A great period piece or biopic is compelling that takes us back in time and provides a nuanced look at someone’s life during a specific period of time. When selecting the cast for a biographical movie, the director must walk a fine line between actors’ physical similarities and their acting skills.
There is always a risk in casting actors to portray historical figures, but now, some talented actors, amazingly, rock their roles. Sometimes, they embody their characters that we forget we’re watching a movie. While some movie stars have undergone a huge physical transformation to stay in their character, some are lucky enough to show an uncanny resemblance to their historical figures.
Below are 14 actors who bear striking resemblance to the historical figures they played in movies.
#1 Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani (House of Gucci)
“House of Gucci” follows Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci, as their romance transforms into a fight for control of the Italian fashion brand Gucci. The filmmaker cast Lady Gaga for the role of Patrizia Reggiani because of their resemblance. Lady Gaga put her best Italian accent for this role, reportedly speaking in it for nine months during filming.
#2 Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci (House of Gucci)
Lady Gaga’s co-star in “House of Gucci” is Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci. In the movie, the actor wore a white knit sweater, white pants, and especially eyeglasses that made him look exactly like his character.
#3 Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana (Spencer)
We’ve been given the first look of Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in the film “Spender” and the actress looks like a doppelgänger of the Princess. Makeup and costume artists studied Diana’s style to create a realistic version of the Princess.
#4 Jack Farthing as Charles, Prince of Wales (Spencer)
Jack Farthing is British which made him look like a real prince. For this reason, the director starred him as Prince of Wales, Charles and the actor loved this role.
#5 Granit Rushiti as Zlatan Ibrahimović (I Am Zlatan)
Director “I Am Zlatan” Jens Sjogren experienced difficulty in selecting the actors who would play Zlatan Ibrahimović. The first time he saw talented striker, Granit Rushiti on a football pitch, he decided to give the role to Rushiti.
#6 Shirley MacLaine as Coco Chanel (Coco Chanel)
Academy Award-winning actress Shirley MacLaine stars as Coco Chanel in the critically acclaimed film of the same name. the actress shared she has been a fan of Chanel but she couldn’t afford the clothes from this brand. Therefore, she was so happy when taking on the role of Chanel.
#7 Gwilym Lee as Brian May in (Bohemian Rhapsody)
In August 2017, it was announced that Gwilym had joined the cast of Bohemian Rhapsody as Queen’s guitarist Brian May. His performance in the movie received praises from critics and movie buffs.
#8 Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin (Chaplin)
Robert Downey Jr. took the lead role in the biopic of the legendary Charlie Chaplin, which traces his entire career from poverty-stricken childhood through to his final Swiss exile and lifetime Oscar recognition. He fulfilled the role perfectly.
#9 Lily James as Pamela Anderson (Pam & Tommy miniseries)
Lily James successfully transformed into Pamela Anderson in “Pam and Tommy miniseries”. The actress was virtually unrecognizable with her pencil-thin eyebrows and platinum blonde hair.
#10 Sebastian Stan as Tommy Lee (Pam & Tommy miniseries)
When paparazzi photos of Sebastian Stan on the set of “Pam and Tommy miniseries” were released, many were shocked by his uncanny resemblance to the character, Tommy Lee. His transformation relied heavily on Lee’s many body tattoos. The tattoos were re-created in Photoshop and printed on a special water slide paper.
#11 Taron Egerton as Elton John (Rocketman)
The talented makeup artists and costume designers helped Egerton pull off his spot-on performances as Elton. He wore a wing, had thick eyebrows, and had longer sideburns.
#12 Michael Douglas as Liberace (Behind the Candelabra)
It took a lot of makeup and some magic to bring Liberace back to life for HBO’s “Behind the Candelabra”. Before taking on the role of Liberace, the actor managed to beat his cancer.
#13 Will Smith as Muhammad Ali (Ali)
Will Smith actually turned down the role of Muhammad Ali in “Ali”. He relented after Ali called Smith and asked him to take the role because he was the only one as good-looking as him that could play the role.
#14 Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash (Walk the Line)
Playing the role of June Carter Cash was one of the most rewarding experiences of Reese Witherspoon’s life. The actress shared that she felt completely transformed into an authentic country artist and was obsessed with stunning costumes.