Then what would a media producer do when they want to cast a beautiful actress in a less-than-attractive role? Turn to makeup, that’s what! Some of these transformations graced a previous article we wrote about the topic, but there are loads of other examples we figured a second article was in order. And here it is!
Dr. Klemperer (Tilda Swinton)
The normally androgynous-looking Tilda Swinton is utterly unidentifiable in the 2018 horror remake of “Suspiria.” She plays Dr. Klemperer, an 82-year-old psychologist.
Not only is the character of Dr. Klemperer decades older than the actress, but she is also playing a man. An old man. It took up to four hours each day to pile on the makeup. Prosthetics were employed. The makeup artist filled in her jawline added prosthetic ears and augmented her belly fat.
Maggie Fitzgerald (Hillary Swank)
In "Million Dollar Baby" Swank played Maggie Fitzgerald, a Southern waitress who ends up in the L.A. gym Hit Pit. Clint Eastwood, director and producer, co-stars with Swank. She told interviewers that this was one of the most difficult things she’s ever had to do. She started working out five hours a day and had to eat 210 grams of protein a day.
She reached her goal in an astounding 90 days. Producers asked her to pile on 10 pounds of muscle weight, but she went above and beyond with over 20 pounds of pure muscle added to her frame. She earned a second Academy Award for the performance.
Tully (Charlize Theron)
In the 2003 comedy-drama “Tully,” Charlize Theron plays an exhausted mom with young children. She gained 50 pounds to look like the frazzled postpartum wife and mother.
Theron said she wanted to feel like her character would. Packing on the weight did the trick, but it also changed her mood, causing great sadness. At first, it was fun eating In-N-Out and ordering two shakes, but a few weeks later she was in a dark spot. Also, it took a year and a half for the actress to get back to her previous size.
Bob Dylan (Cate Blanchett)
Todd Haynes' 2007 film "I'm Not There" is a moving tribute to music legend, Bob Dylan. Several A-list actors play Dylan throughout the film, each portraying a different time of his life. One of those performances is that of Cate Blanchett, who plays a young Dylan in the mid-sixties, and she is truly unrecognizable in the role!
The Australian actress said in an interview, that Dylan was very androgynous during the time that she was playing him. Blanchett wore a short-haired, wispy wig, and stuck a sock down her pants so she could "walk like a man".
Billie Jean King (Emma Stone)
Training to become legendary tennis pro, Billie Jean King, in "Battle of the Sexes", Emma Stone upped her game. She worked out with celeb trainer Jason Walsh until her slight figure was transformed into the physique of a professional athlete.
She gained 15 pounds and the physique of a competitor. Stone mastered Billie Jean King’s signature bounce, and she nailed the part, even though it was her first time portraying a real person. The film depicted King's historic 1973 match against Bobby Riggs and the events leading up to it.
Odile (Mila Kunis)
Mila Kunis is known for being one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood, and that includes her gorgeous physique. But that still wasn't enough for Kunis to portray the extremely thin ballerina Odile, in Aronofsky's "Black Swan".
The actress had to lose 20 pounds in just five short months, engaging in a low-carb, high-protein, 1200-calorie diet and rigorous training five hours every day of the week. Kunis said the whole experience left a mark on her, as she understood for the first time what actual professional dancers have to go through to make it to the top.
Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence)
Jennifer Lawrence has definitely proven herself to be an outstanding actress in recent years. But above all, people have commended her for her very outspoken beliefs that actors shouldn't endure diets for any role. It seems, however, that everybody has their exception, and Lawrence's was playing a Russian ballerina in the 2018 film, "Red Sparrow".
The actress not only endured a harsh diet, but she also worked closely with a ballerina coach so she could play the character as authentically as possible.
Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow)
We all know Gwyneth Paltrow as a die-hard superfood and fitness advocate, which is why it was so surreal to see her as a curvy country song singer in the 2010 film, "Country Strong". Paltrow plays Kelly Canter, a country music superstar who is recovering from substance abuse problems and trying to find her way back to the top.
For the role, the actress had to gain over 20 pounds — an experience she said she really didn't enjoy, saying the worst part was not being able to work out. Shot in Nashville, Tennessee, the actress said there was no shortage of places to eat in order to put on weight. The blonde beauty said that she went back to a workout and healthy food regime as soon as filming ended.
Deena Jones (Beyoncé)
Queen Bey is the envy of women all around the world for her beautiful figure, and she has always been a proud defender of her curves. However, when the producers of 2006's musical drama, "Dreamgirls" decided to cast Beyonce as the film's main character, they made it clear they were looking for a more thin, slender type of look.
She was so invested in playing the part that she decided to go for it. Thanks to a strict juice fast, called 'The lemonade diet', Beyoncé lost 20 pounds in just two weeks. The transformation she made inside and out was truly spectacular.
Winnie Mandela (Jennifer Hudson)
Even though nowadays, you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody who doesn't know who Jennifer Hudson is, this beautiful singer was still on her way to the top as an actress back in 2011. This proved to be the year that changed Hudson's life. The former American Idol finalist was cast in the historical drama, "Winnie Mandela". In order to play South Africa's beloved Winnie herself, Hudson had to lose some pounds.
And as if that weren't enough, she had a few months to perfect the difficult, and very particular, South African accent. The part also changed her life. Apparently, Hudson became a huge fan of the Weight Watchers diet regime and adopted it for everyday life, even after filming had ended.
Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson)
As Avenger Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson upped her fitness game drastically. She revamped her diet and worked out. A lot. She did several 90-minute sessions per week. She went almost completely vegan, except for some lean protein.
She also did martial arts training for stunt work. Scarlett dedicated herself to the regime, but she did allow treats like chocolate cake occasionally. As for tips, Johannsson stresses that everything should be done in moderation.
Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot)
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot dedicated herself to the 2016 superhero movie. Training for “Wonder Woman 1984” required a vigorous workout, first thing in the morning, almost every day for six months.
Gadot had to be in top shape to perform fight stunts and flying scenes. In addition to a vigilant workout, she nourished her body by eating three daily meals consisting of whole foods, healthy proteins, complex carbs, like wild rice, and, of course, vegetables.
Billie Holiday (Andra Day)
“The United States Vs. Billie Holiday” is a 2021 biopic about the true story of jazz singer Billie Holiday being targeted by the government in the 1940s. Andra Day lost a significant amount of weight, at least 39 pounds, to appear as the legendary crooner.
She even picked up some of the singer's bad habits like drinking and fuming, which she does not recommend! Day said she absorbed herself in the suffering and hurt of the “Strange Fruit” singer and it took a personal toll.
Karen Walker (Megan Mullally)
"Will & Grace" star Megan Mullaly gave us the hilarious Karen Walker. Walker described herself as "a spoiled, shrill, gold-digging socialite who would sooner chew off her own foot than do an honest day's work." That pretty sums it up. Oh, and that high-pitched voice.
In reality actress, Megan Mullaly has a very normal voice and has a totally different demeanor from Karen. Her style is also much less flamboyant.
Virginia Woolf (Nicole Kidman)
It's miraculous the difference a prosthetic nose can make. When actress Nicole Kidman donned the famous Virginia Woolf snout in the film "The Hours," she was instantly transformed into the famous writer. There was also quite a bit of makeup and the perfect wardrobe.
Kidman is totally blonde and has a very different-looking nose, as we all know. The brilliant actress more or less maintains the same look throughout her movies, though this one was a real step in another direction.
Andrea (Paloma Faith)
When you're the leader of the emos you have to look the part. Actress Paloma Faith jumped into the role of the morbid character from the film "St Trinians," which is, aesthetically, very different from her actual look.
In reality, the actress is blonde and loves vintage stye colorful outfits. We're sure that Andre and Paloma would never be caught dead walking around together.
Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron)
It's one thing when an actor portrays a historic figure, it's another when they play people we see on TV every day. When Theron played the famous news anchor Megyn Kelly, audiences did a double-take. In the film "Bombshell" it almost looks as if it's Kelly playing herself, alas, it's Charlize Theron.
With eyelid prosthetics and makeup that gave her identical cheekbones, her look was completely transformed and everyone felt like they were watching the real Megyn Kelly.
Dayanara “Daya” Diaz (Dascha Polanco)
Daya is shy and a little reserved, she loves her manga comic books and doesn't draw so much attention physically. Actress Dascha Polanco on the other hand is all colors. The actress has a totally different look with blonde hair, colorful streaks, and bright clothes.
This is just another example of how these "Orange is The New Black" characters are different from the actors behind them.
Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby)
If you're a British actor, you inevitably end up playing a royal family member at some point in your career. That generally comes with a huge makeup and wardrobe team. For actress Vanessa Kirby, her time for that was during the first season of Netflix's "The Crown." After a six-month search, Kirby was chosen for the role, and she shows us why.
The actress completely immersed herself in the part, sharing an uncanny likeness to the young Princess Margaret (the Queen's wild sister) in both looks and signature mischievous demeanor. Of course, out of costume, she's the gorgeous Vanessa Kirby.
Detective Sgt. Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman)
In reality, actress Olivia Coleman sports a very fun blonde pixie do. Not at all like the serious Ellie Miller, the detective sergeant from the hit British show "Broadchurch," in which she stars alongside David Tennant.
The actress keeps blowing us away. Whether it be as a wicked stepmom in "Fleabag," the frail Queen Anne in "The Favorite", or once again, another queen (Queen Elizabeth) in "The Crown."
Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael)
As with many "Downton Abbey" stars, how they look on the show is not an accurate representation of their true selves. And that doesn't only apply to the dowdy servants. Even Lady Edith looks drastically different in real life.
It's incredible what an old-fashioned hairstyle can do. Access Laura Carmichael looks completely different on the red carpet.
Shannon Purser (Barb Holland)
We saw Barb for a hot second. The loveable nerdy red-head sadly got swallowed by the Upside Down far too soon. When fans found out who she was, they were all shocked to see that she barely resembles her character on TV.
OK, obviously her character is from the 80s, but still, actress Shannon Purser looks rather different from Barb and is nowhere near as frumpy. She still looks just as sweet though!
Janine Ofwarren (Madeline Brewer)
"The Handmaid's Tale" is not an easy show to watch and the trials the characters go through are extremely troubling. The women who wear the red robes and white hoods are stripped of everything and are barely recognizable. That goes for Madeline Brewer, especially, who plays Janine Ofwarren.
Throughout the show, the actress is missing an eye and is deeply disturbed by the events of the story (no spoilers!) The actress of course thankfully very much has both eyes and looks like a completely different person when she's not playing Ofwarren.
Dorota (Zuzanna Szadkowski)
"Gossip Girl" was everyone's favorite guilty pleasure. The show that followed Manhatten's Upper East Side elite revealed the juicy stories of utterly privileged teens and college students. Though some weren't so privileged, like Dorota. The maid and confidant of Blair Waldorf was a special character.
While very prim and proper on the show, the actress Zuzanna Szadkowski is far more stylish in real life and looks like she might even perfectly blend in with the gang while they tear up the streets of Manhatten.
Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy)
Claire Foy is English, yes, but she is no royal. That is until you see her in "The Crown" where she impeccably portrays the young Queen Elizabeth II. Royals don't speak with just a regular posh accent, it's on a whole other level, just watch those speeches, better yet, just watch Foy as she disappears into the role in the brilliant Netflix series.
The modest clothing and sensible hairdo also make her look older than she really is. When the actress is out of her Elizabeth costume, she looks totally different.
Dee Dee Blanchard (Patricia Arquette)
The wildly talented Patricia Arquette has been moving us on TV screens and in theaters since the 80s, taking on different roles, time, and time again transforming into amazing and complex characters. She did it once again with her character Dee Dee Blanchard in the Hulu series called "The Act."
Her signature blonde hair was nowhere to be seen and she was barely recognizable in the pasty drab cardigans and sweaters. The role earned her an Emmy Award, which is definitely justified,
Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore)
Mandy Moore was a pop teen sensation during the early 2000s, but ever since that, somehow. she has maintained that sweet "girl next door" look. So it was really surprising when we saw her age a couple of decades in the beloved series "This Is Us."
In parts of the show, Moore is playing her character, Rebecca Pearson, years in the future. It's hard to believe that that is not an older woman, but the same Mandy Moore with heaps of makeup typical "older lady" clothes.
Moira Rose (Catherine O’Hara)
The award-winning comedy series "Schitt's Creek" features some hilarious stars who can look incredible in wigs. That certainly goes for Catherine O'Hara who plays the insane Moira Rose, melodramatic ex-soap star and wife of the formerly very rich Johnny Rose, who is now suffering from serious downscaling.
O'Hara has been sporting these hilarious looks for years as a staple member of another series of films made by mockumentary maestro Christopher Guest. Off-camera, the actress looks totally sane and actually pretty casual.
Scathach (Lady Gaga)
You know when Lady Gaga jumps into acting, it's going to be big. Gaga has never shied away from outlandish outfits and playing with her looks. So we shouldn't be surprised when the Grammy-winning star immersed herself in the role of Scathach, the bloodthirsty witch from the 15th century.
Gaga was unrecognizable in this season of "American Horror Stroy", heck she was unrecognizable in "A Star is Born."
Amy Sedaris – Jerri Blank
The hilarious Amy Sedaris has no fear, and will do whatever she needs to do in order to get the laughs! We definitely saw this in the cult classic "Strangers With Candy" where she plays a bizarre and unfortunate-looking 45-year-old woman who returns to high school, named Jerri Blank.
Fitted with horrific fake teeth and tacky makeup, Jerri Blank and Amy Sedaris couldn't be more different. The very attractive comic is also clearly not in high school and is super smart. In fact, she comes from a family of smarties. Her brother is also a renowned humorist and writer David Sedaris.
Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks)
Since "The Hunger Games" takes place in the uncertain dystopian future in the fictional region of Panem, the minds behind it (both from the books and the films) had to dream up some zany-looking characters. Effie Trinket is an example of that. Her outlandish outfits and makeup, make her the quintessential Capitol resident.
But beneath that white powder and crazy clothes is the sweet and funny Elizabeth Banks, who really looks nothing like Effie Trinket.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
Ah yes, the ladies of "GOT" never cease to amaze us. Without those crazy wigs and icy stares, these women are really just beautiful Hollywood starlets (British ones.) Emila Clarke of course looks very different from her character Daenerys Targaryen. Firstly, that witchy white blonde hair is fake, she's a brunette.
Also, the Mother of Dragons looks just as good in a romantic drama as she does on a big black throne. Check her out in "Me Before You," where she plays an entirely different person.
Helen (Francesca Curren)
As we know, when creating a world of tough convicted felons, sometimes you have to get a little ugly. Case in point, this skinhead, Helen. If you were to see Helen behind bars, you definitely wouldn't be surprised, but if you were to see actress Franescsa Curren around town you would never think it was the same gal.
Actress Francesa Curren did a lot to that prison look, starting with the basic head shave, creators needed tons of special makeup to get it right, and to top it all off, the face and neck tattoos that say, "I belong in prison."
Angie (Julie Lake)
"Orange Is The New Black" cast member, Julie Lake plays Angie Rice. Beauty standards can drop behind bars, but all that nonsense never really bothered Angie in the first place.
While poor Angie could use some serious dental work, actress Julie Lake's teeth are just fine.
Blanca Flores (Laura Gómez)
Here we have another "Orange Is The New Black" stunner. Actress Laura Gómez plays the seemingly dangerous and wild character, Litchfield convict Blanca Flores. The difference is huge. Gómez is super put together and incredibly elegant.
But Flores screams "trouble." Her crazy hair and deathly stare make for the kind of look that makes you want to keep a safe distance.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)
Lena Headey and Cersei Lannister from "Game of Thrones" could not be more different. For starters, actress Lena Heady is covered in tattoos and is super cool and chic. She is also a staunch social activist, who fights for LGBTQ issues, human rights, immigration-related matters, and has even dabbled in an organization that funds Alzheimer's research.
Cersei on the other hand goes about her reign with a cold heart and somber face. She'll destroy you without much thought and she's also had some extremely wrong relationships.
Janice Ian (Lizzy Caplan)
"Mean Girls" is a classic for any millennial. Apart from the hilarious script, what makes it so memorable is the cast of amazing characters. And such an example is the emo/goth art freak, Janice Ian who gets her need for a Regina George revenge seriously ignited.
The 2004 film put actress Lizzy Caplan on the map. Fans soon discovered that their favorite high school reject was very different under that punky hairstyle and smoky eyes. In fact, Lizzy may have even been able to make it in The Plastics!
Madame D. (Tilda Swinton)
As expected, Tilda morphs into this eccentric rich old woman named Madame D from Wes Anderson's incredible film "The Grand Budapest Hotel." The chameleon actress can play just about anything, as we've seen so far. Madame D is an 84-year woman with an enviable will, she has countless liver spots and old lady lipstick.
Tilda Swinton is a super talented actress with an alien-like face who can blend easily into any character. Just take a look at her IMDB page.
Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown)
Child actress Millie Bobby Brown burst onto our screens as Eleven, the protagonist in the Netflix series "Stranger Things." With telekinetic powers, Eleven has been a victim of cruel lab experiments all her life, giving her a freakish appearance and pretty much zero social skills. Though slowly but surely she finds her way with the help of her trusted friends.
Still, Eleven in season one is very different from the actress who plays her, who, even as a young star is wonderfully graceful, and also has beautiful long hair!
Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan)
In "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" actress Rachel Brosnahan takes on the role of a 1950s housewife who strikes gold as a dynamite stand-up comedian in a world full of men. The show gorgeously depicts New York City in the late 50s and early 60s, a pivotal time in American culture. Brosnahan perfectly plays the (at first) dutiful wife and mom during this conservative era.
Armed with delicious brisket and pearls, Midge finds herself drunkenly killing it on stage at dingy New York nightclubs. Evolving throughout the show, it's hard to get a sense of the actress, Rachel Brosnahan, who just keeps on making transformative performances.
Marcia Clark (Sarah Paulson)
In the series "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson" actors take on real people, portraying real crime stories that made history in America. When taking on a show like this, you better make sure that you get it as accurate as possible. Sarah Paulson just did that with her portrayal of Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the infamous O.J Simpson case.
Paulson had it down to the finest details, immersing herself in the role of the woman during the notorious 1995 trial. Considering what Paulson actually looks like it proved to be a major feat.
Dianna (Tilda Swinton)
Tila Swinton has an interesting and Avant guard look, and with that comes many unique roles. But perhaps the strangest role she ever took on was the role in Amy Schumer's romantic comedy "Train Wreck. "In the film, she played a shockingly conventional fashion editor, who quite honestly, could look like anybody.
With her blond highlights and fake tan, this might be Swinton's most unusual role to date. Swinton looks completely unrecognized in this "normal" LA look (albeit with a British accent.)
Suzanne Warren (Uzo Aduba)
We all loved "Crazy Eyes." Suzanne Warren, AKA Crazy Eyes was the brilliant yet emotionally unstable convict in the infamous Litchfield Prison in the show "Orange Is the New Black." Actress Uzo Aduba somehow transformed into this unique character, and it wasn't just the help of those Bantu knots, and scrubs, but rather, some masterful acting.
With the crazed look in her eye, Uzo becomes somehow both endearing and extremely unsettling to watch. In reality, the actress is a wildly talented woman who has nabbed awards for performances, appearing on more and more shows, and even starred in a broadway musical.
Alex Dunphy (Ariel Winter)
The Dunphy kids from the show "Modern Family" are a diverse bunch. You had the little goofy Luke, the shallow and whiny Haley, and of course the highly competitive nerd, Alex. Alex constantly had her nose in the books and never cared about fashion. Actress Ariel Winter must have had a tough time playing such a plain geek because, in reality, she couldn't be further from that.
No glasses and fabulous hair, the very glamorous "Modern Family" star seems more like her sister Haley in reality. Maybe Haley is more like Alex? Whatever the case, the casting seemed to work.
Dren (Delphine Chanéac)
A young scientific couple involved in human cloning gets a little over-experimental one day and creates a human hybrid animal named Dren. Dren has a very strange appearance, with a bald head, alien eyes, and a long tail, this lab experiment of a creature looks, just wrong.
Thankfully the French actress behind the horrifying makeup and special effects, Delphine Chanéac looks 100% like a human being, and a beautiful human being at that! The actress is also, unsurprisingly, a model.
Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil (Demi Moore)
Everybody knows Demi Moore as the gorgeous model-like actress with dark and luscious long hair. But she temporarily parted ways with her signature look for her big 1997 role in the film "G.I. Jane."
Moore buffed up like crazy and even shaved her head, making her look like a real hardened trainee in the U.S. Navy Special Warfare Group. Ultimately, the film got some mixed reviews, but even after the criticism, Demi had no problem going back to her normal beautiful self.
Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan)
Scottish star Phyllis Logan dons her best servant smock as the drab matron house-keeper in the critically acclaimed series "Downton Abbey." The stoic Mrs. Hughes AKA Elsie keeps her maids in check but still has a good heart.
While her title is somewhat prestigious for a servant, the position isn't particularly glamorous, which is why Mrs. Hughes is often seen in dark and plain outfits. Phyllis Logan is no Elise and has been known to glam it up on the red carpet.
Brienne Of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)
Like other women of "Game of Thrones," Brienne of Tarth is no coward. As a fearless and powerful fighter, this knight couldn't care less about pretty things and fine clothes. Catch her with a sword in full-on armor.
But Gwendoline Christie however has a whole other look (not that it's any less awesome.) The SAG-winning actress has been blowing up on our screens looking out of this world, once again, in the "Star Wars" films.
Lucy Sketch (Aimee-Ffion Edwards)
Lucy's middle name was Sketch, no, sorry. Lucy's last name was Sketch, showing just how sketchy she really was! The character who appeared in the second season of "Skins," the hit British series about complicated English teens was a stalker-type girl with serious issues.
The Welsh actress, Aimee-Ffion Edwards is far from a weird stalker with bad hair. She's gone on to appear in "Peaky Blinders" and "Luther."
Deandra Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson)
Deandra Reynolds shines as a crude and sociopathic drunk in the hilarious comedy series "It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia." Her disturbing nature gave viewers some jaw-dropping moments throughout the show. She also had some really bad luck with mean and even lived out of her car for some time.
In reality, Kaitlin Olson is nowhere near her Deandra character. The successful comedian and actress even found love on the show with one of the show's creators and stars Rob McElhenney.
Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan)
As lovely and cute as Alyson Hannigan is, throughout her career, she has always brought out a slightly nerdy element to her characters. It's probably just the red hair and child-like voice. This was super apparent as Willow Rosenberg in"Buffy the Vampire Slayer."
Off-screen, Hannigan miraculously is very different from the characters we see on TV. We suppose it's just her TV and movie persona!
Violet Bickerstaff-(Tori Spelling)
On the sitcom Saved By The Bell, Tori Spelling’s character donned glasses and pigtails. Her character, Violet Bickerstaff was a naive, nerdy girl with a terrible dress sense, even in the 80s.
In reality, Tori Spelling is more of a blonde bombshell than an innocent geek and far more like her character on 90210.
Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer)
Pam Beesly was the sweet and mild-mannered secretary in the hilarious show "The Office." She may have never won a competition for best dressed, but her dullish looks never prevented her from meeting the love of her life, Jim.
While Beesly could have done with a new wardrobe, actress Jenna Fischer is far cooler than her character, and always looks great in any public appearance. But one thing they do share is their sweetness.
Mona Vanderwaal (Janel Parrish)
The show "Pretty Little Liars" was of course filled with pretty little women, hence the name, but the character Mona Vanderwaal still lacked some inner beauty. While she was attractive, throughout the show it was clear that Vadnerwaal's low self-esteem and sad past made her kind of unappealing.
The real Janel Parrish, born in Honolulu, has a heart of gold and even dazzled fans in her recent stint on "Dancing With The Stars," coming third place. The actress also married her long-time boyfriend, chemical engineer, Chris Long.
Daisy Mason (Sophie McShera)
The very talented Sophie McShera is no plain kitchen maid. The actress stars as Daisy Maison in the award-winning period drama "Downton Abbey." Life isn't' easy when you're a life-long servant during post-Edwardian England, and Daisy is evidence of that.
Thankfully, actress Sophie McShera has proven that she looks fantastic when out of her grey kitchen dress. The actress somehow keeps landing up in unflattering roles. In 2015 she played one of Cinderella's ugly step-sisters in Kenenth Brannahgh's adaptation. Clearly, she is far from that!
Debra Barone (Patricia Heaton)
Remember "Everybody Loves Raymond?" The hilarious sitcom featured some colorful characters, among them was Ray's snarky and fed-up, wife Debra. Debra was constantly criticized by Ray's impossible mother, which had her in a perpetual eye roll.
Of course, when you're told throughout your marriage that you're not good enough for your husband, you're not always going to be your best. The actress Patricia Heaton who gave us Debra is far from her TV character. She is also a mother of four and married to English actor David Hunt.
Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway)
Ah, good old Anne. Gorgeous and consistently giving us all our favorite films, the actress Anne Hathaway is another example of another great Hollywood shapeshifter. In 2001 Hathaway starred as Mia Thermopolis in the beloved teen movie " The Princess Diaries." Looking completely different, the actress actually had us convinced that she was a dorky weirdo who was in serious need of a makeover.
Roughly a decade later, Hathaway wowed us once again as the suffering Fantine in the film adaptation of Les Miserables. Terribly underweight, battered, and with patchy short hair, the Anne Hathaway we knew was almost nowhere to be found.
Rachel Berry (Lea Michele)
Both Rachel and Lea Michele share that x-factor only a broadway star could have. The breathtaking vocals and killer stage presence is after all how Lea Michele landed the role of Rachel Berry in the hit show "Glee." But Berry wasn't particularly liked among her peers.
Overbearing and preppy, Rachel had a rather annoying vibe about her. Interestingly, in a recent Twitter tirade, many of Lea Michele's former co-stars came forward to complain about how unpleasant she was to work with. Looks like this time, perhaps the two aren't so different? At least their style differs!
Liz Lemon (Tina Fey)
It's true that Tina Fey and Liz Lemon both found themselves navigating the difficult and often male-dominated world of improv comedy. And it also might be true that their major weakness is food, okay, and we suppose that both women are pretty nerdy. But, and here's a big but... Tina Fey is no frumpy spinster!
Granted, these two share some similarities (Fey did write Lemon after all) Liz Lemon is far unluckier than Tina Fey. With a comedy empire behind her, a best-selling memoir, a loving husband, and two beautiful children, Tina Fey is a force to be reckoned with. In fact, Liz has nothing on Tina.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams)
Maisie Williams burst onto our screens as the fierce Arya Stark in the HBO hit series " Game of Thrones." The young actress instantly shot to fame. Stark was the ferocious princess who never concerned herself with frills and social norms like the other women. As awesome as this made her, it really did show.
Maisie Williams on the other hand can look glamorous as ever. The young English actress has received major critical success for her role as Stark, which, given the fact that it was her first real acting job, is pretty impressive. The lovely actress even recently launched her own app!
Aileen Wournos (Charlize Theron)
Charlize Theron seriously changed the direction of her career with the role of Aileen Wournos, the notorious convicted serial killer. Having played mostly beautiful leading ladies, Theron said goodbye to all that for the role of playing the controversial Wournos.
With the help of a great hair and makeup team and some significant weight gain, Theron looked like the crazed and ill-fated drifter that would cause a media frenzy in the courts in 1992. Since then, the South African beauty has taken on extremely diverse roles, cementing her status as one of the most serious actors in Hollywood.
Ann Veal (Mae Whitman)
Ann Veal was the super religious yet super unforgettable love interest of George Michael in "Arrested Development." Young George soon started to lose interest in Ann, which was helped by his family's constant surprised reactions to their relationship.
Actress Mae Whitman who played Ann Veal, however, is far from forgettable. Whitman has started in "Parenthood," "The Duff," Scott Pilgrim" and much, much more over the course of her long career which she started as a child!
Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik)
It's safe to say that both Mayim Bialik and Amy Farrah Fowler are super smart ladies. The fictional character Amy, from "The Big Bang Theory" is a genius neuroscientist, and in fact, so is Mayim Bialik. Years ago, after some years as a teen star, Bialik took a break from acting to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience.
One huge difference however is that the actress is nowhere near as frumpy as her character on the TV show. Bialik would never be caught dead in the closes that Amy wears!
Velma Dinkley (Linda Cardellini)
We love Velma. The nerdy bob and thick glasses are what make her a central part of the Scooby-Doo team. Perhaps the smartest one in the group, she's not exactly chic. It's just something about that big orange turtleneck.
That didn't stop the beautiful Linda Cardelilibni from jumping in. The actress looks nothing like her 2002 role as Velma Dinkley and changed her look completely for the film. And it worked!
Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek)
The brilliant artist Frida Kahlo was a known eccentric. With her colorful clothes, flower crowns, and prominent unibrow, the painter's look was iconic. Sadly, Kahlo was also known to have a terrible disability caused by polio which she caught at age six. Hayek, who is also Mexican had always been a great fan of the artist and did not shy away from any of the less flattering aspects of Khalo in the film "Frida."
In fact, the gorgeous actress who produced the film, fought tooth and nail to depict Frida in the correct way. That meant donning the famous unibrow, and moving and limping in the same way the disabled Frida had moved, all to the dismay of producers, who wanted a more attractive "Hollywood" version of the muralist. But she didn't let all that noise stand in her way, and in the end, transformed into the complex and troubled artist we all know and love.
The Witch (Meryl Streep)
The three-time Oscar winner and 20-time Oscar nominee, Meryl Streep is quite simply Hollywood royalty. Streep underwent some intense movie magic to become the infamous and terrifying Witch in the film "Into The Woods" (2014), a retelling of the classic "Cinderella."
Out of costume, Meryl Streep looks like nothing like that wicked witch. To be honest, the actress looks completely different in every movie she plays. From Miranda Priestly to Margaret Thatcher, Streep morphs from role to role.
Justin Bieber (Kate McKinnon)
SNL is home to some of the greatest impressionist showbiz has ever seen, so you can imagine just how amazing Kate Mckinnon is that she stands out. The hilarious cast member has transformed into countless celebs we know, including Ellen, Jean King, and even Hillary Clinton, but one character that she disappears into completely is Justin Bieber.
In the now-famous SNL sketch, the actress and comedian does a Calvin Klein underwear ad as Justin Bieber and it is just it's simply uncanny and hilarious. Underneath all the wigs, costumes, and makeup, Kate Mckinnon looks like any red carpet starlet. Watch her do Penelope Cruz. The mega-talented comedian can do just about anyone!
Lotte Schwartz (Cameron Diaz)
Everyone knows Cameron Diaz as one of Hollywood's great beauties, so audiences were shocked to find her in the classic Charlie Kaufman film "Being John Malkovich" as an extremely frizzy-haired plain Jane. Her onscreen partner John Cusack even drops her for the sly Maxine (Catherine Keener.)
The role was also a real step for Diaz who up until then was always playing the pretty blonde. We saw this in films like "There's Something About Mary," "My Best Friend's Wedding," and "The Mask." This film showed us just how serious the actress can get. Of course, since then, Diaz keeps wowing us with her great comic chops and beautiful blue eyes.
Josie Gellar (Drew Barrymore)
Josie Gellar in "Never Been Kissed" was never cool in high school. With braces and messy hair, Josie was constantly taunted by her peers for being a nerdy freak. Years later, at 25, she gets a second chance when she goes undercover as a high school student for a story that takes place at the school. Once again, Josie lands up being the high school dork, but surprise surprise, ultimately the school discovers that Josie is actually really cute (a truer depiction of Drew.)
Drew has been captivating audiences since she was a baby. The now seasoned actress still maintains that adorable quality she had since her first commercial as an infant. She also recently launched her very own talk show "Drew Barrymore Talk Show" and there's not a shred of dorky Josie there!
Winifred Sanderson (Bette Midler)
Throughout her long and illustrious career, Bette Midler has played heaps of quirky and eccentric parts, but none quite as kooky as the witch Winifred Sanderson, the head witch of the Sanderson sister in the movie "Hocus Pocus." The mad and clownlike witch would cruelly suck the souls of children in order to stay young and "beautiful." Sadly, no matter how many youthful souls Winifred stole, she was still as hideous as ever.
Middler on the other hand looks nothing like Winifred. The megastar looks flawless, and she's no spring chicken. Having started her career in the year 1970 Midler has been a star ever since. Recently she appeared in Netflix's "The Politician" as Hadassah Gold, the right-hand woman to senator Dede Standish (Judith Light.) The two make a fabulous and formidable pair.
Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara)
The world took notice of Rooney Mara once she becomes Lisbeth Salander, the leading character in "Girl with a Dragon Tattoo." In the book, originally published in Swedish, this fictional character gained major notoriety as a troubled yet brilliant goth-punk hacker. Love it or hate it, the look is iconic. Mara's intense transformation, both internal and external (including accent!) even landed her a Golden Globe.
Drop the piercings, the pitch-black mohawk, and you will find the big-eyed beauty in her true form, with prominent brows nowhere close to that of Lisabeth's. Mara has since starred in a string of films, one of them the Oscar-nominated LGBT drama "Carol" for which she was even nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Agnes "Apple" Bailey (Vanessa Hudgens)
The indie Christian drama "Gimme Shelter" tells the true story of a runaway pregnant teen who finds herself in a home for pregnant girls. Hudgens drastically changed her look for the role of a troubled teen in and out of foster care. With neck tattoos, piercings, and a totally different haircut, Hudgens is pretty much unrecognizable.
Of course, if you've seen the actress on the red carpet, then you obviously know that Vanessa Hudgens is drop-dead gorgeous. There's a reason the beauty was in a five-year relationship with Zac Efron.
Kitty Sanchez (Judy Greer)
Judy Greer is a real chameleon. Throughout her career, she portrayed some very unusual characters, one of her most notable roles was as Kitty Sanchez in "Arrested Development" who, with her crazed curls, would become completely cross-eyed the moment she removed her glasses. Naturally, the quirky role got a lot of laughs. ]
But Judy Greer is far from the crazy Kitty Sanchez. The lovely actress has made countless appearances in both TV and film and has even penned a book about her life on the screen. We even see her go from drab to fab in the teen thriller "Jawbreaker."
Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson)
In 2005 the great British actress played the magical Nanny McPhee with warts and all. The mystical nanny was based on the "Nurse Matilda" books, a story about a hideous witchy nanny with powers so magical that she could discipline the unruliest of children. And we see Thomspon do just that, with her big round nose, single tooth, and warts, Nanny McPhee is a sight for sore eyes.
Of course (spoiler alert) as the children shed their ugly behavior, McPhee transforms from hideous to beautiful. The nanny's transformation reveals a more true-to-life version of Emma Thompson. The actress looks fantastic and even better with age.
Betty Suarez (America Ferrera)
"Ugly Betty," told the story of the dowdy brace face and walking fashion crime, Betty Suarez, a writer navigating the world of beauty in a top-notch style magazine. That proves hard to do when you're surrounded by gorgeous models. Betty donned her very worse throughout the show, teaching us all about self-love in a world of impossible beauty standards. While we all got that powerful message, what we did learn was that the moment Sauarz wore the right clothes, she was rather beautiful.
Yep, actress America Ferrera is no Ugly Betty. The American actress, born to Honduran parents, is an Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award-winning actress. In 2007 this Hollywood beauty was even dubbed one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She currently stars in the new Netflix series "Super Store."
Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss)
Elisabeth Moss can pretty much morph into anyone. These days she's one of Hollywood's serious leading ladies and has starred in a string of critically acclaimed TV shows and films. But when we first saw her, she was just Don's frumpy secretary, Peggy Olson. Olson was mocked for her homely looks by her unforgiving male colleagues in the series "Mad Men" and was even pressured to doll herself up, just to fit in.
Soon Olson proves that she's concerned for things far more important than hair and makeup, and achieves exactly what she set out to do. We suppose we can say the same for Moss. The gorgeous actress has played many different roles, including Offred from "The Handmaid's Tale, " horror writer Shirly Jackson in "Shirly" and more. You might even remember her as the tragic burn victim from "Girl Interrupted."
Tiffany Doggett (Taryn Manning)
If you've seen "Orange Is the New Black," then you know all about the rough and tough-looking lady convicts on the show. It's not easy being in prison, and as the show has taught us, these women had very difficult lives. Character Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett was one of them. The proud "redneck" from western Pennsylvania came a long way, but in the first season, she was not in good shape. With rotten and even missing teeth, this inmate wasn't her best self.
You can be relieved to know that the actress Taryn Manning does, in fact, have all of her teeth and has led a long career in TV and film, starring in "8 Mile," Britney Spears' "Crossroads, and "A Lot Like Love." Interestingly enough, the actress has gotten herself in quite a few scuffles involving the law, and while she doesn't have the face of an inmate, her fiery personality isn't that far off from OINTB's "Pennsatucky"
Pepper (Naomi Grossman)
Pepper, a freakish-looking character from Ryan Murphy's "Freak Show" (appropriately titled) is a woman and former performer with Microcephaly who was committed to an institution. As you can tell, the character looks a little on the scary side, which makes sense as she is supposed to be a troubled ex-circus performer.
In order to play this unusual character, producers of the show needed a woman willing to go the extra mile, which is why they picked Naomi Grossman. Grossman not only underwent a crazy makeover complete with prosthetics and fake teeth, but she even shaved her head for the audition. In real life, the actress looks nothing like Pepper and has a successful stage career.