The Premium The Premium The Premium

The Real People Behind Famous Movie Characters

From incredible successes to heartbreaking tragedies, the stories of real people’s lives have been adapted into movies starring some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

What is it about ‘based on a true story’ that proves to be such a draw at the box office?

Some of these people have embraced the film adaptation of their life story, sometimes befriending the actor who plays them or appearing in a cameo role. Others reject the events depicted in the movie. Here are some of the real people behind famous movie characters:

JOY MANGANO / JENNIFER LAWRENCE

Jennifer Lawrence stars in the upcoming drama ‘Joy’

Mangano was a single mother when she invented the Miracle Mop

The film follows her life as she builds her business empire

WHITEY BULGER / JOHNNY DEPP

Black Mass stars Depp as Irish-American mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger

Bulger is serving two life sentences in a Florida prison

The 85-year-old said Depp “may as well be playing the mad hatter” for all he cares

HUNTER S THOMPSON / JOHNNY DEPP

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas is based on Hunter S. Thompson’s semi-autobiographical novel

Depp and Thompson were friends when Depp played the hedonistic Raoul Duke

Thompson famously shaved Depp’s head for the role in his kitchen

ERIN BROCKOVICH / JULIA ROBERTS

Roberts won an Oscar for her role as the legal clerk turned activist

The former beauty queen and tv host continues her environmental work

Brockovich has a cameo in the movie as a diner waitress named Julia R.

MARK ZUCKERBERG/JESSE EISENBERG

Eisenberg plays internet tycoon Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network

The 31-year-old set up Facebook with friends from his Harvard dorm room

The multi-billionaire has said the film got ‘everything wrong except the clothes’

JORDAN BELFORT / LEONARDO DICAPRIO

DiCaprio plays hotshot stockbroker Belfort in The Wolf Of Wall Street

Scorsese’s film charts Belfort’s success and downfall into crime and corruption

AILEEN WUORNOS / CHARLIZE THERON

Monster is based on real-life serial killer and prostitute Wuornos

Theron gained 30lbs and wore prosthetic teeth for the role, which earned her an Oscar

Wuornos was sentenced to death by lethal injection for six murders