We talk a lot about actors transforming for roles — but we don't always talk about them transforming back.
Some actors kept their looks from prominent film roles — and others couldn't shake off the look fast enough. Here are 17 actors who had to look a certain way for a TV show or movie and then quickly changed their appearance directly after.
1.Chris Evans famously bulked up to play Steve Rogers in the Captain America and Avengers films. It's been reported he put on 20-30 pounds of muscle.
However, he was very happy to not have to keep bulking up when filming for the first film was done. “Oh my god, when shooting was done, I just stopped going to the gym completely for about three months,” he said. In fact, now that his stint as Cap is over, he says he's lost 15 pounds. "Every time people see me, they’re like, ‘You ok? You lost a little bit of weight,’” as he stopped going to the gym again.
2.For seasons portraying Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, Kit Harington had to keep his locks long and curly. As the series came to an end, he couldn't wait to cut it. “I’d like to step away and enjoy the obscurity, cut my hair, make myself less recognizable as the character, and go do some other things with a completely new look and tone,” he said. "I can’t go into my next role looking the same. This role was brilliant, but I’ll need to get rid of Jon Snow."
A man true to his word, he cut his hair off (and shaved his beard) later that year for the play True West.
3.Emma Watson similarly had long brown hair for the whole time she was playing Hermione in Harry Potter — basically from ages 10 to 19. During that time, she was actually contractually obligated not to cut her hair or tan.
Shortly after wrapping filming, Watson cut her long locks into a short pixie cut. “I’ve wanted to do it since I was about 16, and when Harry Potter ended in June, I just needed a change,” Watson said in an interview with Marie Claire. “It was quite symbolic for me. It’s very short; it was buzzed at the back and on the sides. And it’s really liberating that I can walk out without thinking about it.”
4.Tom Felton, too, was contractually obligated to keep his appearance fit for playing Draco Malfoy. This meant bleaching his hair constantly and staying out of the sun.
After filming was done, he was happy to go back to his natural hair and skin tone. "I certainly haven't had much freedom to keep my own hair color, or lay in the sun," Felton said after filming. "It was nice to go on holiday and not have to slap on the SPF50 and sit under an umbrella with three caps on." His appearance at the last premieres was much different than it was in the last films.
5.Anna Paquin was also happy to ditch her blonde hair after seven seasons of True Blood, as being blonde was one of her least favorite parts about playing the character.
She dyed her hair shades of blue and purple after filming wrapped, signaling an end to her blonde locks.
6.Another actor who's not a fan of their blonde hair? Josh Hutcherson, a natural brunette who played the blonde Peeta Mellark in the Hunger Games films for four years.
Hutcherson told ABC he wasn't going to miss dyeing his hair once filming was complete. "That's the thing that I was like, 'Get out of here!' Having to do touch-ups all the time and get my hair re-dyed and bleached, was not my thing at all." Within a few months of filming on the last film wrapping, Hutcherson was brunette again.
7.Miley Cyrus is also a natural brunette. She kept her natural color for years on her show Hannah Montana (sporting a blonde wig, of course, for her scenes as Hannah) — but she also wasn't allowed to cut it.
The series ended in 2011 — and in early 2012, Miley had opted for a short long bob. Soon after, she bleached it — and that summer, she cut it into her famous pixie cut. "My hairstylist was there, and I said, ‘Shave my head, dye me blonde — we need to see change,’” Miley said of changing up the look from her Disney days. “[After the haircut] I had this whole new attitude. I felt like I could finally be the bad bitch that I really am.”
8.Mila Kunis famously had to lose a lot of weight to portray a professional ballerina in Black Swan. She trained four hours a day, seven days a week for seven months, with only one and a half days off. She ended up losing 20 lbs. — and later spoke pretty unfavorably about the figure she had to maintain. "Flat, flat, flat,” saying, “There was no shape, no form, nothing, nothing."
She immediately stopped this routine after filming, and said it only took five days to gain back the weight to her regular size.
9.Zooey Deschanel rocked long hair for years on New Girl, which aired from 2011 to 2018. But in 2012, she admitted she wanted a bob instead. “If I could cut my hair today, I totally would," she said, which may suggest she wasn't able to for the show.
Sure enough, just weeks after filming wrapped on the sitcom in the very end of 2017, Deschanel posted a shot of her new 'do — a bob. In fact, she said she'd gotten it done weeks ago — which probably means pretty darn soon after New Girl wrapped.
10.Pretty Little Liars finished filming its seven and final season in late October 2016. Though Ashley Benson had rocked a number of styles and lengths over the years, her head had pretty consistently been some sort of wavy blonde.
But not even two months later, for her December birthday, Ashley Benson ditched her blonde 'do and went for a bubblegum pink.
11.Costar Troian Bellisario actually did the same days later — though unlike Ashley/Hanna, Spencer/Troian had sported pretty much the exact same long brown hair for seasons (though the last couple seasons saw her with clip-on bangs).
She dyed the ends of her hair pink, and even captioned her Instagram, “Bye bye, Spencer. It’s been real, girl."
12.The Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev was contractually obligated not to cut her long hair for six years while she was on the show — and she wanted to cut it the whole time.
So once the show was over,* Dobrev finally cut her hair. “As soon as my contract was done, I decided, the timing of it was more symbolic. ... It was a new character, a new chapter for me, a new look," she said. “The long hair was my kid look, and now I’m becoming a woman, and my roles will hopefully reflect that.”
13.Leighton Meester also had to keep her hair long and brown for Gossip Girl — so it was time for a change after six seasons of the show.
"I chopped off my hair after Gossip Girl wrapped," she revealed in late 2012. "My long, wavy hair got a lot of mileage, so it was time for a change."
14.Robert Pattinson has had to grow a beard for multiple roles in his career — and has never liked it. "I do not understand men who choose to do this to themselves. The idea of having a mustache as your go-to look for your whole life [means] you've got to be out of your mind," Pattinson said of the roles where he had to sport facial hair. But none of them were as tortuous for Pattinson as his beard for The Lost City of Z.
He hated the beard, saying, “Oh god, it took forever to grow. I was so happy to get rid of it. It was disgusting, the whole thing was disgusting." Filming wrapped in October, and by November, Pattinson had ditched the beard.
15.Another actor who hated their character's beard was Steve Agee in The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. When asked about his hopes for Season 2, Agee said he hoped the character would shave his beard. In fact, after each role he does that required a beard, he says he always shaves it directly after they tell him it's a wrap on shooting for his character.
He was especially frustrated with his John Economos beard because director James Gunn wanted it to look "obviously dyed." Agee said his reaction to James was, "Yeah, that's funny and everything, but then you say cut and everyone goes home at the end of the day, and I go to Whole Foods looking like an asshole.' And for Peacemaker, Gunn wanted him to have roots so it looked even worse.
16.Other actors have the opposite problem — like Jamie Dornan. The actor was required to shave his beard for 50 Shades of Grey, and was not happy with the outcome. "I hate my face without a beard, I swear to God I really hate it," Dornan said of his look for the films. "I always think I look really young. I think when I'm clean shaven, I look like a thumb."
Filming for the first film wrapped in late February, and by the beginning of April, Dornan was back with his trusty beard...though of course, he had to shave it again for the sequel.
17.And finally, some actors are not just sick of their hair color or length, but the style. In The Hunger Games, a huge part of Katniss' character was her braid. Jennifer Lawrence, who played Katniss, said she was sick of the style. “I am so bored with her braid. I keep asking, ‘Can’t I just wear my hair differently?’ But they keep saying no.”
I could only find one example of Lawrence wearing a single braid outside of playing Katniss. She also dyed her hair blonde between films, which ultimately led to damage that caused her to cut her hair into a bob and then a pixie cut after filming the second film — a drastic change from Katniss' long locks. She wore a wig for the last two films.
Which change was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
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