In some of the movies we’ve seen, Hollywood stars changed the way they look in order to fit the movie role. The changes can be minimal but some were a little too extreme, so much so that the actors become unrecognisable. These stars were willing to transform themselves into someone else so that they can portray their character perfectly and accurately. From drastic weight gain/loss to real piercings, these celebrities are the epitome of dedication and hard work.

Without further ado, here is the list of movies with the most dramatic celebrity transformations!

1. Dallas Buyers Club

Jared Leto Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club
Matthew McConaughey (left) Jared Leto (right)

Based on the life of AIDs patient Ron Woodroff, “Dallas Buyers Club” tells the story of a struggling AIDS patient who smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into his club. To perfectly play his role as an AIDs patient, Mathew McConaughey dramatically lost an extreme amount of weight to play Ron Woodruff. The film also features Jared Leto portraying his gender-bending role as trans woman, Rayon, who is a HIV-positive drug addict. Leto also lost weight for his role and waxed his entire body including his eyebrows. Due to their breakthrough acting, both actors have bagged several prestigious awards including Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Academy Awards.

2. Chapter 27

Jared Leto Mark Chapman Chapter 27

Before Jared Leto lost weight in the film “Dallas Buyers Club”, the singer-actor once played John Lennon’s killer Mark Chapman in a film titled “Chapter 27”. To perfectly resemble Mark Chapman, Jared Leto forced himself to put on weight instead of wearing fat suit for the film. Because Leto is a vegetarian, his stuck to a diet of soy sauce and ice cream mixture in order to gain around 70 pounds. However, Jared Leto revealed in an interview that the excess weight gain has costs him some health issues including the increase of cholesterol and the development of gout.

3. The Machinist

The Machinist Christian Bale

Christian Bale continued to prove his acting ability through several transformative roles in movies such as “The Psycho”, “The Fighter”, “American Hustle” and so on. However, his transformations are a cause for concern as he’s known for his extreme yo-yo diets to. In the “The Machinist”, Christian Bale had lost an extreme amount of weight to portray his role as a troubled industrial worker who hasn’t slept in years. His 63-pound weight loss is said to be a record for any actor for a movie role. The film producers claimed that Bale wanted to drop down to 100 pounds but he was not allowed to go below 120 pounds due to health issues.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Rooney Mara The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


American actress Rooney Mara went through a major transformation to play Lisabeth Salander in the novel-turned-film, “The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo”. In the film, Lisabel Salander is a young computer hacker that was described a pale, skinny young woman with short hair, bleached eyebrows, and multiple body piercings and tattoos. Thus, Rooney Mara got her eyebrows bleached and did piercied parts of her body including multiple ear, eyebrow, and nipple piercings. Once the filming wrapped, the actress removed all the piercings except the right nipple piercing for possible sequels.


5.  Monster

Charlize Theron Monster

Charlize Theron went through the most drastic transformation to portray her role as real-life serial killer Aillen Wuornos in “Monster”. The actress bore a striking resemblance to the criminal once she put on weight and did, oh, only about a tonne of things to her face including blotchy makeup, teeth prosthetics, and bleached eyebrows. Her jaw-dropping role gained her endless praises from the critics and the actress was awarded an Oscar for her outstanding performance.

5. Tropic Thunder

Tom Cruise Tropic Thunder comparison

Tom Cruise wore an all-over fat suit and bald wig to portray his role as Les Grossman in “Tropic Thunder”. It was a shocking transformation as Tom Cruise is rarely known for his comedic roles. However, his cameo performance in “Tropic Thunder” has made it one of the most memorable scenes in the film. His transformation in the film also inspired One Direction to don the same look in the “Best Song Ever” music video as well.

6. Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas transformation

“Cloud Atlas” has the most transformations to date as most of the cast transformed into different characters from different eras for the film. The film is based on the novel of the same name by David Mitchell and it tells a single story that unfolds in multiple timelines as six different stories from six different eras are strangely connected. It’s hard to pinpoint which of them had the most dramatic transformation as they are unrecognisable! However, the notable transformations (to us, anyway) are definitely the cross-racial and gender bending roles of Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and Ben Wishaw.

Source: 1, 2

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Adrina was our former writer and now contributes to Hype. Find out what she's up to on her IG: @moonsglowslow.