Acting requires a lot of method, creativity, and internalization. It is an artform that is as complicated as it is interesting to an outsider. Truly, it cannot be simply overstated that acting involves real work. Actors are made to memorize their lines, change the way they speak and move to suit the character that they are portraying, and are often times uglified for their roles. In some really heavy but meaty roles, actors are even required to change their physical appearance drastically so as to resemble the character that they are portraying.
This list dishes to you the top 10 most astonishing acting transformations that took place in some of the most recent film releases in Hollywood. Check the list out and see for yourself how these actors basically disappeared in their respective film roles and assumed new personalities altogether. Ready?
10. Cameron Diaz in “Being John Malkovich” (1999)
Diaz is probably one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood back in the late nineties and even up to this day. It was really a challenge for her to play a homely and simple housewife in this landmark film. Her hair was made frizzy and she was made to look truly ugly and plain in this film. Her transformation succeeded and she played the part with passing marks!
9. Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” (2011)
Streep could never go wrong in her film roles. She is simply a director’s actor and she is like a chameleon in her many roles for the last 40 years. In this film, she played United Kingdom’s famed prime minister Margaret Thatcher with flying colors. She looked, talked, and acted the part. This won for her the Best Actress Oscar for the second time.
8. Tom Hanks in “Cast Away” (2000)
As many would say, Hollywood legend Tom Hanks is an American film treasure, and rightfully so! Hanks is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood today and one of his most memorable roles was the role of a shipwreck survivor in this film which almost won for him his third Best Actor Academy Award.
7. Elizabeth Banks in “The Hunger Games (2013)
Banks has very classic movie queen looks. This did not stop her from effectively playing Effie Trinket in the film franchise. For the role, she was made to wear over the top costumes and also wore histrionic make-up so she would really look the part. The transformation worked and she earned praises for this role.
6. Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers’ Club” (2013)
This Jean Marc Valle film earned so many praises for its relevant theme on AIDS and homophobia. Nevertheless, the film will never be that successful if not for the tour de force performance of Leto as drug addict and drag queen Rayon. He won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for this role.
5. Michael Fassbender in “Hunger” (2008)
Fassbender is fast becoming one of the decade’s most acclaimed British actors – channeling actors like Sean Connery. Daniel Day Lewis, and Colin Firth. His role in this film required him to lose so much weight – and so what he simply did wasd starve himself until he had already lost 42 pounds.
4. Hilary Swank in “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999)
Before this film, Swank was only known as the leading lady of the male protagonist in the Karate Kid film franchise. In this film, she played the role of lesbian Brandon Teena with so much aplomb that she basically swept all the film awards for her fierce portrayal of the real-life Teena Brandon in this tragic film.
3. Charlize Theron in “Monster”
Hollywood just loves to create monsters out of its babes and this risk paid off highly for CharlizeTheron. Playing real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos, Theron’s transformation in the film was nothing short of astonishing. She won the Best Actress Academy Award for her shattering portrayal of Wuornos in this film.
2. Christian Bale in “The Machinist” (2004)
Bale is known as a method actor who is often very difficult to work with because of his unreasonable demands and notorious temper on the set. Nevertheless, very few people will disagree that he is actually one of the best actors in the business. In this thriller, Bale lost 62 pounds for the role of Trevor Reznik.
1. Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers’ Club”
McConaughey lost 42 pounds to play the role of dying AIDS patient and crusader Ron Woodroof in this film which also won for him a slew of acting awards – including the much-coveted Oscar for Best Actor in a Lead Performance. His portrayal in the film remains very memorable and he virtually disappears in his role.