Many of Hollywood’s biggest names can’t walk around in public without being ambushed by a mob of crazed fans. That is, unless they happened to be cleverly disguised in some incredibly realistic makeup and prosthetics! The following stars secured some very iconic roles, but drastically changed their appearance in the process. If these characters had walked past unaware fans on the street, it’s safe to say even the biggest fanatic wouldn’t have bat an eye!
Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal
November will mark 15 years since the release of the romantic-comedy Shallow Hal in which the gorgeous, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow played a 300lb woman named Rosemary. In order to achieve the appearance, Gwyneth had to don a fat suit, which only weighed 25lbs but visually added much more to her small frame. At the time of the movie’s release, Paltrow recalled how it felt to wear the fat suit in an interview with W magazine. “The first day I tried it 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. I felt humiliated because people were really dismissive.”
Johnny Depp in Black Mass
Johnny Depp is easily one of the most versatile actors in the world and over the years he has transformed his appearance countless times for a role. Most recently, the 2015 crime drama Black Mass saw Depp rocking blue contacts, aging makeup and a balding hairpiece that took 22 hours to make and could only be worn once. 25 years earlier, Depp transformed his appearance for the first time in his career when he starred in the 1990 fantasy film Edward Scissorhands. For his unforgettable role as the gentle boy with scissors for fingers, Depp had to spend hours in makeup each day.
Matthew McConaughey in Gold
With his charming Texan accent and chiseled abs, Matthew McConaughey is undeniably a Hollywood heartthrob. Unfortunately for the ladies, McConaughey had to shake things up a bit for his role in the upcoming drama-thriller Gold. In the film set to be released on Christmas Day, McConaughey will be seen sporting a receding hairline wig and a beer belly, which he gained nearly 50 pounds to achieve. This isn’t the first time McConaughey has transformed his appearance for a role. In 2013 he won an Oscar after dropping to 135 pounds for his starring role in Dallas Buyers Club.
Rooney Mara in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
When the bestselling novel The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was adapted into a movie, everyone was curious to see how the title character of investigator Lisbeth Salander would come to life on the big screen. Rooney Mara secured the role and became almost completely unrecognizable in the process. In order to achieve the unusual appearance of the heavily inked and pierced computer hacker, Mara had part of her head shaved and the remaining hair was dyed black. She also had her eyebrows bleached and received real piercings on her nipples, eyebrows, nose and ears.
Ryan Reynolds in Just Friends
Unlike McConaughey, Ryan Reynolds didn’t have to put on real pounds in order to play awkward and overweight high school nerd Chris Brander in the romantic-comedy Just Friends. Fortunately for the hunky actor, the makeup department only had him wear a fat suit for the first part of the film. Reynolds said he decided not to go the McConaughey route and actually gain the weight because he isn’t that committed to his craft. “Because it’s really hard to lose 45 pounds in an hour without cutting an actual limb off,” joked Reynolds. “It was a labor of love though. I loved wearing that suit.”
Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder
In the 2008 action-comedy Tropic Thunder, Tom Cruise portrayed the profane, hot-tempered studio executive Les Grossman. The balding and overweight character is one of Cruise’s most bizarre roles and it was apparently Cruise who encouraged screenwriters Justin Theroux and Ben Stiller to make it that way! When it came to Les Grossman’s appearance, Cruise suggested a truly unique feature. Theroux spoke of Cruise’s request saying, “He wanted these prosthetic hands. Big, chubby hands.” The end result was a character that was as offensive as he was memorable and the role earned Cruise a Golden Globe nomination.