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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
10 Ellen Burstyn
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).
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?).
7 America Ferrera
6 Nicole Kidman
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).
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.
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.
2 Rooney Mara
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!).
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