The entertainment industry can be a tricky field to navigate, with different expectations set forth for its actors. Rather than having a set of rules for those trying to break into the business, there are so many inconsistencies to the pattern that it’s impossible to know just what the right steps are to achieve and maintain fame.
A common misconception is the importance of looking glamorous at all times, but there are a number of Instagram hotties that will change your mind on the validity of that route. They spend their days uploading half naked pictures, and yet there is little hope of ever achieving the level of success obtained by great actresses like Meryl Streep.
Looks can only take you so far in Hollywood. While beauty can sometimes help to get you in the door, it can also be a hindrance to getting the Oscar-worthy roles or to even be taken seriously in the entertainment industry. Actresses like Megan Fox, who maintain their stunning look both on and off the screen, are able to achieve a certain level of celebrity. However, these types of actresses often get stuck getting typecast into frivolous films like Jennifer’s Body.
For actresses that want to be taken seriously for their craft, they often don’t put looks into the equation when it comes to how they are perceived on-screen. Instead, they focus on the work, and allow their natural beauty to shine off-screen. Proving this is a winning method, many actresses have gone to great lengths to try and mask their looks to delve deeper into their character. Charlize Theron won the Academy Award for her transformative portrayal in Monster, and even Angelina Jolie played down her looks in a number of films. While both of these actresses have since starred in films that show off their true beauty, there are some celebrities that haven’t been as lucky. Check out our list for the 15 celebrities that look better off-screen, and you might be surprised at how good looking some of these actresses really are.
15 Sophie Turner
British-born actress, Sophie Turner, made her acting debut playing Sansa Stark in the hit show, Game of Thrones. Yet, she’s come a long way since Season 1, and just as her character has started to come into her own on the show, she has also started to turn heads in Hollywood. The red-toned hair is a must-have for the character, since it’s an integral part of her identity, but it’s the off-screen tone that really shows off her true beauty. Sansa hasn’t had it easy on the show, so fans are used to seeing Sansa in a depressed and morbid state. However, the real Sophie Turner is vibrant, youthful, and a stunning beauty that could easily double as a runway model.
14 Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore is an Academy Award-winning actress that has been involved in numerous hit films throughout her career. She doesn’t seem to limit herself in what types of films she signs on for, and film choices range from haunting and disturbed to commercial blockbuster hits. However, there aren’t many that portray her as the true beauty that she is off-screen. From gray-haired and cold in The Hunger Games series to colorless and deranged in Carrie, it’s hard to believe these characters are played by the same woman that seems to light up the red carpet. With porcelain skin that doesn’t seem to age and vibrant red hair, Julianne Moore is an actress that is known for her sophisticated and natural beauty off-screen.
13 Gwendoline Christie
As a 6’3” British-born actress, you’d think Gwendoline Christie would play something akin to a supermodel rather than Brienne of Tarth from the HBO series Game of Thrones. In the George R.R. Martin book series, Brienne of Tarth is described as having teeth that are abnormally large and crooked and a nose that has been broken more than once. She is mocked with the title, “Brienne the Beauty,” and she is depicted in Game of Thrones as being basically grotesque in appearance. However, off-screen she exudes sex appeal with her stunning height and chiseled features, and a femininity that truly shines when she doesn’t have to maintain the stone cold look of her television character.
12 Jaime Pressly
While Jaime Pressly isn’t exactly shown as ugly in her television and film portrayals, she is often not shown in the best light. Often depicted as a little dirty and classless, she has become known for such shows like My Name Is Earl and films like Joe Dirt. She even played a small part in the television series, Desperate Housewives, but even then she was a pregnant stripper. However, off-screen she definitely doesn’t look like the trailer park character she so often plays. With a face that is reminiscent of a Barbie doll, and looks that seem to pull off both long and short hair, fans are sometimes shocked at how sophisticated her off-screen looks are in comparison to her on-screen characters.
11 Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter has never been an actress to shy away from the more difficult or eccentric roles. As a favorite go-to actress of Tim Burton, which makes sense since they were married for 13 years, she has starred in a number of his films where he definitely didn’t put an emphasis on maintaining a glamorous look for her. From the monstrously big head in Alice in Wonderland to the dark and dirty look in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, she seems to thrive in roles that transform her off-screen look. While fans are used to these types of looks for Helena, it’s the off-screen look that is even more shocking than her Harry Potter Bellatrix Lestrange character.
10 Ellen Page
Just as so many child actresses struggle to shed their young girl public perception, Ellen Page hasn’t seemed to yet find that role that will allow audiences to see her as a fully fledged leading lady. Although she was 20-years-old during the peak of the Juno craze, people still saw her as that high school student, pregnant teen that she played onscreen. Other roles like Whip It, Inception, and the X-Men film series also played down her looks to create a younger and less sophisticated character. However, off-screen Ellen Page has grown into a beautiful young woman, who has been very open about her sexuality and goals in Hollywood. While she’ll probably always have a youthful look, her darker features and glowing smile help to shine a light on this budding Hollywood actress.
9 Bellamy Young
Best known for her role on the hit television series, Scandal, Bellamy Young is portrayed as a cold and very unlikeable character. In a show where the audience is actually rooting for the married man to leave his wife to live happily ever after with his mistress, Bellamy isn’t exactly depicted as the most beautiful woman in the world. In fact, part of the series included Bellamy being known as “Smelly Mellie,” and even when she’s all dolled up, she has an off-putting and contrived look about her. However, it couldn’t be more opposite off-screen. While Mellie Grant may be overly rigid and calculated, Bellamy Young exudes sex appeal with a youthful spirit on the red carpet. From plunging necklines to a pinup girl look, fans might be surprised at how sexy she can be when she’s not running for the presidency on Scandal.
8 Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt has been in a number of critically-acclaimed films throughout her professional acting career. From playing the Queen in The Young Victoria to a common villager in Into the Woods, she is an actress that seems to fit into whatever role she plays. While she has the perfect timeless look for a period drama, that didn’t stop her from being the female badass counterpart to Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow. In the meantime, none of these films revealed the true beauty of the actress behind the character. Off-screen, Emily Blunt is filled with a bubbly personality that is infectious and very appealing. As Hollywood’s new favorite couple, John Krasinski talked about the instant attraction he felt when first meeting Emily Blunt in person on The Ellen DeGeneres Show saying, “Oh god, I think I’m going to fall in love with her.”
7 Mayim Bialik
Mayim Bialik has quite a history in the entertainment industry, first being introduced to audiences as a child in films like Beaches and then as an adolescent in the television series Blossom. However, rather than going the typical route of a child actress and playing in some sort of ultra provocative film, she chose to take a break from acting and pursue her other interests. Going on to receive a doctorate in neuroscience, this proved to be a worthy endeavor since it must have come in handy when she was cast on the hit television show, The Big Bang Theory.
While none of her acting roles have exactly shown her as one of Hollywood’s most glamorous women, the Amy Farrah Fowler character features an overly exaggerated version of a Neuroscience “nerd.” Once Mayim is shown off-screen, fans are often shocked at how beautiful the actress has become now that she’s all grown up. Smart, beautiful, and seemingly unaffected by her celebrity, Mayim Bialik has proven that sexy comes in all forms in the real world.
6 Julia Louis-Dreyfus
While most actresses would be lucky to play a role in just one hugely successful show, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been privileged to work on two separate shows with mainstream success. As a comedic actress, she’s often given more leeway as to how she is portrayed onscreen. While other actresses wouldn’t be quite as comfortable exhibiting signs of rabies while “foaming” at the mouth, Julia seems to do these types of things in stride. While audiences can agree she is great at comedic acting, she hasn’t exactly had roles that show her as the typical standard in Hollywood beauty. From the wall-of-hair "poof" style as Elaine on Seinfeld to the awkward and contrived look on VEEP, her onscreen persona has never fully lived up to her exuberant look off-screen.
5 Lena Headey
Best known for her role as Cersei Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones, it seems odd that it could get any better than that golden-haired lioness character. However, it’s hard to see Lena Headey as anything but cold and cruel with her portrayal as this lying and conniving queen. Not only does she almost never smile (unless she’s killing and torturing), but her character had all her hair chopped off in an unceremonious “haircut” that didn’t exactly help her look. Off-screen, Lena Headey has sparkling light eyes, porcelain skin, ebony hair, and a quirky smile that exudes sex appeal and femininity.
4 Hilary Swank
As a two-time Oscar winner for Best Actress, Hilary Swank is Hollywood royalty for not only picking the right roles but for the way she can transform herself into a character. Playing the iconic Amelia Earhart in Amelia and a woman living as a man in Boys Don’t Cry, every character she plays seems to overshadow her own looks. But don’t let the short-haired characters fool you- Hilary Swank is an actress that exceeds expectations on the red carpet. With US Magazine putting her infamous blue gown on the list for the Best Oscar Dresses Of All Time, Hilary Swank proved that even if she covers everything but her back, she is an ultra sexy woman that just so happens to know how to act.
3 Anne Hathaway
Feelings are a bit mixed in regards to Anne Hathaway. While the world once thought of her as one of America’s sweethearts, things seemed to change as there was more and more coverage of her at red carpet events and television interviews. Even with her stellar performance in Les Miserables, she seemed hesitant to go out on the daytime talk circuit to promote her moving portrayal of Fantine. While she ultimately took a bit of a break from Hollywood, fearing she was being over-exposed, her return to the red carpet proved that she was much hotter than the woman that was unceremoniously shaved bald in Les Miserables. With pouty lips, ebony hair, and porcelain skin, Anne Hathaway is a beauty by any standard of measure.
2 Evangeline Lilly
Like so many actors before her, Evangeline Lilly got her start through television, only to move on to the big screen. While fans loved her in the television series Lost, it’s hard to keep up a glamorous look when you’re supposed to be stranded on a deserted island. Once she moved onto film, audiences wondered what type of leading characters she would play. While it must have been thrilling to be chosen for a blockbuster film series like The Hobbit, wearing prosthetics on your ears to make yourself look more like an elf doesn’t exactly qualify as an upgrade in glamour. The only thing that can redeem Evangeline to sexy status is the numerous looks she has offered off-screen. With light eyes and auburn hair, she offers a girl-next-door look that is only made sexier with her patented freckles.
1 Jennifer Lawrence
There aren’t many actresses that can boast Oscar buzz so early on in their film careers, but Jennifer Lawrence did just that in Winter’s Bone. Since playing in a light-hearted sitcom and then moving onto a grueling performance in film, she proved she was an actress to watch. However, many of her films involved her being depicted in a similar light. Often playing characters that were poor, crass, and more masculine than feminine, it made her off-screen presence that much more appealing. With stunning red carpet looks, an Academy Award win, and two separate campaign endorsements with Dior, Jennifer Lawrence is more than just the quirky actress that knows how to make us laugh during an interview.