It’s always a bit of a shocker to hear what some actors are willing to endure in the name of “authentic performances,” whether it’s chopping off all their hair, sitting in a makeup chair for hours on end, or, in extreme cases, submitting to unorthodox dieting habits.
Movie transformations have recently come back to the forefront in light of films like ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘Cloud Atlas‘ and ‘Looper.’ While Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman have both admitted to extreme dieting habits to convey the physical embodiment of death, others, like Tom Hanks and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, have succumbed to hours upon hours of costume and makeup work.
Despite some of the un-glamorous techniques, these movie transformations have astounded audiences all over the world and earned some of the performers the highest of honors. Here’s a look back at these mind-blowing actor transformations in film.
Hathaway actually chopped off her locks in the ‘Les Miz’ scene we’ve seen countless times in all the various trailers. Over the course of her press tour, she recollected how she’d lock herself in the bathroom and cry in front of the mirror to get use to the emotional scenes from the film. In addition, she drastically starved herself to in order to look like she was dying. But so far it’s paying off as she’s already won a Golden Globe and a SAG Award for her performance.
With an edgier on-screen style and a take-no-prisoners persona, she became the girl in the spotlight — not just in the movie itself, but also in public. All of sudden, Mara was the girl who wore high-end couture and black bangs on the red carpet, and graced the covers of fashion magazines. According to ‘GWTDT’ costume designer Trish Summerville, “[Mara] absorbed pieces of Lisbeth, but made it into her own style.”
Those of you who’ve seen ‘Cloud Atlas’ know that these characters were separated by time. Old Georgie is the imaginary, devilish creature Hanks’ post-apocalyptic character had conversations with, while Nurse Noakes ran the Aurora House Hotel and took sadistic pleasure in tormenting certain patients. The makeup process took upwards of four hours for each look, and Weaving would, admittedly, nod off at times.
Joseph Gordon Levitt