15 Incredibly Attractive Actors Who Played Hideous Characters

In such a superficial and trend-centric town, denizens of Hollywood paradoxically farm out the most unattractive but challenging and potentially career-making roles to the most attractive and comfortably successful leading men and women in the city. The following is a list of major motion picture performances that saw highly desirable actors and actresses disappear into the bodies and minds of bizarre, twisted, and repulsive characters; some with relatable, redeeming qualities beneath unattractive shells, some meant to be grotesque foils to the heroes of these cinematic stories.

It is no coincidence that over one third of the actors listed here won or were nominated for Academy Awards for these performances, given how drastic a departure these various roles are from the personalities and lifestyles of the actors who played them and the skill that is therefore needed to believably inhabit these characters. As the list progresses, this discrepancy between actor and character becomes greater; the last handful of actors are barely recognizable on screen under the prosthetics, piercings, scars, deformities, and aesthetic that make a believable, authentic character. The characters described here range from off-putting and edgy to mutilated (using makeup magic of course) beyond recognition as a human, let alone as the actor behind the mask; these are: 15 Incredibly Attractive Actors Who Have Played Ugly Characters.

15 Tom Cruise as Les Grossman

14 Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander

13 Amy Smart as Kayleigh Miller

12 Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos

Charlize Theron won an Academy Award for her performance (in 2003's Monster) as Daytona Beach-area serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. Prior to 2003, Theron had shown great range in terms of her acting chops but not necessarily in terms of the attractiveness of the characters she had played to date. In Monster, she is unrecognizable behind a mad dog stare, unkept skin and hair, garbled trailer park English, and her butch tendency toward murderous rage.

11 Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof

10 Javier Bardem as (Raoul) Silva

9 Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson/Deadpool

As of March 21st, 2016, Marvel Entertainment's Deadpool has earned over $600 million and counting at the box office, officially surpassing Spider-Man 3's epic profits. Burn victims are particularly hard to look at and the Deadpool saga, at least in Marvel’s cinematic universe, very much centers on protagonist Wade Wilson’s obsession with fixing his leathery complexion to the benefit of his love life.

8 John Matuszak as Sloth (Fratelli)


7 Christian Bale

6 Heath Ledger as the Joker

This Aussie actor tragically delved so deeply into his role as Gotham’s infamous psychopathic jester in The Dark Knight, he never quite came back and ended his own life before the already finished film was released in theaters in what was ruled an accidental prescription medication (opiates and anti-anxiety medication) overdose.

5 Jared Leto

4 Nick Stahl as Yellow Bastard

3 Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent

2 Gary Oldman as Mason Verger

1 Naomi Grossman as Pepper

Obvious riffing on her now-ironic last name aside, this beauty is most known, on set, as Pepper the "pinhead" from American Horror Story Seasons 2 (Asylum) and 4 (Freak Show). Pinhead is a dated and politically incorrect term for what is medically known as microcephaly, a birth defect that results in mild to severely shrunken skulls that prevent normal brain development and result in all manner of cognitive and physical impairment over the lifespan. Lucky for Naomi, off screen, out of costume, and out of character, all of her body parts look to be proportioned just fine and then some.


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15 Incredibly Attractive Actors Who Played Hideous Characters