15 Actors Who Dramatically Transformed For A Role That Take Fans By Storm

How difficult is it to become an actor? Anyone can become an actor, but to become a professional actor is another matter. Many individuals think that acting is simply memorizing lines and they think they can do it. They say “ If I could remember, I could be an actor, too.” However, as actors themselves know, it is a job that requires great skills and tremendous dedication. And one of the most difficult things an actor can go through is performing a role that demands them to endure significant physical changes.
In the history of the film industry, many actors who have transformed dramatically for a role. Whether by changing their weight, hairstyle, or with the help of makeup and prosthetics, many have achieved their goal of becoming unrecognizable on the big screen. From Margot Robbie to Michael Keaton, here are photos of your actors who have transformed dramatically for a role. You know the actors, but you may not recognize them here.

#1 Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth I in Mary Queen of Scots

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Margot Robbie stuns fans by dressing up as Queen Elizabeth I in 'Mary, Queen of Scots. She won the Oscars for Best Actress and Best Costume Design.

#2 Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Source: Invision/Invision/East News, Nadja Klier/Capital Pictures/East News

It's hard to blame moviegoers for not immediately recognizing Foy as the hacker-turned-avenger Lisbeth Salander. After appearing in "First Man" with unfashionable short hair and a Southern U.S. accent, the British actress has now buffed up, wore dramatic makeup, and adopted a Swedish lilt for "Girl." The film is a half sequel, a part remake of David Fincher's 2011 film "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which starred Rooney Mara and won her an Oscar nomination.

#3 Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye Bakker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Source: Maurizio D'Avanzo / IPA/SIPA/Sipa Press/East News, Searchlight Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection/East News

Jessica Chastain transformed in ' The Eyes of Tammy Faye', a new biopic about Tammy Faye Bakker (1942-2007). To look more like the controversial American TV house, the actress had to wear prosthetics, wigs, and heavy makeup - and the skin on her face ended up being greatly affected.

#4 Lily James as Pamela Anderson in Pam & Tommy

Source: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP/East News, Album Online/East News

James began her metamorphosis into the character long before stepping on set to get into hair, makeup, and wardrobe for the first episode. She began working with a physical trainer six months before filming began. "I worked with this amazing trainer, Matt Bevan, who worked with Daisy Ridley as well," James says. "He worked me so hard and I got really fit. I lost a ton of weight."

#5 Glenn Close as Gutless in Hook

Source: AP/East News, © Hook / Amblin Entertainment and co-producer

Wait, what?! True, the pirate who was put into the "Booboo Box" was none other than Glenn Close in a gender-swapping cameo. This actress, singer, and producer has graced our stages and screens for decades. Cruella de Vil in Disney's live-action 101 Dalmations, The Stepford Wives, Damages, Love, Marilyn, and Guardians of the Galaxy are some of her most well-known performances.

#6 Sean Penn as John Mitchell in Gaslit

Source: Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection/East News, Starz! Movie Channel/Courtesy Everett Collection/East News

As Sean Penn's prosthetic makeup and hair designer on "Gaslit", Kazu Hiro had to turn the two-time Oscar winner into former U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell. That meant a full face of prosthetics.

#7 Tilda Swinton as Dianna in Trainwreck

Source: Marechal Aurore/ABACA/Abaca/East News, Image supplied by Capital Pictures/EAST NEWS

Famous for her avant-garde style and bare-bones approach to beauty, Tilda Swinton is unrecognizable — and shockingly conventional — as Dianna, the ruthless editor at a raunchy men’s magazine in "Trainwreck". "She’s over the top, over-tanned, and does everything in the biggest way," says makeup artist Kyra Panchenko.

#8 Nicole Kidman as Virginia Wolf in The Hours

Source: Georges De Keerle/SIPA/EAST NEWS, EAST NEWS

For "The Hours," makeup artists had to convert Nicole Kidman into the homely author Virginia Woolf, a procedure that took three hours every day. Kidman was practically unrecognizable because of a huge prosthetic nose.
"I did enjoy being anonymous," the star told me. "It was fun to be able to go out of my trailer and not have anyone know me."  Nonetheless, she was surprised to see those preview audiences watched through the film without recognizing it was her.

#9 Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein for Maestro

Source: Hahn Lionel/ABACA/EAST NEWS, Kristin Callahan/Everett Collection/East News

Bradley Cooper is directing the Netflix movie Maestro and starring as Leonard Bernstein opposite Carey Mulligan. It's hard to recognize him in this role.

#10 Emmy Rossum as Angelyne in Angelyne

Source: Invision/Invision/East News, © Angelyne / Universal Cable Productions and co-producers

Emmy Rossum is unrecognizable in Peacock's five-part limited series Angelyne, four-year labor of love for the star and executive producer. She changes everything, from her voice to her appearance, to play the titular real-life actress, who came to fame after multiple enigmatic billboards depicting her appeared in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

#11 Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse

Source: MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/East News, 20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection/East News

Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur) is a supervillain that appears in Marvel Comics comic books. He is one of the first mutants in history and served as the main antagonist for the original X-Factor team as well as the X-Men and related spin-off teams in the past.

#12 Gary Oldman as Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Source: USA TODAY Network/Sipa USA/East News, Columbia Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection/Everett Collection/East News

To achieve the most dramatic makeover, Oldman wore a lot of aging makeup and prosthetics as the old Count (in photo).

#13 Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci in House of Gucci

Source: Invision/Invision/East News, MGM/Ferrari Press/East News

Jared Leto is a master of transformation. In 2021, he disappeared behind prosthetics and a bald cap to portray Paolo Gucci in “House of Gucci”.

#14 Charlize Theron as Aileen in Monster

Source: JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP/East News, East News

Theron went all-out for her part as legendary serial murderer Aileen Wuornos, gaining 30 pounds and putting up with huge brow plucking, filthy hair, and nasty prosthetic teeth.

#15 Michael Keaton as Betelgeuse in Beetle Juice

Source: Gilbert Flores/Broadimage/EAST NEWS, East News

Michael Keaton had a classic transformation when he played the character Betelgeuse in "Beetle Juice".Since its release, the film has become a fan favorite for Halloween. And with an impressive cast including Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, and Geena Davis, Beetlejuice became a critical and box office success.
So, if you don't know, here are actors who have transformed dramatically for a role.
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