The physical appearance of an actor on screen is essential to his role. The way he carries his body, his demeanor, is all part of the craft we call acting. Certain roles require a certain special attention where every little detail has to be spot on to sell it as good acting. Whether it is losing or gaining weight, piercing or tattoos, physically hurting yourself, actors will go to great lengths so that they can pull it off. Here we are going to take a look at the ten movie-role transformations by actors which caught a lot of attention.
10. Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club
The handsome looking Mathew McConaughey won an Oscar for his portrayal of a HIV infected cow boy in Dallas Buyers Club. An HIV infected person suffers from a weakened immune system which may result in drastic loss. Before the filming, McConaughey was famous for having a well chiseled, muscular body that any woman would drool on but for his role in Dallas Buyers Club he let it all go. He lost 47 pounds for the role, and stayed indoors as a recluse. It all paid off for him though, since he won an Oscar for his work.
9. Rooney Mara in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The innocent looking Rooney Mara had a major make over for her portrayal of Lisbeth Sander in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Mara’s long brown hair was dyed black and cut short into a Mohawk; she had her ears, nipple, eyebrows pierced; her eyebrows were bleached; and wore a temporary dragon tattoo on her back. She started listening to punk and gothic music and started wearing black and had to change her accent and dialect so as to sound Swedish. For her role she was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Oscar.
8. Christian Bale in The Machinist
Christian Bale is a renowned method actor and probably the best at it from his generation. He has undergone so many transformations that we were confused which one to add on our list and we finally decided to go with the most eye catching one. The British actor lost 63 pounds for his role as an insomniac in the Machinist. His diet plan included a cup of coffee a day. Yep, that’s it, ONE cup of coffee a day. Furthermore he wanted to lose more weight but then the filmmakers finally talked sense into him and stopped him. What is even more interesting is that The Machinist was released in 2004, just a few months prior to Batman Begins in which Bale plays the Caped Crusader and he had to regain about 60 pounds for that role, which he did successfully.
7. Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club
Jared Leto is a multi talented guy. He can act and he can rock it out as the lead vocalist of 30 Seconds to Mars. He plays a transvestite opposite Matthew McConaughey in the AIDS drama, Dallas Buyers Club. He lost 30 pounds for the role and has stated that he stopped eating to meet his desired weight. Not only that he shaved his eyebrows and waxed his body completely. He refused to break character and during his research on transgender people he joined their community too. For his transformation he received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
6. Michael Fassbender in Hunger
Michael Fassbender is quickly becoming one of the most sought after actors after a string of good performances. His role as Bobby Sands, leader of the IRA and its hunger strikes in 1981. In his transformation he lost 42 pounds and consumed a diet which mainly contained dry fruits. He did yoga and power running for exercise.
5. Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln
One of the greatest actors ever, Daniel Day Lewis is probably the greatest method actor ever. His portrayal as US President, Abraham Lincoln earned him an unprecedented third Oscar for Best Actor. He read over 100 books on Lincoln and tried to learn about his demeanor and body language. He worked extensively with his make up artist to look as much like possible as Lincoln himself. The film was a success much of it credited to Lewis’ performance. After the movie Lewis said that he would be taking a break from movies since it would be difficult for him to top his performance in Lincoln.
4. Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Natalie Portman looked totally hot in Black Swan. She shed about 20 pounds for her role as a troubled ballerina and learnt ballet which she practiced for eight hours every day for six months. The transformation earned her an Oscar.
3. Gary Oldman in Hannibal
Gary Oldman has played just about every kind of role and he has done it to perfection. In Hannibal he plays a disfigured billionaire and while many people would say that the plaudits should go to the make up artist, credit also goes to Oldman who asked the studio not to put his name in the credits which makes the viewer wonder who played the disfigured Mason Verger? Well played, Gary Oldman. Well played.
2. Tom Hanks in Cast Away
Everybody loves Tom Hanks, they love him even more as a guy stranded on an island, all alone, after his plane has crashed in the ocean. The film was shot in pieces. In the first half of production Hanks gained 50 pounds so that he looked like a middle aged man, and then the production was halted for ten months during which time Hanks lost weight and grow his beard and hair so that he could look like he was living on a remote island for a ling time. Hanks earned an Oscar nomination for his transformation.
1. Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List
Jack Nicholson is the undisputed king of Hollywood. He stars opposite Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List both of who play terminally ill patients. He shaved his head for the role and visited cancer patients to learn about their lifestyle during treatment.
So here was our list of ten movie-role transformations by actors. Clearly you can see the amount of trouble these actors went just so they could pull off a role, sometimes it paid off and sometimes it didn’t. Nonetheless you cannot deny their commitment towards their profession which is commendable.