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How Makeup Makes These 18 Actors Look Nothing Like The Characters They Portray

Makeups have come a long way in cinema. No, really, think of the zombies from the horror classic Night of the Walking Dead, and compare that to the latest installment of Resident Evil. See the difference?

In movie-making, makeups play a crucial part. It brings ideas from movie-makers minds to life, no matter how silly or scary it is. To moviegoers, makeups help them render the character’s personality from fiction into reality. Without makeup, a lot of genres are going to struggle with authenticity.

I mean, it is so important, that makeup has transcended into an art form. There are movie awards dedicated to the best makeup, even! It is surprising how wigs, makeup, and prosthetics can alter a person’s look.

Sometimes, by wearing makeup, an actor might look like a totally different person. Even a different species! In fact, these 18 actors will prove how makeup can make them look nothing like their on-screen selves.

#1 Game of Thrones: Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister.

Source: Kevin Winter / HBO / Via Getty Images

Cersei might have a golden, flowing mane for hair, but not Lena. Even the short blonde crop is nothing like the brunette’s actual punk-looking hair.

#2 St Trinian’s: Paloma Faith as Andrea

Source: Stuart C. Wilson/Entertainment Film Distributors / Via Getty Images

Paloma might be classic emo in St Trinian’s, but redhead’s style and look are quite vintage in real life.

#3 Twilight: Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen

Source: Valerie Macon/AFP/Summit Entertainment / Via Getty Images

Dear Robbie is nothing like the well-groomed, marble-skin vampire he plays in Twilight. Imagine the shattering hearts of teenage girls when they see Robert’s actual unkempt eyebrows.

#4 Ugly Betty: America Ferrera as Betty Suarez.

Source: Kevork Djansezian / ABC / Via Getty Images

Betty Suarez is a quirky nerd who works for a fashion magazine, so double the awkwardness. America Ferrera isn’t in fact, she looks stunning without all her Betty’s makeup.

#5 Peaky Blinders: Cillian Murphy as Thomas Shelby.

Source: Pascal Le Segretain/BBC / Via Getty Images

Cillian is the proof that undercuts and threads can transform your average bloke into one of the smoldering hot guys.

#6 Trainwreck: Tilda Swinton as Dianna.

Source: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Universal Pictures / Via Getty Images

Long-time movie geeks will know instantly that Tilda Swinton looks nothing like Dianna. The actress prefers a shorter, sleeker hairstyle.

#7 Game of Thrones: Emilia Clarke as Daenerys “Khaleesi” Targaryen.

Source: Dimitrios Kambouris / HBO / Via Getty Images

Some of us thought Emilia was really a blonde, but in real life, she had dark hair and a lot more modern style. But she rocks both, doesn’t she?

#8 Orange Is the New Black: Dascha Polanco as Dayanara “Daya” Diaz

Source: Gregg DeGuire/Netflix / Via Getty Images

Daya might look like a haggard jailbird with a messy afro, but Dascha actually quite adventurous with her look. The unicorn dye job rocks!

#9 Gavin & Stacey: Ruth Jones as Vanessa “Nessa” Jenkins.

Source: Gareth Cattermole/BBC / Via Getty Images

The tight outfits and blunt black bob might make her look like a badass housewife, but Ruth Jones’ style is much tamer in real life.

#10 Bombshell: Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly.

Source: Mike Coppola/Lionsgate / Via Getty Images

With makeup, colored contacts, and prosthetic eyelids, Charlize Theron becomes Megyn Kelly. Honestly, even her biggest fan won’t recognize Charlize in Bombshell.

#11 The Office: Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute.

Source: Phillip Faraone / NBC / Via Getty Images

The nerdy-but-awkwardly-sterned Dwight looks nothing like Rainn Wilson. In fact, Rainn looks like a very approachable average Joe.

#12 Breaking Bad: Bryan Cranston as Walter White

Source: Michael Loccisano / AMC / Via Getty Images

We don’t blame you for not recognizing this one. Bryan Cranston looks like your neighborhood soccer dad and looks nothing like the drug lord bald-headed Walter White.

#13 Derry Girls: Siobhán McSweeney as Sister Michael.

Source: Jeff Spicer/Channel 4 / Via Getty Images

Sister Michael is a hard-ass looking dark-hair nun, which is contrary to the sunshine platinum-bomshell Siobhán.

#14 Mean Girls as Lizzie Caplan as Janis Ian.

Source: Frazer Harrison/Paramount Pictures / Via Getty Images

The real, no-nonsense Janis has a signature early-noughties alternative look. So imagine the surprise when we find out Lizzie Caplan’s true glamour.

#15 The Hours: Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf.

Source: Michael Loccisano/Paramount Pictures / Via Getty Images

From a classy blonde Hollywood star to a mundane brunette countrywoman, Nicole Kidman is unrecognizable in The Hours as Virginia Woolf.

#16 Community: Donald Glover as Troy Barnes.

Source: Angela Weiss/AFP / NBC / Via Getty Images

Even when he comes out, high school jock Troy still looks like a regular jock. Donald Glover, however, is ten times more fabulous.

#17 Will & Grace: Megan Mullally as Karen Walker.

Source: Jason Kempin / NBC / Via Getty Images

With money to spend, bougie attire, and dark locks, the drunkest and richest New York socialite Karen Walker looks worlds apart from her actress Megan Mullally.

#18 Phyllis Logan as Mrs. Hughes in Downton Abbey.

Source: Michael Loccisano/ITV / Via Getty Images

Out of her drab dresses and updo, Phyllis Logan looks nothing like Mrs. Hughes the housekeeper. In fact, she looks like she has several doing house chores for her.

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