Your parents were right– too much TV can be bad for you. Not just because you’ll turn into a squashy couch potato, but because it warps the way you see the world. Spend too much time binge-watching shows and movies and you might find yourself thinking that the way Hollywood portrays people is really how we should all look.
Here’s a reality check– actors are people who make money on stage or in front of the camera– it is their job to look presentable (at the very least). Just like you, they go out to work for hours every day either on set, or if they are between projects, they work on themselves. Their body and face are basically their work tools and in their business, it pays to take care of their tools. You could also look that awesome if it was your job to do so!
Don’t underestimate the power of a team of makeup artists, stylists, costume designers, and lighting experts– they can turn the mediocre into the unbelievable– but that doesn’t make it real. Just look at these 15 HBO actresses with and without their makeup, and remember them next time you’re feeling plain. No one looks that perfect all the time. Promise.
15. Kim Cattrall
No matter what Kim does it looks like she will always be remembered for playing sassy Samantha Jones in the hit show Sex and the City which ran from 1998 until 2004. The series netted her a host of nominations and awards as well, including five Emmy Award nominations and four Golden Globe nominations, and in 2002 she won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. She also starred in the two spin-off movies, Sex and the City (2008) and Sex and the City 2 (2010).
We all know Kim is beautiful, even now at the age of 60 (that’s right 60!)– but how much of her beauty is the real deal? Judging by these snaps we have to say Kim definitely is growing old very gracefully.
14. Lena Headley
Remember that scene in Game of Thrones where Lena’s character, Cersei Lannister, is forced to do the hectic Walk of Atonement in her birthday suit? Just so you know– that wasn’t really Lena’s body. Her head was placed on a body double (Rebecca Van Cleave) in order to shoot this intense scene, which by the way, took a grueling six days to film. But wasn’t that unrealistic? I mean, what woman in her forties is going to have a tight body like that when all she does is sit around plotting and drink wine all day? Come on.
But that’s not to say Lena isn’t gorgeous in her own right– even without her royal makeup. In fact, she looks just a little ordinary which makes us love her even more.
13. Carla Gugino
Carla Gugino actually has an extremely impressive filmography at the age of 45 and her popularity seems to be on the rise. This American actress already has more than 55 film credits (in movies such as Son In Law, Night At The Museum, American Gangster, and Sin City) and has appeared in 20 different TV shows (including leading roles in Spin City and Threshold). In 2015 Carla appeared as Joanne Larson in 6 episodes of HBO’s political comedy series, The Brink. In this recurring role, she played the wife of main character Walter Larson, the United States Secretary of State (played by Tim Robbins).
12. Anna Paquin
When Anna was only 9 years old she decided to try out for a part in The Piano, following an open casting call. The director was so impressed with her audition that he chose her out of about 5000 young girls. Before this, her only acting experience had been in a school play, where she played a skunk (cute!). Anna’s performance in The Piano netted her the 1993 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at the tender age of 11. She’s the second youngest Oscar winner in film history, behind Tatum O’Neal, who won the award in 1974 for her role in Paper Moon at age 10. Anna’s career also includes roles in multiple X-Men movies and HBO’s True Blood. Being in the spotlight for most of your life must be difficult, but Anna doesn’t seem to mind being photographed without her makeup– and who would mind if you looked as gorgeous as she does? But this picture, well, no comment.
11. Deborah Ann Woll
Deborah Ann Woll’s break-out came when she was cast as fierce Jessica Hamby in HBO’s hit vampire series, True Blood in 2008. In 2009, she won the Satellite Award for Best Cast in a Television Series. Following this success, she was offered a number of film roles and has gone on to appear in movies such as Mother’s Day (2010) and Catch .22 (2011).
Although she is a stunner, she’s way more than just a pretty face. Her boyfriend, comedian Edward E.J. Scott has a hereditary disease known as Choroideremia, which slowly leads to blindness. Deborah has used her celebrity status to help advocate for others suffering from this debilitating condition.
10. Emilia Clarke
Emilia Clarke (born Emilia Isabelle Euphemia Rose Clarke) skyrocketed to fame following her epic performance as Daenerys Targaryen in the highly successful HBO series Game of Thrones. For this role, she has received Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In 2014, she was voted the most desirable woman in the world by Askmen readers and in 2015, the thirty-year-old English actress was named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive.
She was cast in GoT after actress Tamzin Merchant was replaced without explanation. Clarke confessed during an interview that she did the funky chicken and a robot dance during her audition– it must have done the trick!
9. Olivia Munn
Before Olivia became an actress, she started out her career as a television journalist. She starred in the series Beyond The Break and had supporting roles in numerous television series and movies, including Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). She’s also well known for her role as Sloan Sabbith in the HBO drama series, The Newsroom which ran for three seasons from 2012 until 2014.
From 2008 to 2013 she appeared numerous times on Maxim’s Hot 100 Women and FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women yearly lists. She was voted #2 by readers on Maxim’s list in 2012 (Model Bar Refaeli took the top spot).
8. Sophie Turner
Sophie is only twenty years old, but has already achieved major success as an actress. The English actress made her acting debut in 2011 as the fragile Sansa Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones and the role has netted her numerous nominations, including a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Supporting Young Actress in a TV Series and four nominations for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
In 2016, she won the EWwy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She appeared in the film Another Me (2013), which was her film debut and starred in Barely Lethal and X-Men: Apocalypse (she played Jean Grey). She’s also done modeling work, which is not hard to believe as she is such a natural beauty.
7. Carice Van Houten
Carice Van Houten (40) may be a successful actress, but she has no desire to live in Hollywood, stating that it makes her feel unhappy. In a recent interview she stated, “I have seen Hollywood, and although I have nothing against it, it’s not my kind of life. My agent is shocked that I want to stay in Europe,” adding, “If Hollywood offers me a great part, of course, I’ll take it, but I just don’t want to live there”. Maybe it’s not all it’s cracked up to be?
Carice is best known for her role as the Red Woman AKA Melisandre in Game of Thrones, but she has also appeared in movies such as Black Book (leading role), Valkyrie, and Repo Men. Like Emilia Clarke, Carice looks nothing like the character she plays in GoT— would you recognize her without her signature GoT look?
6. Ginnifer Goodwin
Ginnifer is an American actress from Tennessee who had her first acting role in the popular series Law & Order. This role led to other television roles and then movie roles. She’s played in films like Mona Lisa Smile, Win a Date with Tad Hamiliton!, Walk The Line, and Love Comes to the Executioner.
At the age of 28 Goodwin was cast to play the leading role of a wife in a polygamous family in the HBO series Big Love. She has also had recurring voice roles in the stop animation show, Robot Chicken. Her sister, Melissa Goodwin, is an animator on the show. More recently, she had a voice role in the movie Zootopia as Judy Hopps.
5. Polly Walker
Polly Walker, now 50, is an English actress who began acting in 1991. Her first role was as the title character Lorna in the TV movie, Lorna Doone. She has starred in more than 20 TV shows and appeared in movies such as Patriot Games, Sliver, and The Gambler. Many people will remember her for her wicked portrayal as Atia of the Julii in the hit BBC/HBO series Rome, which ran for two seasons (2005-2007). She received a Golden Globe nomination for this role in 2006.
As Atia, she always appeared impeccably clothed, with elaborately styled hair and a perfectly made up face. Even though she was in her late thirties at the time of filming Rome it seemed she didn’t have a wrinkle to speak of. So is this all just thanks to a skilled makeup artist? Nope. These pictures suggest Polly has also been blessed with youthful genes.
4. Indira Varma
Indira has starred in two HBO shows, which have helped bolster her into the spotlight. In 2004 she was cast as the sweet but tough Niobe of the Voreni in the show Rome and she also appeared in 11 episodes of Game of Thrones as the ruthless Ellaria Sand. In 2016 this role earned her a nomination for Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series. She has also acted on stage and in films such as Basic Instinct 2 and Exodus: Gods and Kings.
The actress lives with her husband Colin Tierney (also an actor) and daughter in North London and leads a very private life, but this shot of bare-faced Indira shows us that she is just as pretty off-screen as she is on screen.
3. Kerry Condon
Like Indira Varma, Kerry Condon has played roles in more than one HBO series. She’s best known for her portrayal of Octavia in Rome, where she played the troubled sister of Gaius Octavian and daughter of Atia of the Julii. The show aired from 2005 until 2007. She also played the role of Rosie in HBO’s short-run series entitled Luck (2011-2012). More recently, she played in The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul (a spin-off prequel of Breaking Bad).
Kerry left home at the tender age of 16 to pursue an acting career and in 2001, at age 19, she became the youngest actress ever to play Ophelia in a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Hamlet. She admits to being rather shy and seeing her without her makeup, we’ll agree, she looks like the girl next door.
2. Rosabell Laurenti Sellers
Rosabell enjoyed her breakout role when she was chosen to join the cast of Game of Thrones in 2015. She plays the part of Tyene Sand in the fifth season of the show. The 20-year-old American-Italian actress is still studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. She is not a ditzy girl either– she’s involved in philanthropy, in fact, she founded the Young Actors for Humanitarian Involvement, aimed at getting Italian teen entertainers involved in charities like Smile Again and ActionAid. She’s also been seen serving meals to the less fortunate at Rome’s Comunità di Sant’Egidio soup kitchen.
In an interview with Variety Sellers, she was asked how she feels about the entertainment industry. She replied by saying, “I don’t like celebrity culture and the idea of spending loads of time and energy promoting oneself on social media and things like that. In general, I aspire to be a normal human being with a normal life”.
1. Natalie Dormer
Okay, here is one that will definitely make you feel better.
Natalie Dormer was drop-dead gorgeous in almost every scene of Game of Thrones where she played the role of Margaery Tyrell, a calculating young woman with eyes for the crown only. Her dresses, her hair, her face; it was all so picture perfect, enough to drive even the most confident of women to start feeling a little… bland.
Natalie is an English actress who gained popularity first as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors (2007-2010) and then as Margaery. This role got her nominated for a Screen Actor’s Guild Award. She has also had film roles including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2.
Admittedly, this picture of her out and about in London, makeup-free didn’t get her good side at all– see, she’s just a regular person.