7 Actors Who Totally Nailed Iconic Woman Roles

No one can play a woman quite like a woman, but every once in a while, male performers will attempt to take on the challenging role of a female character. Sometimes they perform roles in which a guy dresses up as a woman, and other times they have to fully assume the persona of the female character.
It's not an easy feat, but a few people have pulled off some unexpectedly impressive performances despite the difficulty. The following is a list of actors who totally nailed iconic woman roles despite their lack of gender identity or experience.

1. John Travolta in 'Hairspray'

Source: Hairspray

Since 'Grease,' Travolta hasn't appeared in a musical, but in 'Hairspray,' he plays a very different kind of character. Edna, who was portrayed by a woman who wore a fat suit that weighed more than 30 pounds, has been a fan favorite since the film's 2007 release.

2. Martin Lawrence in 'Big Momma’s House'

Source: Big Momma’s House

In 'Big Momma's House,' Lawrence played an undercover cop posing as an elderly pensioner, another film that went down the unneeded sequel rabbit hole. The film seems to be trying to replicate the success of "Mrs. Doubtfire," but it falls short despite its best efforts.

3. Shawn and Marlon Wayans in 'White Chicks'

Source: White Chicks

It's better not to consider the backlash that might ensue if "White Chicks" was released in today's politically correct society, because it's truly an amusing film. What could go wrong with two undercover officers dressing up as young socialites, going shopping, and breaking it down? Terry Crews, who never seems to age, and his infatuation with the song "A Thousand Miles" are the show stoppers.

4. Jared Leto in 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Source: Dallas Buyers Club

Leto plays Rayon, a minor character, in the Matthew McConaughey film Dallas Buyers Club. Later, he won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

5. Eddie Murphy in 'The Nutty Professor'

Source: The Nutty Professor

You're right, and it's not exactly a masterpiece of cinema. Neither its sequel nor the abomination that followed it, "Norbit," should be brought up again. But Murphy's portrayal of Mama and Grandma Klump, who only appear for a few scenes around the dinner table, is one of the show's high points.

6. Eddie Redmayne in 'The Danish Girl'

Source: The Danish Girl

Redmayne, nominated for an Oscar, portrays Lili, a transgender lady. "Made me look at the notion of my gender," Redmayne remarked of his experience portraying the role.

7. Dustin Hoffman in 'Tootsie'

Source: Tootsie

In one of his most iconic cinematic roles, Dustin Hoffman plays Michael, a washed-up actor who will resort to cross-dressing to land a part in a low-budget soap opera. Hoffman's portrayal of Dorothy was so well received that it won him a Golden Globe.
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