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    Updated on Aug 19, 2020. Posted on Nov 21, 2014

    16 Actors Who Completely Transformed Into Their Movie Characters

    From weight loss to prosthetics, these actors went all out to completely inhabit their roles.

    1. Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos in Monster

    Columbia Pictures and Ethan Miller / Getty

    Fun fact: In 2004, Theron's portrayal of Aileen Wuornos earned her an Oscar for Best Actress. In addition to makeup, Theron achieved her look by shaving off her eyebrows and gaining 30 pounds. Theron told CNN: "The greatest thing I can hope for, which is an impossible thing to hope for because so much emphasis has been put on the transformation, but it's that people can go see it and get past all that."

    Columbia Pictures and Ethan Miller / Getty

    Fun fact: In 2004, Theron's portrayal of Aileen Wuornos earned her an Oscar for Best Actress. In addition to makeup, Theron achieved her look by shaving off her eyebrows and gaining 30 pounds. Theron told CNN: "The greatest thing I can hope for, which is an impossible thing to hope for because so much emphasis has been put on the transformation, but it's that people can go see it and get past all that."

    Columbia Pictures and Ethan Miller / Getty

    Fun fact: In 2004, Theron's portrayal of Aileen Wuornos earned her an Oscar for Best Actress. In addition to makeup, Theron achieved her look by shaving off her eyebrows and gaining 30 pounds. Theron told CNN: "The greatest thing I can hope for, which is an impossible thing to hope for because so much emphasis has been put on the transformation, but it's that people can go see it and get past all that."

    2. Steve Carell as John du Pont in Foxcatcher

    Sony Pictures Classics and Frazer Harrison / Getty

    Fun fact: Carell had to undergo three hours of makeup application for the role of John du Pont. Carell told Reuters: "When I had all the stuff on and I looked that way, people tended to avoid me a little bit more. It was a bit off-putting, which was good."

    Sony Pictures Classics and Frazer Harrison / Getty

    Fun fact: Carell had to undergo three hours of makeup application for the role of John du Pont. Carell told Reuters: "When I had all the stuff on and I looked that way, people tended to avoid me a little bit more. It was a bit off-putting, which was good."

    Sony Pictures Classics and Frazer Harrison / Getty

    Fun fact: Carell had to undergo three hours of makeup application for the role of John du Pont. Carell told Reuters: "When I had all the stuff on and I looked that way, people tended to avoid me a little bit more. It was a bit off-putting, which was good."

    3. Tilda Swinton as Mason in Snowpiercer

    RADiUS-TWC and Andrew H. Walker / Getty

    Fun fact: It took two hours to apply Swinton's makeup, but according to director Bong Joon-ho, Swinton wanted more. Bong says he had to dissuade Swinton from wearing a pig's nose for her role as Mason.

    RADiUS-TWC and Andrew H. Walker / Getty

    Fun fact: It took two hours to apply Swinton's makeup, but according to director Bong Joon-ho, Swinton wanted more. Bong says he had to dissuade Swinton from wearing a pig's nose for her role as Mason.

    RADiUS-TWC and Andrew H. Walker / Getty

    Fun fact: It took two hours to apply Swinton's makeup, but according to director Bong Joon-ho, Swinton wanted more. Bong says he had to dissuade Swinton from wearing a pig's nose for her role as Mason.

    4. Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Jason Merritt / Getty

    Fun fact: It only took an hour and 15 minutes to get Daniel Day Lewis' makeup done. Director Steven Spielberg: "That was his hair, his beard, he had very light makeup on his face. And we added the mole, of course."

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Jason Merritt / Getty

    Fun fact: It only took an hour and 15 minutes to get Daniel Day Lewis' makeup done. Director Steven Spielberg: "That was his hair, his beard, he had very light makeup on his face. And we added the mole, of course."

    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures and Jason Merritt / Getty

    Fun fact: It only took an hour and 15 minutes to get Daniel Day Lewis' makeup done. Director Steven Spielberg: "That was his hair, his beard, he had very light makeup on his face. And we added the mole, of course."

    5. Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games

    Lionsgate and Michael Buckner / Getty

    Fun fact: According to Banks, every makeup session for Catching Fire was three to four hours long.

    Lionsgate and Michael Buckner / Getty

    Fun fact: According to Banks, every makeup session for Catching Fire was three to four hours long.

    Lionsgate and Michael Buckner / Getty

    Fun fact: According to Banks, every makeup session for Catching Fire was three to four hours long.

    6. Eddie Murphy as Saul in Coming to America

    Paramount and Christopher Polk / Getty

    Fun fact: According to makeup artist Rick Baker, he used between 15 and 17 separate pieces of foam rubber for Murphy's transformation into Saul.

    Paramount and Christopher Polk / Getty

    Fun fact: According to makeup artist Rick Baker, he used between 15 and 17 separate pieces of foam rubber for Murphy's transformation into Saul.

    Paramount and Christopher Polk / Getty

    Fun fact: According to makeup artist Rick Baker, he used between 15 and 17 separate pieces of foam rubber for Murphy's transformation into Saul.

    7. Glenn Close as Albert Nobbs in Albert Nobbs

    Lionsgate and Michael Buckner / Getty

    Fun fact: Close spent more than two hours in the makeup chair to become Albert Nobbs. Wig-maker Martial Corneville told the Daily Mail: "I think that work represents the finest art of wig-making and art of makeup."

    Lionsgate and Michael Buckner / Getty

    Fun fact: Close spent more than two hours in the makeup chair to become Albert Nobbs. Wig-maker Martial Corneville told the Daily Mail: "I think that work represents the finest art of wig-making and art of makeup."

    Lionsgate and Michael Buckner / Getty

    Fun fact: Close spent more than two hours in the makeup chair to become Albert Nobbs. Wig-maker Martial Corneville told the Daily Mail: "I think that work represents the finest art of wig-making and art of makeup."

    8. Jared Leto as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club

    Focus Features and Kevin Winter / Getty

    Fun fact: Leto lost 40 pounds for his Oscar-winning role as the HIV-infected transgender woman Rayon. What was his secret? Leto told The Wrap, "I stopped eating."

    Focus Features and Kevin Winter / Getty

    Fun fact: Leto lost 40 pounds for his Oscar-winning role as the HIV-infected transgender woman Rayon. What was his secret? Leto told The Wrap, "I stopped eating."

    Focus Features and Kevin Winter / Getty

    Fun fact: Leto lost 40 pounds for his Oscar-winning role as the HIV-infected transgender woman Rayon. What was his secret? Leto told The Wrap, "I stopped eating."

    9. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

    Warner Bros. and Cindy Ord / Getty

    Fun fact: Fiennes spent two and a half hours in makeup to become Voldemort. He also wore false teeth which he couldn't remove. Fiennes told the NY Post: "When we broke for lunch, I couldn't eat. I had to take them out each time I wanted anything."

    Warner Bros. and Cindy Ord / Getty

    Fun fact: Fiennes spent two and a half hours in makeup to become Voldemort. He also wore false teeth which he couldn't remove. Fiennes told the NY Post: "When we broke for lunch, I couldn't eat. I had to take them out each time I wanted anything."

    Warner Bros. and Cindy Ord / Getty

    Fun fact: Fiennes spent two and a half hours in makeup to become Voldemort. He also wore false teeth which he couldn't remove. Fiennes told the NY Post: "When we broke for lunch, I couldn't eat. I had to take them out each time I wanted anything."

    10. Nicole Kidman as Virgina Woolf in The Hours

    Paramount Pictures and Stephen Lovekin / Getty

    Fun fact: It took three hours – and a large prosthetic nose – to turn Kidman into author Virginia Woolf. Kidman told SFGate, "It was fun to be able to go out of my trailer and not have anyone know me."

    Paramount Pictures and Stephen Lovekin / Getty

    Fun fact: It took three hours – and a large prosthetic nose – to turn Kidman into author Virginia Woolf. Kidman told SFGate, "It was fun to be able to go out of my trailer and not have anyone know me."

    Paramount Pictures and Stephen Lovekin / Getty

    Fun fact: It took three hours – and a large prosthetic nose – to turn Kidman into author Virginia Woolf. Kidman told SFGate, "It was fun to be able to go out of my trailer and not have anyone know me."

    11. Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

    Columbia Pictures and Valerie Macon / Getty

    Fun fact: According to makeup artist Pat McGrath, Rooney Mara made the work easy: "She really enjoyed it, the whole process. She handled the piercings, shaving her hair short – she just embraced the character."

    Columbia Pictures and Valerie Macon / Getty

    Fun fact: According to makeup artist Pat McGrath, Rooney Mara made the work easy: "She really enjoyed it, the whole process. She handled the piercings, shaving her hair short – she just embraced the character."

    Columbia Pictures and Valerie Macon / Getty

    Fun fact: According to makeup artist Pat McGrath, Rooney Mara made the work easy: "She really enjoyed it, the whole process. She handled the piercings, shaving her hair short – she just embraced the character."

    12. Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose

    Picturehouse and Carl Court / Getty

    Fun fact: Cotillard spent FIVE hours in the makeup chair to become iconic French singer Edith Piaf. It also took more than an hour to remove the makeup.

    Picturehouse and Carl Court / Getty

    Fun fact: Cotillard spent FIVE hours in the makeup chair to become iconic French singer Edith Piaf. It also took more than an hour to remove the makeup.

    Picturehouse and Carl Court / Getty

    Fun fact: Cotillard spent FIVE hours in the makeup chair to become iconic French singer Edith Piaf. It also took more than an hour to remove the makeup.

    13. Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I in Elizabeth: The Golden Age

    Universal and Harold Cunningham / Getty

    Fun fact: Aside from having makeup applied to her face, Blanchett also bleached both her eyelashes and eyebrows for the role.

    Universal and Harold Cunningham / Getty

    Fun fact: Aside from having makeup applied to her face, Blanchett also bleached both her eyelashes and eyebrows for the role.

    Universal and Harold Cunningham / Getty

    Fun fact: Aside from having makeup applied to her face, Blanchett also bleached both her eyelashes and eyebrows for the role.

    14. Rebecca Romijn as Mystique in X2: X-Men United

    20th Century Fox / Marvel and Valery Hache / Getty

    Fun fact: Romijn spent eight hours – a whole day of work for most people – getting pained blue to become Mystique. Romijn told Fox411, "You have to get into some fairly awkward positions to help out the person who's painting you."

    20th Century Fox / Marvel and Valery Hache / Getty

    Fun fact: Romijn spent eight hours – a whole day of work for most people – getting pained blue to become Mystique. Romijn told Fox411, "You have to get into some fairly awkward positions to help out the person who's painting you."

    20th Century Fox / Marvel and Valery Hache / Getty

    Fun fact: Romijn spent eight hours – a whole day of work for most people – getting pained blue to become Mystique. Romijn told Fox411, "You have to get into some fairly awkward positions to help out the person who's painting you."

    15. Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik in The Machinist

    Paramount Vantage and Ian Gavan / Getty

    Fun fact: Bale, who famously lost 60 pounds for the role of Trevor Reznik, says his look was inspired by country singer Hank Williams. Bale told the BBC, "I had a photograph of Hank Williams when he was only 29, but he was looking like he was coming on 50, I guess just from abuse. It was a photograph of him getting released from jail just a few months before he died. He's shirtless and he looks a wreck, absolutely emaciated."

    Paramount Vantage and Ian Gavan / Getty

    Fun fact: Bale, who famously lost 60 pounds for the role of Trevor Reznik, says his look was inspired by country singer Hank Williams. Bale told the BBC, "I had a photograph of Hank Williams when he was only 29, but he was looking like he was coming on 50, I guess just from abuse. It was a photograph of him getting released from jail just a few months before he died. He's shirtless and he looks a wreck, absolutely emaciated."

    Paramount Vantage and Ian Gavan / Getty

    Fun fact: Bale, who famously lost 60 pounds for the role of Trevor Reznik, says his look was inspired by country singer Hank Williams. Bale told the BBC, "I had a photograph of Hank Williams when he was only 29, but he was looking like he was coming on 50, I guess just from abuse. It was a photograph of him getting released from jail just a few months before he died. He's shirtless and he looks a wreck, absolutely emaciated."

    16. Meryl Streep as The Rabbi in Angels in America

    HBO and Frederic J. Brown / Getty

    Fun fact: Streep's main role in Angels in America is as the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg, an American citizen who was executed for being a Soviet spy.

    HBO and Frederic J. Brown / Getty

    Fun fact: Streep's main role in Angels in America is as the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg, an American citizen who was executed for being a Soviet spy.

    HBO and Frederic J. Brown / Getty

    Fun fact: Streep's main role in Angels in America is as the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg, an American citizen who was executed for being a Soviet spy.

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