14 Celebrities Who Look Nothing Like the Characters They Played on Screen
When Orange Is the New Black dropped its fifth season on Netflix, the social media buzz started to eclipse the actual show's storylines. Hard as we tried, we couldn't resist the pull. We were floored to discover that Daya’s younger-self is, in fact, the actress’ daughter, and absolutely flabbergasted when photos of the actress who plays “Skinhead Helen” came to the fore.
And, as it turns out, when Francesca Curran isn’t portraying white supremacist convicts, she’s super gorgeous (hair and all!):
The power of hair and makeup is, to this day, confounding. It’s the special ingredient that takes people from day to night, prison to Hollywood, and far beyond. Scroll down below to see the most insane celebrity transformations in film and television.
Tilda Swinton in Trainwreck
If you had any doubts about Tilda's reign as the ultimate master of disguise, her role in Trainwreck likely set you straight. Millions of viewers (myself included) had *zero* clue Swinton was in Amy Schumer's star-studded comedy until the final credits rolled. According to EW, the actress physically modeled her over-the-top magazine editor character after former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld.
Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
The Office alum haunted our dreams as erratic multi-millionaire John du Pont in Foxcatcher (2014). Wearing a prosthetic nose and speaking in a gravelly timbre, Carell was virtually unrecognizable in the role. Despite the perceived limitations of his comedic past, the actor pulled it off, even earning himself an Oscar nod in the process.
Charlize Theron in Monster
The blonde beauty underwent a serious transformation when she played real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003)—which, by the way, was directed by Wonder Woman's Patty Jenkins. Prosthetic teeth, impressive makeup, and (above all) an incredible performance, led Theron to take home the Oscar for Best Actress in 2004.
Taryn Manning in Orange Is the New Black
Like most of the cast of Netflix's prison-based drama, Manning (OITNB's Pennsatucky) doesn't share too much in common with her character. Lacking in Hollywood glamor, the role forces the Crossroads actress to adopt the rotting teeth of a former meth addict and strip her face of makeup. IRL, Taryn is known to experiment with hair colors and rock a bold statement lip.
Johnny Depp in Black Mass
A team of hard-working makeup artists transformed the Hollywood heartthrob into a murderous mob boss with no shortage of tools. According to Variety, the process was completed with the use of facial prosthetics and painstakingly made hair pieces (each could be worn no more than once and took a whopping 22 hours to assemble).
Lizzy Caplan in Mean Girls
It took us a few years to realize that Lizzy Caplan played OG Mean Girl Janice Ian in Tina Fey's cult classic. Decked out with heavy eye makeup and a mop of raven black hair, Janice's aesthetic is nothing like the minimalist actress who played her. Part of our confusion, of course, is because Caplan was so convincing in the role—it's hard to imagine that she lives separate from the authentic high schooler.
Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The younger Mara sister made a name for herself with her breakout role as Lisbeth Salander in the American adaptation of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. With blunt bangs, tattoos and piercings galore, and a set of platinum-dyed brows, the Audrey Hepburn-esque actress's personal style ended up being the virtual opposite of her iconic character.
Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
It takes a brave actor to agree to age on screen. Pitt went through the process, wrinkles and all, aging in reverse as the film's eponymous character. Honestly, though, even at 80 Pitt still looked pretty damn good.
Tilda Swinton in The Grand Budapest Hotel
She's baaack. Pitt's not the only actor to willingly age on film. Swinton was transformed into a liver-spotted, beehive-wearing woman more than 30 years her senior in Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel (2014).
Elizabeth Banks in The Hunger Games
Banks did a total 180 as the book series' and film franchise's Effie Trinket. Adorned in over-the-top matching ensembles, flouncy wigs, and a fully powdered face, the actress's transformation left few remaining traces of Banks herself.
Lena Headey in Game of Thrones
More so than most of GOT's heavily made up characters, Headey's looks *completely* different off-screen. It's really just the hair color, but look how major a change it makes!
Ralph Fiennes in Harry Potter
Fiennes's turn as the Harry Potter franchise's iconic villain (who shall not be named—jk, his name is Lord Voldemort), involved relatively few hours in hair and makeup. Mark Coulier, the makeup wizard behind the actor's transformation, told Bustle that he conceived Voldemort's harrowing appearance with the aid of body paint, temporary tattoos (dem veins), a digitally altered nose, and fake teeth.
Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder
Cruise's tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the film's Hollywood producer character, Lev Grossman, required the actor to wear prosthetic hands, a bald cap, artificial chest hair, and a fat suit.