What do you get when you put an actor or actress in a frizzy wig (or bald cap), bad clothes and some braces? Well, you probably have a hot actor who is looking to “uglify” themselves for some laughs. Depending on the role, these determined actors will bust out the fat suit and fake body hair, similar to what Ryan Reynolds did when he played a chunky teen in Just Friends, while allowing themselves to be the target of cruel jokes.
While a lot of the roles on this list have the moral to look past the outside and find the person within, some simply dressed down to get the biggest gut-busting reaction from the audience. While we agree that perhaps a couple of movies on this list might be seen better as a drama than a comedy, there are some elements to the look and performance that bring on a laugh or two. Either way, they certainly left an impression. Here is a look at ten beautiful actors who decided to play ugly for laughs.
10. Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell has eyes that could charm the pants off of anyone, but would he still be able to if he looked like his character in Horrible Bosses? Sporting a fake gut and bald head, Farrell uglied himself up to play the king of douches Bobby Pellit, a karate chopping, drug loving owner of the company Jason Sudeikis worked for. Playing completely against type, the Fright Night actor nailed the character so well that it was a shame that Pellit came to an unfortunate end, making any possible appearance in future sequels unlikely. But then again, you just never know.
9. Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz was a smoking presence when she burst onto the scene in The Mask, and while she’s best known for characters that many men desire, one of her best roles had her dressing down to almost unrecognizable proportions. In Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich, Diaz played Lotte, the wife to John Cusack’s puppeteer Craig. Both fall in love with Maxine Lund (Catherine Keener), a beautiful but ambitious woman who “helps” people be John Malkovich for fifteen minutes at a time through a special tunnel. The movie isn’t your typical comedy, but watching Diaz outdo herself in such a frightful getup is worth a chuckle or two.
8. James Franco
What is there to possibly say about James Franco’s transformation in Spring Breakers that hasn’t already been said? Well, let’s start off with fact that he’s nearly unrecognizable, with his hair in cornrows, a grill covering his magnetic smile and tattoos in every place you could imagine one to be. But to give the Milk star credit, he does dive into the role with full on gusto, creating a character that looks funny on the outside, but carries a dark menace on the inside. That he was able to make someone so truly detestable so memorable, is a testament to Franco’s talent.
7. America Ferrara
American Ferrara is a beauty whose curves were on full display during her first few projects. However, the Real Women Have Curves actress really came into her own when she dressed down to play Betty Suarez in ABC’s Ugly Betty. Costumed with glasses, braces and a wardrobe only a mother could love, Ferrara projected an easy warmth and charisma that allowed people to see Betty beyond her outward appearance; that was no easy feat considering the fact that Betty worked at a fashion magazine. But with a sunny presence and unmatched charisma, Betty (and Ferrara) was able to make anyone fall in love with her, even the snarky Amanda.
6. Gwyneth Paltrow
In the comedy Shallow Hal, Gwyneth Paltrow played a character that was so heavy, she could bring down a steel chair. Of course you wouldn’t know it, since Paltrow spent most of the time on screen as herself. Only a few glimpses were offered here and there, until the very end when movie goers finally got to see the Shakespeare in Love actress in all her full fat-suit glory. The movie got a lot of flak for its treatment of Paltrow’s character, however Paltrow’s character didn’t just sit there and take the insults; she belted out a few of her own too.
5. Anne Hathaway
In her first major role, Anne Hathaway played an ugly duckling that suddenly became a beauty. Of course, this was The Princess Diaries, and her character Mia was supposed to be a princess, which means the Queen (Julie Andrews) couldn’t have her with such unruly hair. So take this lesson to heart girls: the only thing you need to have in order to reveal your inner beauty is a team of stylists that make you beautiful on the outside. Maybe we shouldn’t be so harsh, since this was a Garry Marshall film, and without him, we would probably never have known Anne Hathaway existed.
4. Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson is an actress best known for such classy affairs as Howards End and The Remains of the Day, but even she is willing to ugly herself up when the script calls for it. The best examples are the Nanny McPhee films, which feature Thompson as a nanny whose appearance is quite ghastly, however just because McPhee doesn’t look like Mary Poppins, doesn’t mean she doesn’t have any good magic in her. In fact, the films probably didn’t need to soften McPhee’s look as the movie went on, because she was still such a great person on the inside that it really didn’t matter what she looked like. That’s a lesson worth learning at any age.
3. Emma Stone
Everyone knows that Emma Stone is a hot girl who is also incredibly funny, as her work in Easy A and Superbad prove. But if she needs to, Stone doesn’t mind covering herself in 80’s style denim, frizzy hair (which seems to be a requirement for hot actors that want to dress down) and braces. She did just that in Ghost of Girlfriends Past when she played Allison Vandermeersh, the first ghost to show Matthew McConaughey his dating past. Stone was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise routine romantic comedy, and while she didn’t look like herself, she was still adorable in her own way.
2. Drew Barrymore
In what world would the adorable Drew Barrymore be seen as a high school nerd named Josie Grossie? In the world of Never Been Kissed, a 90’s romantic comedy that Barrymore produced, that’s where. Though we only see her “grossie” self for a few scenes, the routine involves the usual bad hair and braces to get the point across. The only problem is that the E.T. star is so cute regardless, you hardly notice the “grossie” part. The harder part to believe, which the movie does have fun with, is that anyone would think that Josie is an actual high school student when she goes undercover as a reporter.
1. Tom Cruise
Fat? Bald? Crude as can be? Those words usually don’t follow the enigmatic Tom Cruise, who has a smile and physique that have been entertaining audiences for decades. Even now, he still has the boyish face that charmed everyone when he danced around in Risky Business. But in Tropic Thunder, Cruise went all out as Lee Grossman, the producer of the film that Ben Stiller and company were trying to finish. Letting it all literally hang out, Cruise was outright hilarious; a standout in a movie that was filled with comedy greats. Not an easy task at all, if we do say so.
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