It’s hard to say if there is one specific person that came up with the term for the “ugly cry,” but many people contribute it to when Oprah Winfrey was still on her talk show. During one of the episodes, she referenced how she went into the “ugly cry” on certain occasions and she was hoping to avoid it. This term quickly picked up steam and it wasn’t long before everyone started to notice that there were certain individuals that seemed more prone to it than others. While there are some people that can remain a bit more composed once they get emotional, not everyone can keep their face looking beautiful while a single teardrop rolls down their cheek.
This can be extremely difficult for some actresses due to a variety of different reasons. While Hollywood is supposed to be dedicated to the most beautiful women in the world, it can be difficult to maintain that stoic beauty during the most difficult moments in their lives. Yet, there is definitely a double-edged sword when it comes to this since actresses must truly convey emotion when thrown into complex roles. Actresses want to be able to be described as serious in how they show off their craft, but they also don’t want to be turned into a meme due to their ugly crying moments. Check out our list of the 15 attractive actresses who are ugly criers and see how some of them throw caution to the wind once their emotions get the best of them.
15. Halle Berry
Halle Berry is thought of as one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, but she’s long since proven that she’s more than just another pretty face on the silver screen. Although she’s taken roles in films that aren’t exactly known for having an extreme depth in the storyline, not all of her roles have been as frivolous as Storm in the X-Men film series. From Gothika to The Call, Berry has never been afraid to take a role that she needs to sink her teeth into. Her most complex role was in the film, Monster’s Ball, which ultimately earned her an Academy Award. This was the podium that became the stage for an incredibly emotional acceptance speech and it also became a moment for her to have a major ugly cry.
14. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian may have built her brand exponentially over the years, but there are still many people that don’t exactly think of her as a true celebrity. She first became known to the world through a “leaked” tape and her reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians isn’t really seen as a platform to show off her acting skills. However, there is definitely some question as to whether or not the show is truly depicting reality since so much of it is seen as staged. Kardashian has been able to show off some of her acting chops in small roles in films like Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor and Disaster Movie. However, it’s going to take much more than that for her to be taken seriously in Hollywood. It seems like the only thing everyone can agree on is that Kim Kardashian has the epitome of a truly ugly cry.
13. Lea Michele
Although Lea Michele has been in a number of different television shows throughout her career, most people know her best for her role as Rachel Berry in the TV series Glee. She was thrust deeper into the spotlight once it was discovered that her boyfriend, Cory Monteith, died from complications with drugs. The public couldn’t help but feel sympathy for this grieving woman and it made people want her to find happiness again. Dealing with the death of her former love and co-star hasn’t stopped her from continuing on with her career and there have been some instances where she’s had to pull from her own emotions to convey the storyline of a role. While she may have been able to accurately portray the sadness in various scenes, people couldn’t help but notice how ugly she looks when she cries.
12. Taylor Schilling
Taylor Schilling is an actress that has somewhat remained under the radar when it comes to the films she’s been in throughout her career. Yet, those that are familiar with the hit television series, Orange is the New Black, are huge fans of her. She portrays the character, Piper Chapman, who is actually quite influential to the storyline of the series. Chapman is based on the author of the non-fiction book, Orange is the New Black. Schilling has been able to pull off this role with exceptional believability and that’s mostly due to the emotional scenes that she has acted with such force. Yet, she didn’t exactly look like the same blonde beauty as in her red carpet looks when she’s had to start bawling her eyes out on screen.
11. Betsy Brandt
Betsy Brandt is an actress that has had numerous roles throughout her lengthy career and has acted in ultra-memorable films like Magic Mike and Between Us. Yet, many people simply think of her as the role of Marie Schrader in the hit TV drama Breaking Bad. As the wife of Hank and the sister of Skyler, Brandt had quite a sizeable role in the television series, with an ultra-complicated persona that she needed to pull off. Audiences completely believed in the turmoil that she was in and part of it was because of the emotional scenes regarding her concern for her sister and husband. While the public has seen her as a serious actress with incredible talent, they weren’t always that big of fans over her look when she cried.
10. Lindsay Lohan
When Lindsay Lohan first emerged as a child actress, people couldn’t help but fall in love with her freckled face and incredible talent. Yet, things didn’t seem to go smoothly once she started to transition out of the child actress stage. The pressures of the celebrity world and the rigors of starting a new music career seemed to be too much for her and it wasn’t long before people began commenting on the downward spiral of her personal life. These incidents started to negatively affect her professional career and soon she started to lose opportunities in achieving new roles. While she’s had her fair share of emotional roles throughout her career, the public saw what she really looked like when she cried during the legal troubles in her personal life.
9. Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway started out her career as a young actress that appealed to kids, through films like The Princess Diaries and Ella Enchanted. Yet, she started to evolve in regards to the roles she chose as she began to get a little older. She was heralded for the roles where she showed off her acting chops on a more in-depth level but it wasn’t until she appeared as Fantine in Les Miserables that people really stood up and took notice. This was the role that ultimately earned her an Academy Award but it was also the film where she showed off her ugly cry. She had been in a number of films with emotional content over the years, but none of them featured the same gut-wrenching moments as in Les Miserables.
8. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence may have started out as an actress on the television sitcoms, The Bill Engvall Show and Monk, but she successfully transitioned to the big screen. She became highly respected in films like Winter’s Bone and The Hunger Games but it was her portrayal as Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook that truly boosted her professional acclaim. It ultimately earned her an Academy Award and put her into an all-new category of Hollywood actresses. The public has thought of her in an extremely favorable light because of how relatable she has seemed during award shows and talk show appearances. She’s often seen joking around with other celebrities and it has made her look even more attractive. Yet, that doesn’t mean that she’s completely exempt from the ugly cry and she’s definitely had her fair share of moments when she didn’t look as beautiful as usual.
7. Teri Hatcher
Teri Hatcher has been lucky enough to appear in some iconic television shows over the years. While other actresses would feel lucky to land even just one of these roles, Hatcher has been a favorite to appear as the ultra-beautiful actress to captivate audiences. From appearing as Lois Lane in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman to the impossibly beautiful gym member in Seinfeld, Hatcher has long since been considered a Hollywood beauty. Her most memorable television role came when she appeared as Susan Mayer in the hit TV series, Desperate Housewives. People loved seeing her trials and comedic moments living in the suburbs and there were some emotional moments that helped show the world that she has depth as an actress. Yet, people probably could have gone without seeing her ugly crying moments.
6. Anna Paquin
Anna Paquin has had a number of memorable roles throughout her career and has been considered a truly gifted actress ever since she was quite young. While other actresses seemed to have difficulty in transitioning to older roles, Paquin didn’t seem to have any issues. A great transitional role was when she appeared as Rogue in the X-Men film series since she was introduced as a first-year student at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Yet, many people still can’t help but think of her as Sookie Stackhouse in the HBO vampire series, True Blood. This was the role that really seemed to show off her acting range since there were a number of episodes where she was required to bawl her eyes out. She may not have looked her best when she was crying but she more than made up for it during some of the other scenes.
5. Katie Holmes
When Katie Holmes was first introduced to the world through appearances on such television shows like Dawson’s Creek, it wasn’t immediately clear whether or not she would be able to transition onto the big screen. Yet, she started to prove that she could hold herself in the spot of a leading lady with films like Disturbing Behavior and Batman Begins. However, her marriage to Tom Cruise seemed to affect her professional career since she no longer took big film roles and focused on being a wife and mother. Once the couple split, Holmes started acting far more frequently and she took roles that would show more range of her talent. While she was previously seen as the fresh-faced girl next door, now fans are seeing her as the ugly crier that focuses on emotional roles.
4. Laura Dern
Laura Dern is an actress that has appeared on the big screen since the ’80s and she has seemed to be able to forego the stereotype that Hollywood actresses are no longer achieving coveted roles after a particular age. While other actresses have been completely forgotten, Dern has continued to show off her acting talents on both the small and big screen. Her most recent role on television came in the award-winning HBO series Big Little Lies. She was able to show off her incredible talent and solidified the fact that true talent doesn’t just disappear with age. She’s continued to show off her acting chops and many of the roles have also shown off her ugly cry. While it may not make her look her best, it does show off the depths she is willing to go to portray a role.
3. LeAnn Rimes
When LeAnn Rimes first emerged as a new blonde-haired beauty in the world of young celebrities, people were blown away by her vocal talent. She instantly became recognizable in country music and people couldn’t help but comment on her beauty. Yet, things started to take a turn in her personal life once it was discovered that she was having major difficulties with her home life. The public rooted for her to have a more stable personal life and became overjoyed at her finding love in marriage. Yet, that didn’t last long once it was discovered that she was having an affair with her married co-star Eddie Cibrian on the set of her Lifetime film, Northern Lights. The two wound up divorcing their spouses and marrying, but it definitely caused its fair share of emotional moments in the public eye.
2. Sarah Michelle Gellar
Despite the fact that Sarah Michelle Gellar has been in a number of films and television shows over the span of her career, most people still just remember her from the hit TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She gave hope to all girls that aspired to have the world see that not every female has to be the damsel in distress and she became instantly recognizable to the world. Although she seemed to be consistently working, the roles she took on the big screen weren’t all that complex. Many people only think about her character from the Scooby Doo films and that isn’t exactly Academy Award-winning role in regards to the characters or the storyline. Yet, she has appeared in some roles where she had to show a bit of depth and after seeing her ugly cry, people are starting to see why she hardly gets any hard-hitting roles.
1. Claire Danes
Claire Danes is an actress that completely knows how to make the most out of each opportunity she’s given. When she played the lead in the TV series, My So-Called Life, people hoped to see her in far more roles. Although the series only lasted for a single year, Danes completely owned the part and it wasn’t long before she transitioned to the big screen. She acted in a number of memorable roles, including starring alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet. However, she ultimately returned to the small screen when she took up the lead in Homeland and the public has loved seeing her on television once again. The series isn’t lacking in hard-hitting scenes and Danes has been able to showcase her raw emotional talent on more than one occasion.
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