Everybody changes their appearance as they age. It’s just natural. There are a number of factors involved such as healthy living and genetics. We have probably all seen before and after pictures of people that let themselves go or were involved in substance abuse. It doesn’t take long for physical changes to occur. Even plastic surgery can’t save a lot of these people’s looks. In fact, in some cases, it makes matters worse. On the flip side, there are plenty of people that look almost identical to the way they looked 20 years ago. Take John Stamos for example. He still maintains a fairly youthful appearance and his signature hair looks as good as ever. For many years, people joked about how Dick Clark didn’t age. Clint Eastwood might be ancient but he still largely resembles the Clint Eastwood that appeared decades ago in Gunsmoke and in the Dirty Harry series.
It’s hard to see changes as the happen. It’s not like people change their appearance overnight although some people have been known to. Kieth Richards certainly seemed to transform in the blink of an eye as did Sally Struthers. It’s not usually until several years have passed and the before and after pictures are compared that we see the differences. Here are 15 intriguing actor first/latest film transformations.
15 Val Kilmer (Top Secret/Song To Song)
14 Robert De Niro (Three Rooms In Manhattan/The Comedian)
Robert De Niro has been fortunate to have landed so many great roles. He is known for playing the part of a young Vito Corleone in The Godfather II as well as his roles in Taxi Driver, Casino, and Goodfellas. He is known to really get into his roles and it has paid off handsomely. One of his first movie roles was an uncredited appearance in the 1965 Three Rooms in Manhattan in which he was an extra in a diner. One of his latest roles was as Jackie in the 2016 film The Comedian. There is a slight resemblance if you look close enough but he definitely isn’t the same scrawny actor that made his debut over 50 years ago. As with many of the 15 intriguing actor first film/latest film transformations, De Niro is showing the inevitable signs of aging.
13 Macaulay Culkin (Rocket Gibraltar/Adam Green’s Aladdin)
Most people became familiar with Macaulay Culkin in his role of Kevin McCallister in the 1990 movie Home Alone. That might have been his breakthrough role but he had already been on the big screen before that. His first appearance in a feature film was in 1988 when he played a young Cy Blue Black in Rocket Gibraltar. Cute kid. What the heck happened? Well, the young man has lived pretty hard and it shows. He all but disappeared from the movies between 1994 and 2003 and has only been given a few roles since. His last movie was Adam Green’s Aladdin which was released in 2015. He looks entirely different than one would expect. The 36-year-old has suffered through the effects of both aging and cramming 100 lifetimes worth of partying into just a couple of decades.
12 Jerry O’Connell (Stand By Me/The Lookalike)
Jerry O’Connell got very lucky when he was cast as the chubby Vern Tessio in the 1986 hit movie Stand by Me. The film also featured a young River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Kiefer Sutherland, and John Cusack. O’Connell has been in dozens of movies over the years and he has also been in a few successful television series such as Sliders and Crossing Jordan in which he played Detective Woody Hoyt. Jerry has shown a flair for dramatic roles as well as comedic ones. His most recent movie appearance was in 2014’s The Lookalike. He looks nothing like he did in his film debut. No longer a chubby and awkward kid, the 43-year-old is aging quite well. He has managed to stay very busy in both movies and television as well as ghostwriting Broadway shows.
11 Keanu Reeves (One Step Away/John Wick: Chapter 2)
Keanu Reeves was acting on stage at a young age. This experience prepared him for the mid-80s when he began acting in movies. His first successful movie was 1986’s Youngblood which starred Rob Lowe. He was in a few more movies before getting the part of Ted in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. His career picked up steam and he has gone on to be in dozens of movies and he has been honored with numerous awards. His first on-screen appearance came in 1985’s One Step Away. This young version of Keanu might look a little like Heaver from Youngblood but it is hard to tell that he is the same guy that plays John Wick. In his latest movie, John Wick: Chapter 2, Keanu has almost completely transformed into a different person.
10 Benicio Del Toro (License To Kill/Sicario)
50-year old Benicio Del Toro has played all kinds of roles in the past 30 years. Some of his more memorable roles have been Fenster in The Usual Suspects, Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and the title character in the movie Che. He has won lots of awards and continues to appear in 2 or 3 feature films every year. He made his big screen debut in the 1988 film Big Top Pee Wee but he was heavily made up so we will use a photo from his second movie License to Kill which was released in 1989. The 22-year-old played Dario, the film villain’s right-hand man. Over 25 years later, in 2015, Benicio played Alejandro Gillick in the movie Sicario. There are still some similarities but you would be forgiven if you didn’t think it was the same person.
9 Jennifer Gray (Reckless/Red Oaks)
She is perhaps best-known for her roles of Baby in Dirty Dancing and as Jeanie in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Jennifer Gray seemed to be on her way to movie stardom in the late 1980s but a bit of rhinoplasty altered her course immeasurably. She got a nose job in the early 90s and it changed her appearance so much that friends could barely recognize her. Hollywood stopped knocking on her door and she has been pretty much relegated to television movies ever since. The difference is easy to see when you compare the way she looked when she filmed her first movie, Reckless and how she looked in her most recent movie, Red Oaks. There is barely any resemblance at all although she still knows how to dance as proven by her success on Dancing with the Stars.
8 Claire Danes (Little Women/As Cool As I Am)
Claire Danes’ acting career has seen her win several awards. She first gained a bit of fame through her role of Angela in the mid-90s television show My So-Called Life. She played Juliet in the movie Romeo and Juliet and she also appeared in The Rainmaker, Terminator 3, and The Mod Squad. Her very first movie was 1994’s Little Women in which she played Beth March. Nearly 20 years and a couple dozen films later she played Lainee Diamond in the movie As Cool as I Am. She’s definitely all grown up now. She still has those bright eyes and sweet smile but it’s hard to tell that these pictures are the same person. She hasn’t confirmed rumors that she has undergone plastic surgery but these pictures show that there is a distinct possibility.
7 Mickey Rourke (1941/War Pigs)
This entry could be summed up by three letters. WTF? The answer to that question is quite simple. Too many punches to the face and plastic surgeries gone wrong. Mickey Rourke was once considered a sex symbol but those days are long gone. Rourke rose to fame in the 1980s when he appeared in Diner, Rumble Fish, Barfly, and 9 ½ Weeks among others. He first appeared on screen in the 1979 comedy flop 1941. He was certainly a pretty good looking fellow. Especially when compared to how he looked in the 2015 film War Pigs. You see, in the early 90s, Mickey gave up acting for a boxing career. His record as a fighter wasn’t bad but he suffered a load of facial injuries. He tried to have his mashed up face fixed by undergoing several plastic surgeries but, well, you see the results. He would make a great Dick Tracy villain. No makeup required.
6 Carrie Fisher (Shampoo/Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Yes. Carrie Fisher is no longer with us but she gets a spot on this list because she’s in an upcoming movie and she underwent a stunning transformation during her storied career. We all know she played the beautiful Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise. She made her first appearance on the big screen in the 1975 film Shampoo at the age of 19. What a fox!! She was in dozens of movies including The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally, and Scream 3. In one of her last roles, she played a much older Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s true that age had caught up to her by that time but years of drug and alcohol abuse had also taken their toll. There certainly wasn’t much left of her nose.
5 Al Pacino (Me, Natalie/Misconduct)
Who’s that young-looking kid out on the dance floor making his movie debut? Why it’s Al Pacino!! Pacino had a small part in the 1969 film Me, Natalie. A couple short years later he landed the iconic role of Micheal Corleone in The Godfather. He would gain further recognition for his parts in Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Godfather II in the 70s. He would do Scarface, Carlito’s Way, Donnie Brasco, and dozens of other movies that earned him all kinds of awards. One of his latest movies is Misconduct in which he appears old and disheveled. Age has begun to really pummel the 77-year-old actor but he keeps on landing great parts. We can definitely look forward to seeing him alongside his old pal Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese’s soon-to-be-released movie The Irishman.
4 Sean Penn (Taps/The Gunman)
Sean Penn had a couple of bit parts on television before he broke into film. His role of Jeff Spicoli in the 1982 comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High got him a lot of fame but his first role was a year earlier in the movie Taps in which he played military cadet Alex Dwyer. Dozens of movies and several awards later, Penn finds himself as busy as ever with his acting, producing, and directing. One of his latest roles was as Jim Terrier in the 2015 movie The Gunman. Penn has never been what you could describe as scrawny but he looks pretty buff in The Gunman. He also looks a heck of a lot different than he did in both Taps and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He allegedly works out those biceps by hanging reporters off of hotel balconies.
3 Steven Seagal (Above The Law/The Perfect Weapon)
Steven Seagal has pretty much limited himself to being typecast as a tough guy with martial arts skills. He has made dozens of high-paced action flicks and kicked a lot of butt along the way. You may be surprised to learn that he has produced, written, and provided soundtrack music for a lot of his films. He is definitely a talented dude. Too bad he has a reputation for being a complete jerk. His first movie role was that of Nico Toscani in the 1988 film Above the Law. The action hero was a lean, mean fighting machine back then. Several dozen movies and countless trays of lasagna later, Seagal’s latest cliched offering, The Perfect Weapon features a very bloated and far less mobile version of his younger self. He maintains a bit of a resemblance with the help of hair coloring and quite possibly a weave but, even then, he qualifies for one of the 15 intriguing actor first film/latest film transformations.
2 Meg Ryan (Rich And Famous/Fan Girl)
Meg Ryan had been in several films before she got her breakout role of Sally Albright in When Harry Met Sally in 1989. This led her to several more starring roles throughout the 90s and 2000s. She disappeared from the big screen between 2009 and 2015 when she reappeared in Fan Girl. It’s been widely reported that Meg has made a few trips to the plastic surgeon’s office and it is pretty plain to see if you compare these pictures. Sure, age can be partially blamed for her altered appearance but an obvious nose job and plenty of Botox has also had an adverse effect on the 55-year-old actress. She might not be as badly off as Mickey Rourke but she’s foregone her natural beauty for a rough plastic look.
1 Renee Zellweger (Dazed And Confused/Bridget Jones’s Baby)
Renee Zellweger had a pretty good run in the 90s and 2000s but her career stalled for a few years after 2010. She returned to the big screen in 2016 with Bridget Jones’s Baby and boy does she look like a completely different woman. Renee made her film debut in the 1993 cult classic Dazed and Confused. While she is a very talented actress, her good looks attracted a lot of attention as good looks tend to do in Hollywood. There is a lot of speculation that Renee underwent some plastic surgery and there aren’t too many other explanations for her drastically revised image. Her face looks nothing like it used to. Her cheeks, eyes, and lips appear to be the primary areas of change although the whole face looks like it belongs to somebody else.