Actors love nothing more than submersing themselves deep into a character to become unrecognizable from their original self. Whether it is through prosthetic make up, CGI transformation or a super hero costume that masks their identity, the character acting process steps up a level when they transition from one look to something else entirely.
Ryan Reynolds’ recent performance in Deadpool is an example of how well it can translate to the audience. The Marvel film’s 2016 release portrayed Reynolds character Wade Wilson as a severely mutated and scarred individual even before he suits up as Deadpool. At all three stages from his original form, from the suffering mercenary to the super hero, Reynolds showcases his talents from three various points of difference. For actors, these films are pure gold.
Changing appearance so starkly is a badge of honor in the acting community. Megastar Charlize Theron does this as well as any in the modern day. Her haunting 2003 portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster altered all perceptions of her as a gorgeous femme fatale. She took this added layer to her arsenal in the 2015 smash hit Mad Max: Fury Road, playing the vengeful warrior Imperator Furiosa and in doing so, channeled the best of Sigourney Weaver’s character Ellen Ripley in the Alien franchise.
Christian Bale is another who goes to extraordinary lengths, changing his entire complexion for a role. He infamously prepared for his role in 2004’s The Machinist by eating only an apple and smoking cigarettes to become close to anorexic, bulked up a year later for Batman Begins in 2005, and put on a lot of weight last year in The Big Short as Michael Burry. The chameleon effect is one of the greatest achievements an actor can pull off.
In 2016, we will be treated to plenty more. With a string of super hero films, psychological thrillers, action movies and big dramas set to hit the screens, actors are going above and beyond to become unrecognizable. These are the top 10.
10 Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje – Suicide Squad
9 Sofia Boutella – Star Trek Beyond
8 Sacha Baron Cohen – Grimsby
7 Oscar Issac – X-Men: Apocalypse
6 Ben Affleck – Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
5 Johnny Depp – Yoga Hosers
4 Paul Bettany – Captain America: Civil War
3 Jared Leto – Suicide Squad
2 Aaron Paul – Triple 9
1 Matthew McConaughey - Gold
McConaughey’s accent might never waiver from his Southern roots, but his latest role in Gold is a change in body and appearance that will stun and shock. His balding head, ugly tie and bulging frame is character acting going to the extreme, going from Hollywood heartthrob in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Sahara and The Wedding Planner, to award winning and critically acclaimed dramatic actor in Interstellar, Mud, The Lincoln Lawyer and Dallas Buyers Club. McConaughey’s transformation and renaissance is unparalleled in modern day cinema and his role as Kenny Wells in the film should get plenty of people talking and watching.
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