IMDb Polls

Poll: Is That Really Them? Unbelievable Movie Star Transformations

Actors are very deticated to their jobs, completing all sorts of unbelievable tasks in an effort to conform to their roles. Some stars undergo hours of makeup, and even months of weight gain or loss. Which transformation by an actor (and their amazing makeup crew) surprised you most? Discuss here

Make Your Choice

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    The Tin Man

    Jack Haley, along with others including Ray Bolger (The Scarecrow) and Bert Lahr (The Cowardly Lion) starring in The Wizard of Oz (1939), underwent hours of makeup to transform themselves into their roles. The actors even had to eat their meals in their dressing rooms because they were considered "frightening" by other diners at the MGM cafeteria.
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    The Elephant Man

    John Hurt was forced to work alternate days while filming The Elephant Man (1980) due to the demanding hours, 7-8 hours of which were spent applying the makeup and prosthetics, and 2 hours spent removing it.
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    Jake La Motta

    Robert De Niro gained 60 pounds to play this boxer through his rise-and-fall in the biography Raging Bull (1980)
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    Beetlejuice

    Before Michael Keaton starred as the handsome Bruce Wayne, he made the starling transformation into this horrific "bio-excorsist" in the Tim Burton classic, Beetlejuice (1988)
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    Penguin

    Danny Devito is hardly recognizable with his prosthetic nose and face full of black and white makeup in Batman Returns (1992)
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    Grinch

    Jim Carrey spent a horrific 3 hours prepping for this role in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). He even had to wear latex skin that was so uncomfortable, he had to receive torture-resisting advice from a Navy SEAL.
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    Gimli

    John Rhys-Davies went through an amazing transformation to play this dwarf in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003), being 6'1 in reality and the tallest actor among the cast.
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    Voldemort

    Though it may look like it, Ralph Fiennes' chilling transformation into this classic villain of the Harry Potter Series (2001-2011) is not the work CGI, rather courtesy of 2 and a half hours of makeup and prosthetics by a talented crew.
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    Virginia Woolf

    Nicole Kidman is completely unrecognizable wearing a prosthetic nose in the drama, The Hours (2002)
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    Aileen Wuornos

    Charlize Theron, beautiful former model, gained 30 pounds and wore prosthetics to play this ugly serial killer in Monster (2003)
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    The Witch

    Helena Bonham-Carter, known for showing glamour even in unusual roles, was transformed into this wrinkled witch after hours of prosthetics and makeup for Big Fish (2003)
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    Trevor Reznik

    Christian Bale lost a staggering 62 pounds for the role of this insomniac in The Machinist (2004). Reports claim Bale would have lost more, had filmmakers not ordered him to stop in concern for his health.
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    Edna Turnblad

    John Travolta underwent 4 hours of prep, putting on a fat suit and 4 gel-filled silicone face prosthetics, each day filming Hairspray (2007)
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    The Joker

    The talented and handsome Heath Ledger, in addition to makeup and prosthetics, hid away in a motel for about 6 weeks in order to develop into the psychology of this beloved villain for The Dark Knight (2008). The work payed off in his stunning, spine-chilling performance that received much recognition from the public and press alike.
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    Mark Whitacre

    Matt Damon gained 20-30 pounds to play this whistle-blower in The Informant! (2009)
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    Rosemary

    It took crews four hours to apply Gwyneth Paltrow's makeup for Shallow Hall (2011), in which she plays this obese woman.
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    Alien

    With metal teeth, corn-row hair, giant sun glasses, and a pronounced tan, it is hard to see that the pimp from Spring Breakers is in fact, James Franco, the dreamy jack-of-all trades actor.
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    Joe

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, in addition to undergoing hours of prosthetics by a skilled makeup crew, studied Bruce Willis' mannerisms by watching hours of his movies to portray his younger-self in Looper (2012).
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    Ovid

    Halle Berry, through makeup and prosthetics, makes the incredible transformation into this older doctor from the future in Cloud Atlas. Berry remarked on the subject, stating she never would have thought she would star as an Asian man.
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    Dermot Hoggins

    Tom Hanks drifts from his usual nice-guy character to play this murderous writer in Cloud Atlas
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    Jocasta Ayrs

    Beautiful Halle Berry sports blonde hair and lighter skin playing this 20th century Jewish woman who has fled Germany in Cloud Atlas.
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    Kona Chief

    The charming British actor, Hugh Grant, will have you second-guessing the man behind the tribal makeup in Cloud Atlas.
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    John du Pont

    Steve Carrell, known for his comedic roles, is seen switching it up with the help of a prosthetic nose in the upcoming Foxcatcher (2014), playing this paranoid schizophrenic who killed his brother.