If all actors and actresses only played characters that looked and acted like themselves, they wouldn’t get very much work. One of the glorious perks of choosing acting as a career is that you get to play characters that are nothing like yourself- you get to see what it is like to live the life of someone completely unlike yourself. For someone that is straight, you might understand what it is like to be gay; for someone that is a confident hero, you might know what it feels like to play the coward or the loser; and for someone that is a totally sexy babe, you might learn what it feels like to be unattractive. You can be just anyone or anything without worrying about it.
One of the crazier things that happens in Hollywood is when actors bulk up or slim down for roles. It’s been going on since Robert De Niro added pounds of muscle for Cape Fear all the way through every weight fluctuation Christian Bale goes through for his roles.
There are also plenty of instances when hot actresses dress down to look a little more homely or plain. We’re not talking about Renee Zellwegger putting on a little weight to look the part in Bridget Jones’ Diary, or Jenna Fischer applying massive amounts of mousse to her hair to give it that crinkly, girl-next-door look in The Office, or Rashida Jones straightening her hair and refusing make up so that she could look like the nurse next door, Ann Perkins, in Parks and Recreation. We’re talking about those hot actresses that could have been models for a living making themselves look like total garbage for the sake of their shows and movies. We’re talking about massive weight gain; hours in makeup chairs with prosthetics to make them look more “imperfect”; hours of practicing mannerisms and behaviors to make them less desirable. This is hard work. And here they are – some of the hottest babes that have played some of the most repulsive characters.
15. Christina Ricci
In the 2006 quirky, fantastical, romantic comedy Penelope, Christina Ricci played the title character: a pig-nosed woman born under a curse that can only be broken by true an faithful love (aka, James McAvoy’s character). The ridiculously premised movie also stars Catherine O’Hara, Reese Witherspoon, and Peter Dinklage, and it’s all about accepting imperfections and loving yourself for who you are. A pretty good cast and a decent a message, right? However, they chose a great moral for an absurdly dumb plot, so no one really saw the movie.
Of course, it’s plain to see that, without this ridiculous prosthetic nose, Christina Ricci is still a total babe. Christina’s done some smoking-hot photo shoots, some completely nude, though most are fairly tasteful. This is definitely one of her more family friendly ventures, though, and you’ll still have to suffer through the entire movie with her in that ridiculous nose!
14. Linda Cardellini
Linda seemed to be the perfect casting choice for our beloved nerd from the old gang, Velma, in Scooby-Doo. She could convincingly rock that bob haircut, the thick rimmed black glasses, and the orange turtleneck (which, really, it’s hard to pull off an orange turtleneck sweater). She played the role so well and so convincingly that many of us didn’t notice the hottie behind those brains.
Linda is certainly good at playing non-sexy characters, like the murderous step-daughter in Legally Blonde or just one of the nerds in Freaks and Geeks, but she is a fox in real life. You may recognize her as Clint Barton’s (Hawkeye’s) babe of a wife in Avengers 2, or as one of Don Draper’s many love interests in Mad Men, or even as Jessica Day’s rebellious, over-sexed, and dramatic sister in New Girl. She’s definitely a sexy lady, but she sure knows how to dress up like a dork!
13. Cameron Diaz
Cameron has played some incredibly sexy characters. In fact, she’s probably better known for her sexier roles in films like Charlie’s Angels (as super spy Natalie Cook), There’s Something About Mary (as the coveted girlfriend Mary), and The Other Woman (as mistress Carly Whitten) than she is for her roles in films that inspire more thought, like those in My Sister’s Keeper (as mother Sara Fitzgerald), Gangs of New York (as thief Jenny Everdeane), and, of course, Being John Malkovich (as transgender wife Lotte Schwartz).
Though the movie was billed as a drama-dy (part drama, part comedy), Cameron took the role very seriously; her makeup artist Gucci Westman claimed that it was a challenge to get her to look so homely every day. He certainly did more than make her homely- he made her look like a straight up mess! Cameron wasn’t really a desirable love interest until the very end of the film (and even then, it depends on who you’re asking)!
12. Amanda Seyfried
Obviously, this part-horror movie, part-comedy about a possessed high school hottie that goes on a killing spree is going to star some babes. In Jennifer’s Body, Megan Fox plays the role of Jennifer, the high school cheerleader that comes back from the dead as a succubus, and Amanda Seyfried plays her nerdy and bookish best friend, who is so aptly named Needy. Amanda certainly dressed herself down for the role; viewers have to wonder if she spent any time at all in the makeup chair before wandering on set, or if she put a lot of effort into looking that apathetic.
The scene where she tries on her prom dress has all female viewers reeling in disgust (she’s wearing that?), and definitely flaunts that the studio was worried something, anything, might make Amanda comparably attractive to Megan Fox. Though Amanda’s primary job throughout most of the movie was to stay less attractive than Megan Fox, she went above and beyond the call and made herself downright gross for a few scenes.
11. Amy Sedaris
This 1999 tv series turned 2005 movie, Strangers With Candy, starred Amy Sedaris as a 46-year-old junkie and ex-convict who is returning to high school in an effort to get a fresh start at life. The quirky comedy, which also stars great actors and comedians like Stephen Colbert, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Allison Janney, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, wasn’t exactly a hit, but it was that silly, slapstick humor that was all the rage in the 2000s.
Amy Sedaris donned an overbite, shouted a lot in her high-pitched voice, wore a lot of inappropriate and ill-fitting outfits, and grossly applied unsuitable makeup in the role, but the actress is a total hottie when she’s not playing up her quirks and gimmicks for the sake of comedy. Though she’s most frequently seen playing characters known for their physical humor or visible ailments, she’s a catch in reality – plus, she’s got a sense of humor!
10. Ellen Burstyn
Requiem for a Dream is the movie Ellen is most often lauded for and many fans say she was deserving of an Oscar for her performance, but this isn’t the first time she blew us away with an amazing portrayal. She’s been acting since the 1950s, with roles in such popular films as The Exorcist, Interstellar, How to Make an American Quilt, and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood; she even had her own show back in the ’80s for a year! When she was in Requiem for a Dream, she was 68 – already kind of old. However, she could still rock that red dress in her fantasy of starring on the game show! She was still a total fox! But then her character suffered through addiction and anorexia, and it plunged her into deranged mania – and Ellen took those demands of her character very seriously. She looked beyond crazy by the end of the film!
9. Kat Dennings
Most of us are used to seeing Kat Dennings in her more well known roles of late: either as the sarcastic and angry waitress, Max, in 2 Broke Girls; or as Natalie Portman’s fairly inept assistant in the Thor series, Darcy. However, before she was so popular, she would do almost anything asked of her in order to get roles that would feature her more prominently (just as any actress would fight for her career).
For her role in House Bunny, she lost a ton of weight, wore fake piercings all over her face and body, didn’t wear makeup, and wore a wig with a bad pixie cut to give the appearance of the uncaring tough girl. Of course, later in the film, Anna Faris’ character dresses the girls up to make them more sexy (the entire movie is about turning normal college aged women into Playboy bunny material, if you haven’t seen it) but, until then, Kat got to dress up like quite an abrasive and scary young lady.
8. Emma Stone
Emma Stone also starred as a nerd turned hottie alongside Kat Dennings in House Bunny, but her dweeby allure in that movie was actually appealing compared to her costuming, hair, and makeup in the Matthew McConaughey clunker romantic comedy, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. The movie was essentially a manipulation of the classic Charles Dicken’s Christmas Carol, as told by ex-lovers and girlfriends of a playboy, played by McConaughey, of course, the night before his brother gets married with a failed lover as the maid of honor (you see where this is all going, right?).
Emma Stone frizzed up her hair, flaunted some obnoxiously large bows and vibrantly colored lipstick, and wore way too much denim in this 1980s throwback role that was meant to inspire McConaughey to change his romanticizing ways. She was pretty gnarly but, with a face like that, it’s hard to say no to Emma Stone.
7. America Ferrera
Of course a show called Ugly Betty is going to make the lead actress look a little less than appealing. America Ferrera played the lead role of Betty Suarez, a smart, young Latina woman on a journey to self discovery and learning to love herself inside and out (even when her outside isn’t the sexiest thing to love). The show started with Betty as a meek, brace-faced dork trying to take on the fashion industry, and it ended with her becoming the boss (even though she doesn’t exactly embody the principles of fashion that she writes about). The show kind of backfired, since the message was about self-love regardless of appearance yet they harped so much on appearance, but it still managed to launch America Ferrera’s career- who, by the way, is a total babe. It also managed to run for four years, so it must have had an audience who found its message was well communicated!
6. Nicole Kidman
In The Hours, a 2002 movie based on the dramatic novel by Michael Cunningham, Nicole Kidman played the troubled and brooding author Virginia Woolf who – spoiler alert – ends the movie by ending her life. The very heavy movie, which centers around themes of suicide and how it impacts those around us and generations to come, demanded great talent of some amazing actresses like Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore, but Nicole Kidman had the unique challenge of stepping into the shoes of a real woman who we know a lot about. She wore a prosthetic nose for the film to better look like Virginia Woolf, which alone changed the entire look of her face. Of course, Nicole Kidman is a total fox (pun intended) in reality. If you had any doubt about that, all you have to do is check out her work in Moulin Rouge, Just Go With It, or Cold Mountain. She had to work really hard to be the “Debbie-Downer” of The Hours.
5. Kaitlin Olson
Katilin Olson has made most of her fortune and fame through her role on the popular FX series, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. On the show, she’s one of the owners of the family bar, Paddy’s Pub, and she gets into misadventures with her father, brother, and two dopey friends on a regular basis. She’s not very smart, not incredibly attractive, and has the manners of a 12-year old boy, to boot. In fact, she’s pretty gross and despicable, which makes her a perfect member of this love-to-hate band of misfits (even though they like to treat her like she’s somehow worse than the rest of them).
However, in reality, Kaitlin is a totally gorgeous! Furthermore, she’s married to actor Rob McElhenney, who plays the stupidly overzealous and overly violent character Mac on the show (their wedding pictures are precious). She’s completely adorable and lovable, when you get to see her outside of Philadelphia.
4. Naomi Grossman
Just like most of American Horror Story’s viewers, you probably thought this character was born naturally looking this way; well, you thought wrong. This character is but a product of great makeup and better acting on the part of the talented Naomi Grossman. She shaved her head for the role (now that’s commitment!), wore enlarged prosthetic ears and a fake nose, and had fake teeth that she wore during shoots. She’s been in multiple seasons of American Horror Story (‘Asylum’ as well as ‘Freak Show’) and she’s always been under the character name of Pepper.
She’s many fans’ favorite character, both for the actress’ faithful commitment to the character’s integrity as well as for the solid writing behind the dynamic character. Needless to say, though, Naomi is a total babe outside of the haunted house. She’ll make appearances on the red carpet, her hair still growing back in some places and shaved in others. If anything is sexier than a woman that’s got a rocking body and sexy face, it’s a woman that’s able to give it all up for a turn for her career then get it back without any trouble!
3. Taryn Manning
Okay, yes: we did pick the grossest picture of her possible. This picture, from Netflix’s original series Orange is the New Black was taken in season two, just after Piper beat the teeth out of her and before she got reconstructive surgery to get normal, healthy teeth for the first time in her life. This bible-thumping, backwater, meth-addict redneck certainly belongs in prison for shooting up an abortion clinic. Taryn Manning plays Tiffany ‘Pennsatucky’ Doggett, arguably one of the worst inmates at Litchfield Prison.
In reality, Taryn Manning could shoot you a smile from across the room and slay your heart. She’s the kind of hot babe that could shoot you a glance from across a bar and ensnare your interest for the evening, and break your heart when she doesn’t give her number. No, you’d never guess that from the picture above or from her disgusting performance in the show, but she’s a stone cold fox in real life.
2. Rooney Mara
In The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara plays alongside Daniel Craig as Lisabeth Salander, the elusive and mysterious computer hacker who helps a detective track down a girl who has been missing for forty years. Based on the mystery novels by Stief Larsson, the character was modeled after the author’s description: black hair, covered in tattoos and piercings, gothic, and punk style. Rooney Mara jumped into the demands of the role head first and got many piercings (not all, of course; if you’ve seen the film, you know Lisabeth is covered in piercings and tattoos that would overwhelm an actress), donned the wild hair style of the rebellious youngster, and kept her weight low in keeping with the author’s description. But Rooney is definitely hot; just check out her work in Carol, Her, or A Nightmare on Elm Street- there’s no question of her being a total babe!
1. Charlize Theron
That picture can’t be of Charlize Theron, can it? The same Charlize Theron from Aeon Flux, Mad Max: Fury Road, Prometheus, and Snow White and the Huntsman? There’s no way that those are of the same woman, right? Wrong! Believe it or not, this is indeed the same ballet-trained, runway model, total fox Charlize Theron we all know and love.
For the 2003 movie Monster, Charlize gained a ton of weight, grew out her hair, and let herself go a good bit in order to play the true life character of Aileen Wuornos, a Daytona Beach prostitute turned serial killer. Alongside Christina Ricci, the two put on a few pounds and gave Florida a bad name with their fairly accurate retelling of true events. Of course, do not fret; after the movie was filmed, Charlize quickly and eagerly got her life back on track and started taking care of herself again – it was only a little while later that she shot Aeon Flux (hilariously enough, her inactivity due to Monster caused an injury in a basic stunt early on in the filming of Aeon Flux – sedentary lifestyles ruin careers!).