Lord of the Rings
In 2017, the Lord of the Rings cast had a mini-reunion, and we all collectively lost our minds. Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, and Elijah Wood, just to name a few, all got together to reminisce about their time in Middle Earth.
Let’s be real; we were all just waiting for them to break into “The Song of Durin” or start reciting Elvish phrases. But alas, it was just a casual hangout. We can dream, though, can’t we?
Married… With Children
The Bundy family was back together again when they reconnected in 2014. The cast of Married… With Children, including Ed O’Neill, Katy Sagal, Christina Applegate, and David Faustino, reunited to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary.
We can only imagine the hilarity that ensued as they reminisced about the dysfunctional family we all loved to watch. But let’s be real; we’re just waiting for a spin-off where we get to see what Bud Bundy is up to these days. Maybe he’s still trying to make it as a rapper or has finally found love. The possibilities are endless!
That ’70s Show
Get ready to flashback to the disco era because the cast of That ’70s Show reunited in 2013. Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and the gang got together to celebrate the show’s 15th anniversary, and we were all transported back to the groovy days of bell bottoms and feathered hair.
Did they spend the day hanging out in Eric’s basement, eating cheese, and trying to come up with new ways to prank each other? Do they still listen to Led Zeppelin and wear tie-dye shirts? We need answers!
Could we BE any more excited? The cast of Friends has given us not one but two epic reunions before the official one recently! In 2004, we got to see the gang back together for the first time since the show ended, and in 2016, they reunited for a tribute to director James Burrows.
Imagine all the jokes and catchphrases thrown around as they caught up on each other’s lives. We’re all just waiting for that rumored revival where we get to see what Ross, Rachel, and the gang are up to now. Maybe Chandler’s a stay-at-home dad, or Phoebe’s a world-famous musician.
Big mistake. Huge! In 2016, the cast of Pretty Woman reunited, and we couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic for the days when we all wanted to be Julia Roberts in a red dress. Julia and Richard Gere got together to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, and we’re sure they reminisced about that iconic shopping scene.
Honesty time! We’re just waiting for a sequel where Vivian returns as a successful businesswoman who’s still got an amazing fashion sense. Can you imagine the power suits and designer handbags? We’re ready for it.
Back to the Future
Great Scott! The cast of Back to the Future reunited to celebrate the film’s 31st anniversary back in 2016. Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, and even the DeLorean got back together to reminisce about their time-traveling adventures.
We think they probably spent the day making hoverboard jokes and trying to convince us all that we’d be driving flying cars by now. If you’re anything like us, you’re waiting for that day when we can hop in a time machine and go back to 1955 to see the Enchantment Under the Sea dance for ourselves. Hey, we can dream, can’t we?
School of Rock
It’s time to rock out! The cast of School of Rock reunited to celebrate the movie’s 10th anniversary in 2013. Jack Black, Miranda Cosgrove, and the rest of the gang got together to remember the good old days of playing air guitar and sticking it to the man.
We’re sure that the cast spent the day jamming out and trying to create new lyrics to “Math Is a Wonderful Thing”. How about a sequel where the kids are all grown up and running their own rock school? Can you imagine the epic Battle of the Bands that would ensue?
Who ya gonna call? The set of the Ghostbusters reboot in 2016 was also home to the reunion of the OG cast too! Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and the rest of the gang, in between shooting their cameos in the film, got together to remember the days of proton packs and ectoplasmic goo.
Though the movie didn’t meet many fans’ expectations (thankfully, we got a better sequel/reunion film just a few years later), seeing the gang back together was still a lot of fun!
Accio reunion! In 2021, fans of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter got the reunion they’d been waiting for as the cast celebrated the film’s 20th anniversary. Though there weren’t any good quidditch matches or spellcasting, they enjoyed a little butter beer and getting caught up.
For those Potterheads out there, this sparked a desire for a new batch of movies, maybe following the next generation. Now, it looks like dedicated fans might be getting more Harry Potter content, sadly, with a different cast.
E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial
The E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial actors came together in 2012 to commemorate the movie’s 30th anniversary. Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas, and the rest of the crew gathered together. They certainly were attractive, but we shouldn’t be shocked, given their youth when the film was released.
We hope they received at least a few tasty snacks that brought back wonderful memories! Maybe some desserts that taste like Reese’s Pieces?
The Princess Bride
As you wish, a reunion! In 2012, the cast of The Princess Bride reunited to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary. Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, and the rest of the cast got together. We can only imagine they spent the day drinking and reminiscing about their daring stunts and hilarious one-liners.
Though we know there will never be another trip to this fantastic world, it’s nice to dream of what might happen if there were. Princess Buttercup and Westley, king and queen, ruled the kingdom with wit and charm. Will Inigo Montoya still be on a quest for revenge? Will Miracle Max have discovered the secret to eternal life?
Matilda is one of those movies a whole generation remembers well, bringing back great memories for most. In 2013, our childhood got a little shake-up when we realized all those characters had aged quite a bit. That is when the cast of Matilda reunited.
We were all like, “Miss Trunchbull, please don’t make us eat chocolate cake!” Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito, and the rest of the gang reunited to celebrate the film’s 17th anniversary. That had to be one heck of a party!
In 2015, Mulder and Scully were back at it again! The cast of The X-Files reunited to film a new season, and all we could think of was, “Trust no one, but can we trust that this is gonna be awesome?”
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson picked up right where they left off, investigating paranormal activity and making us all question what’s really out there. The reboot lasted two seasons, but let’s all be honest; we wanted more!
In 2017, the Titanic cast reunited and made us all feel like we were “king of the world” again! Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, aka Jack and Rose, got together to auction off some personal belongings, and we all went, “I’ll never let go of my wallet if I’m bidding on those items!”
The actors reminisced a little, and we relived a beautiful memory from our youth. Plus, they still looked amazingly good!
Sex and the City
In 2010, the fabulous foursome of Sex and the City reunited and reminded us that fashion is fleeting, but friendship is forever. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon got back together to film the second movie, and our reaction was, “Can we join their squad, please?”
It was a dream come true for the fan base, and the reunion did not disappoint. If possible, the ladies looked way better even though they had a few more years on them. While we did get the sequel series And Just Like That… in 2021, not everyone from the original cast returned.
In 2014, the Plastics of Mean Girls reunited; it was so fetch! Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, and Lacey Chabert got together to celebrate the movie’s 10th anniversary, and we were all like, “Is butter a carb?”
This reunion just served to wet our whistles, and since then, movie fans have clamored for a sequel. Could we ever see that? Who knows, but with the wave of sequels that have hit Hollywood, we certainly hope so!
The Little Rascals
In 2014, the gang from The Little Rascals (1994) reunited and gave us major nostalgia feels. Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, and the rest of the gang are all grown up now, but they’ll always be the cutest kids from Our Gang to us.
We can only hope they spent their reunion day at the He-Man Woman Haters Clubhouse, avoiding Darla and making plans for the next go-kart race. And let’s be real — we still can’t watch “You Are So Beautiful” without getting emotional.
The Wonder Years
The Wonder Years was a show that gave us all the feels growing up, so when the cast reunited in 2014, we couldn’t help but get a little emotional. Kevin, Winnie, and Paul all grown up? Say it ain’t so!
But thankfully, the cast looked just as adorable as they did back in the day, We just wish Kevin was sporting his signature flannel shirt and Paul was still rocking his glasses.
Thelma & Louise
Back in 1991, Thelma & Louise broke the mold and gave us one of the most iconic movie endings of all time. Thankfully, in 2014, we were gifted with the ultimate reunion of Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon.
The duo got together to celebrate the film’s 20th anniversary, and we can only assume they drove off into the sunset in a vintage convertible afterward. We’re still waiting for a sequel where they return as grandmas who still know how to cause trouble. Make it happen, Hollywood!
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Beam us up, Scotty! The cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation had a reunion in 2012, and it was out of this world. Captain Picard, Data, and Geordi La Forge all back together? Engage!
But that wasn’t the only time they got together. Recently, we got to see our favorites back on the screen for the hit CBS show Picard. Regardless of which reunion we’re talking about, it’s clear that the years have been kind to the crew of the Enterprise, and we can only hope they live long and prosper.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Get ready to feel the nostalgia, folks, because the cast of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants reunites all the time. The pants may have been retired, but the sisterhood lives on! These four ladies have never left each other’s lives, and they still meet regularly.
We’re sure they always have a lot to catch up on – did Bridget ever find her dad in Mexico? Did Lena and Kostas rekindle their romance? We need answers! Either way, it’s heartwarming to see the bond between the cast still strong all these years later. Sisterhood forever!
Thanks to this legendary program, we were all captivated by the mysterious island and the nuanced individuals that lived there. So when they got together in 2014, we were all pretty excited.
After all, seeing the cast coming back together after so many years is wonderful. Perhaps they know the solutions to all of our pressing queries. Or perhaps they just wanted to talk about their time together when they were all stuck on an island. In any case, it’s a reunion we can all lose ourselves in.
The cast of Lizzie McGuire reconnected in 2015, and it was like a blast from the past! The whole crew came together, and let’s just say they don’t look like they did back in the early 2000s. Nonetheless, seeing them back together brought on all kinds of nostalgic feelings.
Can you believe it’s been so long since the show aired? It’s like we blinked, and suddenly we’re all grown up! But one thing’s for sure; we’ll always have a special place in our hearts for Lizzie and the gang.
The cast of Aliens, the iconic sci-fi action film, had a reunion in 2014, and it was out of this world! Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, and Lance Henriksen were among the cast members who celebrated the film’s 30th anniversary.
The reunion was filled with laughs and nostalgia as they reminisced about their time on set battling the extraterrestrial menace. It’s safe to say that this reunion wasn’t just a mere coincidence but an opportunity to remind us that in space, no one can hear you scream… unless it’s with joy at seeing your old castmates again!
Oh, mercy! The Tanners are back in the game! In recent years, the Full House cast has come together not once but twice. They reunited in 2016 for some old-fashioned fun and chatted about their time on the adored ’90s sitcom.
Also, they appeared again in the Netflix sequel series to the beloved original show Fuller House. Fans yelled, “Cut it out!” throughout the touching and entertaining reunions.
Yes, it’s true! The cast of Ugly Betty reunited in 2016. For that iconic show, America Ferrera, Vanessa Williams, and everyone else got together to reminisce.
With Betty’s signature braces and the wild outfits of the Mode staff, it must have been a real blast from the past. We wonder if Wilhelmina still had that sharp tongue and if Betty still tripped over herself. Either way, it was a fun and unforgettable reunion for everyone involved.
Hey you guys! The Goonies never say die, and neither does their bond! The cast of the classic ’80s adventure flick reunited in 2015 to celebrate its 30th anniversary. It was great to see Chunk, Data, and the rest of the gang back together again!
They even took a ride on the film’s iconic pirate ship. Let’s be honest, we all wished we could have been there with them, searching for treasure and avoiding booby traps.
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Terminator 2: Judgment Day cast reunited just a few years ago! Yup, in 2017, Linda Hamilton and the rest of the cast got together for a panel discussion at the 2017 Silicon Valley Comic Con.
Seeing these action stars come together and relive their epic moments on set is always fun. They would also come back together a few years later in yet another Terminator movie…. it seems that cyborgs never die!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer reunited in 2017. Can you believe it? It had been years since they fought evil and cracked jokes together on screen. We wonder if they still had all those skills and witty comebacks.
It must have been so cool to see Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, and the gang grow up and catch up on old times. Who knows, maybe they even dusted off some vampires on their reunion day!
Ah, Baywatch — the quintessential ’90s TV show that gave us slow-mo beach runs and David Hasselhoff’s impressive chest hair. It’s no wonder the cast wanted to reconnect in 2013!
Maybe they even reenacted some iconic scenes, like rescuing a drowning victim or taking down a beach thief. Maybe they even had a Hoff-off to see who could bust out the best “I’ve Been Looking for Freedom” performance. It’s all good fun when the Baywatch crew gets back together!
10 Things I Hate About You
Did you hear about the cast of 10 Things I Hate About You reconnecting in 2014? They got together to commemorate the late Heath Ledger’s birthday. It’s always cool to see actors who worked together so long ago come back together and relive old times.
Maybe they even recited some of their iconic lines from the movie. Hopefully, though, no one tried to recreate that epic paintball scene. We don’t want any broken bones now, do we?
The West Wing
Picture this: the cast of The West Wing walking back into the Oval Office like they never left. Yes, that’s right! The gang got back together in 2015, and it was like watching a reunion of old friends. It’s like they never aged a day since the show ended.
It was great to see President Bartlet and his team again talking about the issues of the day and delivering their witty one-liners. Can we get a reboot of the show, please?
In 2018, it was a major throwback moment when James Van Der Beek and Joshua Jackson, the ultimate heartthrobs of the ’90s teen drama Dawson’s Creek, reconnected. It’s like the ultimate fan fiction coming to life, and who wouldn’t want that?
They appeared together to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary, and it was just like old times. One can only imagine if they spent their time discussing their iconic hairdos or debating who ultimately won Joey’s heart.
Hey, you know what’s cooler than being cool? Reuniting with your childhood friends and castmates from The Sandlot in 2013! Yep, the gang got back together to celebrate the movie’s 20th anniversary, and let us tell you, they still got it!
The only thing missing was Squints pretending to drown to get a kiss from Wendy Peffercorn. But seriously, it’s heartwarming to see the crew all grown up and still tight after all these years. Now, if only they could teach us how to do the perfect baseball trick shot…
Oh my heck! The cast of Napoleon Dynamite reunited in 2021? Gosh! That’s pretty sweet! It had been over ten years since we last saw Napoleon, Pedro, and Deb!
We wonder if Napoleon still has his sweet moon boots and skills with the Nunchucks. And does Pedro still have his mustache? We hope so! We can’t wait to see them all together again, and maybe we’ll finally find out if Tina the llama ever got her ham back.
High School Musical
Ah, the High School Musical crew! It’s like they never left the stage at East High. In 2016, the cast reunited and brought their dance moves and singing voices back to life. It’s amazing how they can still pull off those wildcat moves after all these years.
Of course, no reunion would be complete without a little drama, and we’re not talking about the on-screen kind. There was a bit of a tiff over who got to keep the headbands from the “We’re All in This Together” finale. But they worked it out with a friendly basketball game — just like old times.
Do you still have fond memories of iCarly? The cast did; maybe that’s why they reunited in 2016; it was a complete throwback. Nathan Kress, Jennette McCurdy, and Miranda Cosgrove all hung around and exchanged stories from their time on the program.
Would you believe they even created a reboot television series? Now that the show is back, we can revisit all of our favorite moments and catch up with the gang. They might even bring back a few of those fantastic webisodes. Indeed, the iCarly cast continues to make us laugh.
Boy Meets World
The cast of Boy Meets World reunited in 2013, bringing back all the feels and memories from our childhood. Then, in true Disney fashion, they gave us a spin-off series called Girl Meets World. It was like Cory, Topanga, and Shawn never left our lives!
Who could forget Mr. Feeny? He’s still teaching us life lessons even today. It’s safe to say that this cast will always hold a special place in our hearts, and we’re grateful for their timeless friendship and hilarious antics.
One Tree Hill
Hey there! Did you know the cast of One Tree Hill reconnected back in 2015? It’s like they never left Tree Hill. It was probably one of the most epic reunions of all time.
We mean, we didn’t think we could handle seeing Chad Michael Murray, James Lafferty, and the rest of the gang back together, but it was totally worth it. It’s like they never aged a day! Now if only we could get them to do a reunion show…
The Laguna Beach cast all got together back in 2014 for a little reunion. Can you imagine? All those tans and drama-filled memories are coming back to life. We wonder if they talked about all the cringy moments they had on camera.
Maybe they even reenacted some of the most iconic scenes. It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since we first saw them navigating the ups and downs of high school life in California. But hey, at least they’re still tight-knit after all these years.
In 2014, the cast of Forrest Gump reunited, and we couldn’t help but wonder if Tom Hanks still had that box of chocolates. Sadly, he didn’t. But we did get to see Hanks, Mykelti Williamson, and Gary Sinise catch up and reminisce about the beloved film.
We can only hope they swapped some “life is like a box of chocolates” jokes and recreated the iconic running scene. But hey, we’ll take what we can get. Can we also get a sequel where Forrest goes on a cross-country run again? We’re in the mood for some more quotable lines.
Maid in Manhattan
Get ready to swoon because, in 2014, Jennifer Lopez and Tyler Posey reunited for the 11th anniversary of Maid in Manhattan! J.Lo and Tyler got together to celebrate the movie that taught us all that sometimes true love is just a uniform and a name tag away.
But Tyer wasn’t the same little boy anymore. In fact, we think maybe JLo may have looked at him and thought they should star in a romantic comedy together!
In a galaxy far, far away… We’re just playing; it was actually in 2013 that the Star Wars cast reunited to celebrate the franchise’s 40th anniversary. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher got together and reminisced about their iconic roles.
We’re sure they got all caught up with each other about what had happened in their lives since. Do you think they talked about those prequels a little? If they did, we know there must be more than a few jokes about Jar Jar Binks.
Oh, Mr. Sheffield! In 2016, the cast of The Nanny reunited to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary. Fran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy, and the rest of the gang got together to remember the days of fashion faux pas and snappy one-liners.
With all the reboots, maybe we’ll get to see this iconic cast in those roles again. After all, who doesn’t want to get caught up with the Sheffields?
Choose life, choose a job, choose a sequel! In 2017, the cast of Trainspotting reunited to film T2: Trainspotting 2, 20 years after the original film. Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, and the rest of the gang got together to remember the good old days.
Who knows, maybe in another 20 years, we’ll get the third installment! Just don’t expect them to move as fast as they used to – they’re not as young as they once were. It might still be interesting to see how the gang fairs as they enter their senior years!
Cersei Lannister – Lena Headey
In fantasy series Game of Thrones, British actress Lena Headey plays the villainous Cersei Lannister. In the show’s early seasons, Cersei has ornately braided long blonde hair. She wears elaborate robes, swills her goblet, and pulls at the strings of power behind the throne.
Outside of this role, Lena Headey looks absolutely nothing like her on-screen character. The star has cropped, dark hair and an abundance of tattoos. In fact, the actress has at least 13 tatts. We’re pretty sure Cersei has exactly none.
Lisbeth Salander – Rooney Mara
There are various versions of psychological thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. There’s the original Swedish novel, a Swedish movie adaptation, and the 2011 David Fincher movie. In the American version, actress Rooney Mara plays tattooed computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander.
For this role, Rooney got multiple piercings, dyed her hair, and bleached her eyebrows. She has said that her style has never been the same since taking the role. While she used to dress in “girlie, frilly things,” now she buys more “comfortable” and “boyish” items.
Mystique – Jennifer Lawrence
Naturally, there are a bunch of superheroes on this list. First up is Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in the X-Men series. To play the blue-skinned shapeshifter, Jennifer spent eight hours in makeup. However, as time went on, they managed to cut down the process to three hours.
For 2011 movie X-Men: First Class, J-Law was covered in head-to-toe body paint. However, it eventually led to “weird boils, rashes, and blisters.” After that, she wore a bodysuit from the neck down.
Voldemort – Ralph Fiennes
We’re happy to report that English actor Ralph Fiennes actually doesn’t look like Lord Voldemort in real life. In order to play He Who Must Not Be Named, the actor spent just two hours in the makeup chair.
This relatively short time was because child actors can’t be on set all day. Because of these child labor laws, Fiennes’ makeup had to be applied quickly to maximize acting time. He wore false veins, nails and teeth, eyebrow blockers, and dark eye makeup.
Tonya Harding – Margot Robbie
Some transformations on this list are less dramatic than others. While Margot Robbie still looks like herself in black comedy I, Tonya, she also massively embodies the disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding.
To prepare for this role, the Australian actress trained for four months. As a result, she became much more muscular than she usually appears. At one stage, she suffered a herniated disk because of the intensive skating. In various scenes, Margot wears either very heavy makeup, or none at all. She truly becomes Tonya on screen.
Paolo Gucci – Jared Leto
American actor and musician Jared Leto is known for his method acting and dramatic transformations. One of his recent makeovers was for 2021 crime drama House of Gucci. Jared plays the bombastic Paolo Gucci, and took his on-screen appearance into his own hands.
The actor enlisted a prosthetic designer and wig designer to help him create his on-screen persona. Apparently, the movie’s director had no idea what Leto would look like. When he arrived on set, co-star Al Pacino didn’t recognize him.
Aileen Wuornos – Charlize Theron
In Patty Jenkins’ directorial debut Monster, South African actress Charlize Theron played serial killer Aileen Wournos. These two look extremely different in real life, so Theron had to undergo a radical transformation. She shaved her eyebrows, wore dentures, had her skin weathered with tattoo ink, and gained 30 pounds.
Charlize has said, “It was about getting to a place where I felt closer to how Aileen was living. I didn’t want to look at my body and see my natural muscle.” For her efforts, she won an Oscar.
Brandon Teena – Hilary Swank
Today, it would be frowned upon for a cis actress to play a trans character. However, actress Hilary Swank transformed into Brandon Teena for 1999 biopic Boys Don’t Cry. At the time, she was unknown.
In real life, Hilary Swank is a glamorous movie star with long hair. For this role, she passed as a boy when she showed up for her audition. She then lived as a man for a month, cut her hair and wrapped her chest. After, she took home the Oscar.
Winston Churchill – Gary Oldman
Next up is another method actor known for seriously committing himself to a role. Gary Oldman is one of the highest-grossing actors of all time and has a host of awards for his efforts. In 2017 the English star took on the role of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Like our previous few entries, he won an Oscar for his work.
To become Churchill, Gary Oldman spent 200 hours in makeup. He also wore significant prosthetics in order to mimic the politician’s body shape.
Pepper – Naomi Grossman
Understandably, many of the actors from American Horror Story: Freak Show don’t look like their characters in real life. In Ryan Murphy’s anthology horror series, American actress Naomi Grossman plays Pepper, an inmate at Briarcliff.
Pepper actually appears in two series of the show, including in American Horror Story: Asylum. To prepare for the role, the actress shaved her head. She also wears various prosthetics and false teeth. It would definitely be tough to identify the character in real life.
Virginia Woolf – Nicole Kidman
We reckon that Nicole Kidman’s transformation into famous author Virginia Woolf is one of the most impressive on this list. While the Australian star has been massively made over for various roles, this one is the furthest from her actual appearance. While she was filming, the star enjoyed walking around with total anonymity.
For this role in 2002’s The Hours, Nicole Kidman wore a prosthetic nose. As with some of the other stars on this list, Nicole earned an Academy Award for this role
Betty Suarez – America Ferrera
Comedy drama series Ugly Betty follows Mexican-American Betty Suarez as she tries to make it at a high fashion magazine. The show revolves around the fact that Betty isn’t your usual fashionista. She wears braces, quirky colorful clothing, and is supposedly ‘ugly’ – hence the show’s title.
In reality, actress America Ferrera is nothing of the sort. She described her on-screen transformation as ‘Bettification.’ As Betty, America won the triple crown of acting. She also became the first Latina woman to win the Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy.
Blanca Flores – Laura Gómez
There are several actors from prison series Orange Is the New Black on our list. This makes sense as most of the show’s stars wore prison uniforms and no makeup in order to portray their inmate characters.
Blanca Flores was first seen in season one as an alarming character who constantly spoke of “el diablo.” In the show, Blanca has dark under eyes and a mane of hair. In real life, Dominican actress Laura Gómez is a striking beauty.
Colonel Tom Parker – Tom Hanks
Actor Tom Hanks has physically transformed for several roles. In Baz Luhrmann’s 2020 musical drama Elvis, he plays the star’s controversial manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Though these two share the same name, they look rather different in appearance.
While beloved actor Tom Hanks is a dashing movie star, Colonel Tom Parker has his own unique look. For the role, Hanks wore prosthetics as well as bodysuits to mimic Parker’s larger size. As the movie takes place across decades, there were different prosthetics for each era.
Quark – Armin Shimerman
What would this list be without some Star Trek characters? The beloved sci-fi series started in the ’60s and includes multiple movies, series, and comics. American actor Armin Shimerman plays Ferengi comic relief Quark, complete with an extra-terrestrial appearance.
Armin credits makeup artist Karen Westerfield for Quark’s appearance. He has said, “I always say that Karen helped create Quark as much as I did.” Unsurprisingly, the actor doesn’t look like his alien counterpart in real life. That must be a relief.
Daenerys Targaryen – Emilia Clarke
It’s time for another Game of Thrones character. Much like her co-star Lena Headey, actress Emilia Clarke transforms largely through her hairstyle. While dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen is known for her ice blonde braids, Emilia wears her hair short and dark.
English actress Emilia wore ornate wigs for the majority of her time on the fantasy series. However, she bleached her own hair for the final series. Unfortunately, this damaged her locks, causing her to chop them all off.
Patrizia Reggiani – Lady Gaga
We’ve already covered Jared Leto’s turn as Paolo Gucci, but there were other transformations in 2021 crime drama House of Gucci. Singer and actress Lady Gaga is known for her platinum blonde hair, but she went brunette for this role. The movie’s hairstylists dyed almost a dozen wigs to get Patrizia’s look just right.
Lady Gaga also spoke with her friend and collaborator Tony Bennett about tastefully playing an Italian character. The actress studied Reggiani’s accent and body language to nail her performance.
Dwight Schrute – Rainn Wilson
Sitcom The Office has plenty of memorable characters, but none as visually recognizable as Dwight Schrute. The show’s assistant to the regional manager is known for his dorky haircut, old-fashioned glasses, and bland daily office wear.
Amusingly, when actor Rainn Wilson landed the role, he went to a barber and asked for the worst haircut possible. In his day to day life, the American actor looks much more normal. He usually sports a bushy beard, making him look much cooler than his fictional counterpart.
Kitty Sanchez – Judy Greer
Here’s another sitcom transformation where an actor doesn’t look anything like the role they played. In Arrested Development, actress Judy Greer plays the disheveled and scheming Kitty Sanchez. The character has wild hair, a manic manner and an overall concerning demeanor.
On the other hand, American actress Judy Greer is put together, chic, and altogether not a danger to others. When asked whether it was difficult to play such a bizarre character, the actress responded, “Nah. it’s very freeing actually.”
Irving Rosenfeld – Christian Bale
It’s time for another method actor! Much like Jared Leto and Gary Oldman, actor Christian Bale gets fully submerged in his characters. This means that he has lost or gained weight, and even stayed in his characters’ accents for long periods of time.
To play con artist Irving Rosenfeld in 2013’s American Hustle, the English celeb gained 43 pounds. He has explained, “I ate lots of doughnuts, a whole lot of cheeseburgers, and whatever I could get my hands on. I literally ate anything that came my way.”
Judy Garland – Renée Zellweger
In general, actors starring in biopics go through significant transformations. While they might share some physical similarities with the people they’re depicting, they usually get some help from the makeup department.
In 2019 biographical drama Judy, actress Renée Zellweger transformed into iconic performer Judy Garland. For the part, the star wore a prosthetic nose, a brunette wig, and a set of false teeth. As with some of our other transformers, Renée Zellweger won the Academy Award for Best Actress in this role.
Albert Nobbs – Glenn Close
We’ve already seen Hilary Swank play a trans man, and here’s another gender-bending transformation. Actress Glenn Close became Albert Nobbs in 2011’s movie of the same name. The star first played this role on stage in the ’80s and spent years trying to get it made into a film.
In order to play the trans butler, Close spent two hours in makeup each day. She wore a silicon nose tip, gelatin earlobes, and dental plumpers. Much like Swank, the star also bound her chest for the role.
Daisy Mason – Sophie McShera
Many of the actors that played servants on Downton Abbey look rather different in real life. Much like the stars of Orange is the New Black, these performers were very stripped back during their time on the show. In real life, they’re much more glamorous and put together.
English actress Sophie McShera played kitchen maid Daisy Mason on the costume drama. To play the part, she wasn’t allowed to wear eyeliner or blusher, despite asking the makeup team for just a little.
Stephen Bonnet – Ed Speleers
And now to another character from Downton Abbey. Except we’re actually focusing on this star’s turn in historical drama Outlander. In season four of the series, audiences met Irish pirate and smuggler Stephen Bonnet.
The villainous character sports stringy hair and pirate swagger, unlike his real-life counterpart, Ed Speleers. It’s hard to reconcile that the polished English actor plays this loathsome character. Ed Speleers has said of the character, “I do think there’s a charm to him.” Perhaps that’s the only similarity.
Suzanne Warren – Uzo Aduba
It’s time to check in with the inmates of Litchfield Penitentiary. One of the show’s main characters from the beginning is Suzanne Warren, initially known as Crazy Eyes. The sympathetic and misunderstood inmate is played by American actress Uzo Aduba.
During her time on the show, she won multiple awards, including two Emmys. Uzo Aduba actually wore her hair in Bantu knots for her audition. This, along with her performance, made the showrunners sit up and pay attention. In real life, Uzo is much more glamorous than Suzanne.
Madame D – Tilda Swinton
Wes Anderson’s 2014 comedy-drama The Grand Budapest Hotel has a huge ensemble. In fact, seventeen actors make up the main cast. In the movie, Madame D. is a wealthy dowager who sets the basis for the entire plot.
This role was initially for Angela Lansbury, but she dropped out and long-time Anderson collaborator Tilda Swinton stepped in. Like some of the others on this list, Tilda Swinton often transforms for her roles. To play an 84-year-old, Scottish actress Tilda spent five hours in makeup.
The Tramp – Charlie Chaplin
Most people associate actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin with his most famous character – The Tramp. This iconic silent movie figure was known for his bowler hat and comic mustache, and he has lived on in film history.
Speaking about the costume, Chaplin said, “The clothes seemed to imbue me with the spirit of the character. He actually became a man with a soul—a point of view.” Most people wouldn’t be able to identify this Hollywood heavyweight dressed in his own clothing.
Lisbeth Salander – Claire Foy
So far on our list, we’ve already seen one Lisbeth Salander transformation. But, we did mention that there are multiple versions of this story? In 2018 reboot The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the androgynous computer hacker is played by British actress Claire Foy.
Like Rooney Mara before her, Claire Foy’s version of Lisbeth had short, dramatic hair. It was dyed two shades darker and buzzed into an undercut. This time, the character had dark brows rather than bleached ones.
Alex Dunphy – Ariel Winter
On the sitcom Modern Family, Ariel Winter plays bookish and well-behaved daughter Alex Dunphy. However, the actress has a rather different vibe in real life. In the comedy series, Alex is uptight and insecure. Her elder sister Hayley is the boy-mad, extroverted character.
But off the show, Ariel looks much more like an outgoing starlet. Perhaps because of her onscreen persona, Ariel Winter has faced scrutiny over cosmetic surgery. The star’s Instagram pics show her stunning long red hair and playful fashion sense.
Gilly – Hannah Murray
We’re back in Westeros for our next entry. Though she’s known to British audiences as Cassie from Skins, Hannah Murray gained worldwide fame as Gilly in Game of Thrones. In the series, she played a wildling, often draped in colorless robes and smeared in grime.
In real life, the English actress has a much more varied look. She has sported red waves, brunette updos, and a chic blonde bob. Hannah has scooped up an array of awards for her work on TV and on stage.
Edna Turnblad – John Travolta
It’s a tradition for Hairspray’s Edna Turnblad to be played by a man. In the 2007 movie adaptation of the rom-com musical, John Travolta stepped into Edna’s shoes. Makeup artist Tony Gardner was brought on to design and create the character’s larger than life look.
Because costume designer Rita Ryack wanted Edna to wear revealing outfits, Travolta had to wear full-body prosthetics. This included foam and latex arms and legs connected to a spandex and foam body suit, and silicone prosthetics on the star’s head and neck.
Pennywise – Bill Skarsgård
When Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård first saw himself as Pennywise the clown, he was horrified. The star has said, “It was an amazing, terrifying feeling of seeing the makeup go on for the first time […] I was looking at myself in the mirror, making faces to try to see what this character would eventually be.”
In the horror movie It, the child stars didn’t actually see Bill in costume until they filmed a scene. This means that their genuine reactions were captured on screen.
Worf – Michael Dorn
We’re returning to Star Trek, this time for Worf, played by actor Michael Dorn. In the ’90s sci-fi series Deep Space Nine, Klingon character Worf was added from former franchise The Next Generation. The alien has appeared in more episodes of Star Trek than any other character, making him a sci-fi icon.
Over the series, Worf’s appearance has changed somewhat. His forehead prosthetics were raised and his wrinkles toned down. According to Michael Dorn, the Starfleet officer Lieutenant’s makeup took around three hours.
Ofwarren – Madeline Brewer
In dystopian drama The Handmaid’s Tale, Ofwarren has one eye. This is achieved using a prosthetic, which Madeline Brewer says helps her feel connected to the character. She explained, “Having my eye closed and covered helps my process. It’s disorienting, but I need to feel a little outside of myself when I play her, I want to feel a little uncomfortable.”
As with others on our list, Ofwarren is often seen with no makeup at all. In real life, Madeline Brewer has striking red hair and bold style.
Vision – Paul Bettany
It’s time for another superhero! To play android Vision on screen, English actor Paul Bettany has to go through various processes. Firstly, he gets his face painted in Vision’s recognizable red. Then, he puts on a rubber balaclava that gets glued to his face.
Finally, he wears a “robot muscle suit” with tubes full of ice water to keep his body comfortably cool. The star has revealed that the whole costume is “pretty painful” and “uncomfortable.” In fact, he can’t hear particularly well when he’s all dressed up.
Effie Trinket – Elizabeth Banks
While Elizabeth Banks usually looks like herself on-screen, she certainly doesn’t in The Hunger Games. In the dystopian movie series, the actress plays Capitol-born chaperone Effie Trinket. In early entries of the franchise, Effie wears particularly ornate wigs, makeup, and costumes.
Elizabeth Banks has said that Effie’s long nails were particularly annoying and restrictive. She also struggled to stop touching her face when she was wearing full makeup. However, the star did enjoy chatting with the cast while she spent an eternity in the makeup chair.
Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett – Taryn Manning
We’ve seen that prosthetics make a huge difference to an actor’s appearance. This is true with fake noses, strange wigs and false teeth. In the case of Pennsatucky in Orange Is the New Black, it’s all about the teeth.
The character has struggled with addiction issues, leaving her with rotten and blackened gnashers. Outside of the show, American actress Taryn Manning has a set of pearly whites. Plus, she doesn’t walk around in a prison jumpsuit. And really, that makes all the difference.
Apocalypse – Oscar Isaac
While Oscar Isaac is an undeniably beautiful man, we can’t say the same for his ancient mutant character, Apocalypse. The American actor has called the transformation for the movie “excruciating,” saying “I couldn’t move my head, ever.”
He further explained, “I didn’t know when I said yes that that was what was going to be happening, that I was going to be encased in glue, latex, and a 40-pound suit — that I had to wear a cooling mechanism at all times.”
Lord Varys – Conleth Hill
Could we interest you in one more entry from the Game of Thrones universe? On the series, Lord Varys is a very powerful and very threatening man. A central part of his appearance is his bald head.
But, what if we told you that Northern Irish actor Conleth Hill isn’t bald in real life? In fact, he has a full head of hair. To play the Master of Whisperers, Conleth Hill had to shave his head before every season. The actor found this particularly difficult.
The Amphibian Man – Doug Jones
Like some others on our list, actor Doug Jones struggled with his on-screen costume. To become The Amphibian Man, the star had to wear a tight foam, latex and rubber suit.
He said, “I can’t see as well, I can’t hear much, I can’t feel much, and I got these webbed fingers on — I can’t do anything for myself.” It took four people to get the American actor into his suit for 2017 romantic fantasy The Shape of Water.
Nux – Nicholas Hoult
We’ve already seen that shaving an actor’s head can have a huge impact on how they look. Like Conleth Hill, actor Nicholas Hoult also had to take a razor to his locks in order to fully get into character.
In post-apocalyptic action movie Mad Max: Fury Road, the English actor played War Boy Nux. It took two hours for Nicholas Hoult to transform into Nux. The makeup team used clay on his skin, and added various scars. The actor also lost weight for the part.
Jerri Blank – Amy Sedaris
For three seasons, actress Amy Sedaris played Jerri Blank on ’90s comedy Strangers With Candy. The surreal show follows the troubled main character as she returns to high school in her 40s. The bizarre character wears very heavy makeup, has tattooed knuckles, and her hair mysteriously changes length within episodes.
In real life, American actress and comedian Amy Sedaris is much chicer. Hilariously, the star has said that Jerri Blank was intended to look “like somebody who owns snakes.”
Nebula – Karen Gillan
Scottish actress Karen Gillan has starred in several sci-fi hits. She played the companion to the 11th Doctor Who and portrayed the blue-skinned alien Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The star first appeared as the extra-terrestrial warrior in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Like others on our list, Karen Gillan shaved her hair off as part of her on-screen transformation. Apparently, her makeover took over four hours to apply each day and was eventually cut down to just two and a half hours.
Arthur Fleck – Joaquin Phoenix
As an actor, Joaquin Phoenix is known for playing dark and unconventional characters. In 2019, he won the Best Actor Academy Award for playing the title character in Todd Philips’ Joker. To prepare for the role, the star lost 52 pounds. He described this transformation as “difficult” but “very empowering.”
As impoverished party clown Arthur Fleck, Joaquin is an emaciated and wrinkled outsider. In real life, the actor is a smooth and polished movie star. He’s set to reprise his role in an upcoming sequel.
Ms. Weiss – Mariah Carey
Fans are used to seeing singer Mariah Carey adorned with glitter and long flowing hair. However, to appear in 2009 drama Precious, she dropped her usual glam. Mimi played Ms. Weiss, the social worker of Gabourey Sidibe’s Precious.
Interestingly, English actress Helen Mirren was initially supposed to play this part. However, she dropped out for a larger role elsewhere. Director Lee Daniels had previously worked with Mariah and was “so impressed” with her performance that he hired her for this pared-back part.