Through the movie magic of makeup and prosthetics, some of the hottest stars can be turned into either ghoulish creatures, horrifying aliens, or just become completely unrecognizable. Many stars who are known for their looks, like Johnny Depp for example, have been transformed into everything from famous writers to vampires, and he is just one example.
The list of stars who were completely transformed after god only knows how many hours in the makeup chair is extensive, far too extensive to include in just one list. But fans and critics seem to agree that these 10 are some of the most impressive on-screen transformations we have seen throughout Hollywood history.
10/10 Ray Fiennes In Harry Potter
No list of famous transformations would be complete if it did not at least mention Ray Fiennes’s portrayal of Voldemort, A.K.A. “he who shall not be named” in the Harry Potter films. Thanks to computer effects and prosthetics, Fiennes was turned into the bald and noseless dark wizard and murderer. Well, at least when he looked like the snake-like villain he didn’t have to worry about people mixing him up with Liam Neeson. Yeah, compare pictures of Fiennes and Neeson side by side, the likeness between the two is uncanny.
9/10 John Leguizamo In Spawn
Although the adaptation of the famous Dark Horse comic was not exactly a popular one, one can’t help but be impressed by the amount of work the hair and make-up departments put into this one. Leguizamo is transformed from the healthy-looking man he is into Violator, the demonic clown who reminds one of a twisted combination of Beelzebub and Batman’s The Joker. Michael Jai White as Spawn is also virtually unrecognizable.
8/10 Tim Curry In Legend
Tim Curry has a long resume of distinct looks for his films, Dr. Frankenfurter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show remains a popular Halloween costume staple. But the role where one sees no traces of Curry’s natural face is in Ridley Scott’s Legend. Curry plays the Lord of Darkness with the notoriously large horns, which later became the punchline of a Family Guy joke. Some might also think that this devil is compensating for something with horns that big.
7/10 Charlize Theron In Monster
Unlike most on this list, whose makeup dresses them up and transforms them, it was Theron’s apparent lack of makeup that helped her transform into Aileen Wuornos, the prostitute and serial murderer portrayed in Monster. The role earned Theron her first Academy Award.
6/10 Glenn Close In Hook
News of this cameo has been making rounds on the internet ever since it was first discovered. For a brief couple of seconds, Glenn Close appears on screen as one of the members of Captain Hook’s pirate crew. Thanks to prosthetics and a fake beard, Close was transformed into a gruff sea dog, even if it was only for a short appearance.
5/10 John Hurt In The Elephant Man
The Elephant Man to many is David Lynch’s masterpiece, up there with Eraserhead and Twin Peaks. The movie takes John Hurt, who was famous for his thin, gaunt features, into the disfigured Joseph Merrick, A.K.A. The Elephant Man. To this day, the cause of Merrick’s condition remains unknown, doctors at the time thought it was neurofibromatosis but new evidence suggests it was a condition called Proteus syndrome.
4/10 Mickey Rourke In Sin City
Rourke has a very distinct look, especially now after a series of botched plastic surgeries. But the former handsome leading man vanished into the role of Marv in Frank Miller’s Sin City. A fake jaw, burn scars, and a distinct crew haircut turned the ex-boxer into the career criminal who is out for revenge after he discovers the body of a murdered prostitute.
3/10 Johnny Depp In Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
Depp has transformed himself many times for his roles, but he often remains somewhat recognizable. Sure, he shaved his head and imitated the mannerisms of his friend Hunter S. Thompson so perfectly that he really did look and sound like him, but there were still visible traces of Depp in Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas. The same can be said of most of Depp’s other films, like Black Mass or the Pirates of the Caribbean films. However, thanks to pale pancake makeup and a prosthetic nose, and a close shave, Depp evolved into the role of Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s adaptation of the popular Roald Dahl novel. A line of Depp’s from the film, “Hello starshine, the Earth says, Hello!” has since turned into a viral Tik Tok sound.
2/10 Gary Oldman In True Romance
One could pick any Gary Oldman role for this list. The actor is famous for dying on screen and for being one of Hollywood’s most notorious chameleons. But for the sake of space his role as Drexl the pimp in True Romance makes this list because, in addition to being unrecognizable with a fat scar and dreadlocks, Oldman successfully suppresses his English accent to sound like a Detroit street tough.
1/10 Colin Farrell In The Batman
Ever since teaser trailers of The Batman came out, fans were awestruck by how the famously handsome Colin Farrell was turned into the obese, scared, and waddling Oswald Cobblepot A.K.A. The Penguin. Farrell put the strength of the film’s makeup team to the test by going into a Starbucks as the Penguin to see if anyone recognized him or if they could tell it was a costume. No one did, the makeup was that good!