC BY-SA 3.0
Gwilym played Brian May, a brilliant musician. Brian was overjoyed when he saw the movie and thought it was extremely cool to see a younger version of himself.
#11 Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee (Pam & Tommy miniseries)
Source: © Pam & Tommy / Hulu and co-producers, © PHOTOlink / Courtesy Everett Collection / East News
Stan's makeover into Tommy Lee includes several tattoos. The tattoos were recreated, printed on specialized paper, and placed on the actor's body. Every day, this procedure takes around 3 hours.
#12 Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana (Spencer)
Source: © Spencer / Fabula and co-producers, © John Mathew Smith & www.celebrity-photos.com / Wikimedia Commons, © CC BY-SA 2.0
A great group of individuals worked extremely hard to create the similarity between the actress and the princess. Thanks to the appropriate cosmetics and hair, Kristen certainly looked like Diana.
#13 Taron Egerton as Elton John (Rocketman)
Source: © Rocketman / Paramount Pictures and co-producers, © Associated Press / East News
The actor's transformation's major goal was not to create a parody of Elton John, but to portray the musician's personality through makeup and clothes. In order to make the transformation perfect, Taron's hair on his chest and arms was also colored because he had to wear a lot of show clothes.
#14 Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash (Walk the Line)
Source: © Walk the Line / 20th Century Studios and co-producers, © Joel Baldwin / LOOK Magazine, April 29, 1969. p.72 / Wikimedia Commons, © CC BY 1.0
Reese is delighted with her Oscar-winning performance. She said that after portraying June Carter Cash, she felt like she had changed into a genuine country artist like her. That strong feeling left a lasting impression on her life.