Shock Star Film Transformations

10 Aug 2011

Ahlan! looks at some of the most convincing celeb changes on film

Charlize Theron
Role: Aileen Wuornos in Monster

Charlize went from slender model to beast after stuffing her face with doughnuts and other fatty foods in order to rapidly gain 30lbs to portray the American serial killer.

Determined not to be viewed as just a pretty face Charlize went all the way, drastically changing her image in order to perfect her role. As well as completely plucking out her eyebrows she had her hair “fried” and thinned. To alter her radiant complexion, layers of latex were added to her face and she wore dentures over her real teeth. The dedication saw her win an Academy Award. One critic said, “Theron’s alarming transformation into Aileen is so remarkably convincing, you almost forget you’re watching an actress playing a part in a movie.”

Dominic Cooper
Role: Uday Hussein in The Devil’s Double

Dominic ditched the cutesy persona that gained female admirers in Mamma Mia and went for a potential Oscar winning role with his latest dark portrayal of Uday Hussein, the son of Saddam Hussein who was dubbed the Prince of Darkness.

The upcoming film tells the brutal story of Uday and the innocent man, Latif, forced to be his body double. The 33-year-old said he was fed up of “prancing around in a frock” in his usual rom-coms and costume dramas, deciding to take the role in order to reveal his range and be taken seriously as an actor. “I chased it,” he admits. “Being able to take on this challenge is something that I always dream of as an actor. A lot of it was improvised. I had to get into that mindset of a man who was utterly in control and where not a thing could touch him.” Sadly while Dom’s transformation into Uday and Latif is impressive, his accent isn’t convincing!

Christian Bale
Role: Trevor Reznik in The Machinist

Christian could be accused of perhaps taking his career too seriously, with the star constantly changing his image in order to fit a character. For his role as chronic insomniac Trevor Reznik in the dark thriller, the actor went on a dangerous diet of one apple and countless cigarettes a day to lose a staggering 63lbs. The director, Brad Anderson, only needed him to lose 20lbs! Christian said of his crazy weight loss, “It just didn’t enter my head that it could be done any other way. I just realised, ‘Okay, I have to lose weight.’ I had no idea how much I would have to lose in order to get the look that I was searching for... I’d been to a nutritionist and when I’d got down to what she’d told me was a healthy weight, I just went, ‘You know what? I can go more than this. I can keep going.’ So I lost another 20lbs below what she said I should stop at…”

Jared Leto
Role: Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27

It’s hard to believe that the handsome frontman of 30 Seconds To Mars, former model Jared, forced himself to eat mostly unhealthy food, including mircowaved pints of ice cream mixed with soy sauce and olive oil, in order to gain close to 67lbs to portray John Lennon’s infamous assassin in the movie based on Mark David Chapman’s life. He put on so much weight for his tiny frame that set sources claim it became so difficult for him to walk he occasionally used a wheelchair. His sudden weight gain also saw him develop gout!

Robert De Niro
Role: Jack LaMotta in Raging Bull

Robert De Niro is the movie legend who practically invented method acting. As a young actor he put in 110 per cent in every character he played and nowhere was this more paramount than in his role as middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta for which he went on to a win an Oscar.

To acquire the super-fit physique, Rob underwent rigorous training, sparring 1,000 rounds with Jake, who allegedly suffered chipped teeth, black eyes and a broken rib, courtesy of the actor.  However, all that training was changed when Robert refused to wear a fat suit to portray a portly LaMatto during his later days. Instead he’s said to have gained 57lbs by imbibing a carb-fueled Italian diet. Robert picked up an Academy Award for his amazing effort and inspired fellow actors to learn by example.

George Clooney
Role: Robert Baer in Syriana

George went all the way for his role as the CIA agent in the 2005 drama, piling on 30lbs and suffering from depression in the process –“It’s like going to a pie-eating contest every day. I was miserable. There I was in Italy, and I wasn’t looking forward to eating. Who doesn’t look forward to eating in Italy?” He also tore his spinal tissue which prohibited him from returning to his active lifestyle of bike riding and basketball. The pain was worth it though, he won an Oscar and eventually returned to his hot self for Ocean’s 13.

Rooney Mara
Role: Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With The  Dragon Tattoo

While her CV includes hit movies including Nightmare On Elm Street and The Social Network, Rooney’s breakthrough role seems to be in the upcoming Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The 26-year-old has captured Hollywood’s attention thanks to her extreme screen makeover for her role in the eponymous bestselling book by Stieg Larsson.

“I plan on giving my interpretation of the character”, she said before preparing for her role and that’s exactly what she did.

Rooney’s long glossy locks were hacked short and dyed goth black, reminiscent of a 1970s punk. She ditched her girl-next-door look and had each ear pierced four times. She also pierced her lips, eyebrow and nose. As part of the makeunder she even bleached her eyebrows, thankfully the dragon tattoo is only temporary...

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