14 Actors Who’ve Drastically Changed Their Looks For a Role

Jake Gyllenhaal, Southpaw
Jake Gyllenhaal, Southpaw
Getty Images/Weinstein Company
In order to play boxing champion Billy Hope in Southpaw, Jake Gyllenhaal had to bulk up fast. This was pretty amazing, as this came directly after his dramatic weight loss for the film Nightcrawler. It took him five months of intense diet and training to achieve this insanely fit body.
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Christian Bale, "American Hustle"
WENN/Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Christian Bale has done everything from losing 60 pounds for "The Machinist" to bulking up to play Batman, but for this critically acclaimed film, he gained 40 pounds and had one of the worst comb-overs ever caught on camera.
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Cate Blanchett, "I'm Not There"
WENN/Weinstein Company via Everett Collection
Cate Blanchett plays Bob Dylan in the mid-sixties in this film. She was completely transformed with a wig, sunglasses and male clothes to be among the six actors depicting Dylan's different life phases.
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John Travolta, Hairspray
John Travolta, "Hairspray"
WENN/New Line Cinema via Everett Collection
In this musical remake, John Travolta plays Edna Turnblad, a large and feisty woman. In order to become her, Travolta had to undergo a long process that included a fat suit, a wig and a whole lot of make up.
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyer's Club
Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyer's Club"
WENN/Focus Features
In order to play Ron Woodruff, Matthew McConaughey got down to 133 pounds. At 6ft, this actor had a diet plan that only included egg whites, a Diet coke and a piece of chicken a day.
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Rooney Mara, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"
WENN/Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
Make up artist, Pat McGrath, transformed Rooney Mara by bleaching her eyebrows and dying her hair black. Piercings, tattoos and a few smokey eyes later, Mara became Lisbeth Salander.
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Elle Fanning, Three Generations
Elle Fanning, "Three Generations"
Splash News/Splash News
Elle Fanning plays a transgender male for this new film. She recently stepped out in Brooklyn with her darkened, shorter hair and masculine clothing while shooting for the movie.
Ryan Reynolds, Blade: Trinity
Ryan Reynolds, "Blade:Trinity"
New Line Cinema via WENN/New Line Cinema via Everett Collection
In order to look like the chiseled Hannibel King, Ryan Reynolds worked with trainer, Bobby Strom, for three months. He worked out three days a week and lived off of a 3,200 calorie diet in order to gain the 25 pounds of muscle you can't look away from in this photo.
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"
WENN/Universal Pictures
Anne Hathaway dropped 25 pounds to play Cosette, a starving prostitute, in this film. She claims she basically did starve herself while shooting with a little help from a nutritionist.
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Tom Hanks, Castaway
Tom Hanks, "Castaway"
WENN/20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Always a classic transformation, Tom Hanks transformed physically throughout the movie. According to ABC News, in order to make this happen, it was filmed in two parts over the course of 16 months. He reportedly lost 50 pounds in between the two parts.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Shallow Hal
Gwyneth Paltrow, "Shallow Hal"
20th Century Fox via Everett Collection/20th Century Fox
Gwyneth Paltrow was another one to don a fat suit for this film. She told W Magazine that when she had it on strangers would avoid her. "The first day I tried {the fat suit} on, I was in the Tribeca Grand and I walked through the lobby. It was so sad; it was so disturbing. No one would make eye contact with me because I was obese."
Jared Leto, Chapter 27
Jared Leto, "Chapter 27"
WENN/Splash News
Another willing chameleon for roles, Jared Leto gained 67 pounds to play John Lennon's assassin, Mark David Chapman. “{I did it by} eating everything you think you're not supposed to—pizza, pasta, ice cream, but my little trick was I would take pints of chocolate Häagen Dazs and put them in the microwave and drink them,” Leto told Starpulse.
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Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder
Tom Cruise, Tropic Thunder
WENN/DreamWorks via Everett Collection
Tom Cruise's cameo as a Hollywood producer in this comedy involved him wearing a fat suit, a bald cap and even prosthetic hands.
Charlize Theron, Monster
Charlize Theron, Monster
Splash News/Newmarket via Everett Collection
The usually tall and slender actress had to do a lot besides just gain weight to play serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. They airbrushed translucent washes of tattoo ink to give her skin that weathered look as well as damaged her hair and gave her dentures to wear.
Jake Gyllenhaal (again), Nightcrawler
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler"
WENN/Open Road Films via Everett Collection
Jake Gyllenhaal became the hollowed out Lou Bloom by losing 30 pounds. According to "Vanity Fair," this didn't stop him from running 15 miles at night to become even more lean.