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10 Actors Who’ve Transformed Themselves For Their Roles

High Life
10 Actors Who’ve Transformed Themselves For Their Roles

Actors and actresses cover the full spectrum of roles, with some who primarily play similar roles over and over. Generally, romantic comedies highlight America’s sweethearts who play roles closely related to themselves and we love this. Actresses like Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon are a few examples, although these women have done everything possible to take breakout roles so they are not only seen as pretty faces and romantic interests.

Then there are the actors who take wild and challenging roles. Some spend months in character in order to properly portray the person or being that they are trying to be.

We applaud all varieties of actors for their skills and determination to entertain us. And today we are going to pay tribute to ten of the actors and actresses who have played roles that were completely outside of the box and stunned us with their performances. In many cases, they have transformed themselves physically for several roles while others, have performed in a role requiring one huge transformation. These actors have range and proven abilities to show their many faces.

10. Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman has treasured his role as Wolverine, after playing the character for six years. He also took on a complete physical transformation for his role as Blackbeard in Pan, a new version of Peter Pan – which will be out in the summer of this year. The shaved head, black beard and mustache for the role are even more startling than seeing him scrawny and sickly for his role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.

9. Gerald Butler

The majority of the audience did not know Gerard Butler at the time he played the Phantom in the Joel Schumacher-directed version of Phantom of the Opera (2004). However, his role of the Phantom did help propel his career, as did his role in the popular film 300. He became a big heart-throb after co-starring in P.S. I Love You (2007) with Hilary Swank, however, we doubt anything will hold Butler back or limit him.

8. Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron is a tall drink of water that any man would die for. She is beautiful and talented in every aspect and it shows. So when she took the role in the movie Monster, which was about a serial killer, we knew we were about to see a complete transformation. It wasn’t the fact that she played a serial killer, it was the fact that her makeup crew made her up to look like a monster -Aileen Wuornos, a woman who killed six men in the late 1980s – early 1990s and a woman who looked very different from Theron. The film became an instant success and Charlize won an Academy Award for Best Actress. She actually won a total of 17 awards for her role in this movie.

7. Eddie Murphy



Eddie Murphy can transform himself into anyone and has played more than one character in a few films. This includes Coming To America, which was wildly successful. In the film he plays an elderly barber (Clarence), the Reverend Brown and competitor (Randy Watson) – all in addition to the main role of Prince Akeem. Since then, Murphy has taken on additional roles in other films such as, Wes Craven‘s Vampire in Brooklyn, Dreamgirls, the Nutty Professor films and the voice of the lovable Donkey in the Shrek films. All very different roles, showcasing his ability to change dramatically from one role to the next.

6. Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal is so funny that every time he opens his mouth you hope a joke is ready to pop out. When he donned his garb and new face for his role in Princess Bride, many found it hilarious. Miracle Max evidently improvised a lot of his lines as the troll wizard. He was a popular addition to Saturday Night Live in 1985, which really showcased his range. He was also, unofficially, one of the best and funniest to host the Academy Awards, which is why he was given the job nine times, starting in 1990 and ending in 2012. In fact, he won two Emmy awards for hosting and writing for the 63rd and 64th Oscar award shows. The man has so many faces, and is excellent at all.

5. Tatiana Masiany

If you enjoy science fiction and think the thought of having clones interesting, catch Orphan Black in its third season starting next month on BBC America. The reason this young actress made this list is because of her über talent that she demonstrates while playing around twelve other roles – clones that are all completely different. She is brilliant and convincing as Alison Hendrix, Cosima Niehaus, Helena, Rachel Duncan, Elizabeth Childs, Katja Obinger and many more. The characters range from a pretty typical young lady, to a scientist, rich daughter, whacked-out, prim & proper and the clones just keep on coming. Each episode includes at least three of the clones and Tatiana Maslany’s performances are acclaimed. Tatiana is young and destined for great things in the entertainment business.

4. Cate Blanchett



Cate Blanchett is one of the most versatile actresses today. She is well known for her roles as Queen Elizabeth (Elizabeth 1 and Elizabeth: Golden Age), Katherine Hepburn (The Aviator), Galadriel (Lord of the Rings) and so many more. It is hard to keep up with Cate, as she becomes one with her roles and makes us believe she is whoever she portrays. In each of those films, her appearance was completely transformed masterfully. Her role in the 2007 biography of Bob Dylan, I’m Not There was stellar, her transformation for the role was one that very few actresses have met.

3. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey is a chameleon and completely turns himself into whatever character he is playing- and he has played a considerable variety. His role in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas might be his biggest transformation, but when looking back at his filmography it is clear that he seeks and enjoys these character roles. Ace Ventura, The Cable Guy, Riddler, The Mask and Man on the Moon were some of his most convincing roles. Carrey is an actor who will continue to carve out his own individual niche in the film industry.

2. Mike Myers

Mike Myers is a Canadian actor and comedian who has always been considered a talent with many faces. His hilarious run on Saturday Night Live gave way to popular characters, such as the ever-popular Wayne in Wayne’s World, which later became an iconic and successful movie series. But it was Austin Powers that really demonstrated Myers’ ability to transform himself into any character, in this case the villainous Dr. Evil, goofy Austin Powers and Fat Bast*rd. Currently, his voice can be heard as one of the most popular animated characters, the Scottish-sounding ogre – Shrek.

1. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has been extremely successful selecting scripts that showcase his ability to completely transform himself. Many say that his role as Willy Wonka equaled that of earlier Wonka, Gene Wilder, which says a great deal about his commitment to developing the characters in his own way. His list of completely different characters that he has played is long and includes, Edward Scissorhands, Mad Hatter (Alice in Wonderland), Wolf (Into the Woods), Tonto (The Lone Ranger) and one of the most popular – Captain Jack Sparrow. The image above can give you an idea on just how many faces this actor has shown, we can only imagine how many more we will see. He is one talented actor who will be on the big screen for years to come.

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