Some actors go to great lengths to own the characters that they portray. Sometimes they actually believe they're in character when the cameras aren't rolling, and sometimes they undergo incredible physical transformations to become an entirely different person. Most times, these insane character transformations shock audiences and receive all sorts of accolades, however, not every actor's transformation gets the attention it deserves. Sometimes these amazing acts of dedication can find themselves under the radar.
Here are 11 amazing actor whose transformations may have gone unnoticed:
Mariah Carey - Precious
For her almost unrecognizable performance in Precious, Mariah Carey stripped away all the make up and glamour. She had her hair cut and dyed, bags under her eyes and downgraded her wardrobe to deliver one hell of a performance.
Hilary Swank - Boys Don't Cry
After getting the lead role in Boys Don't Cry, Hilary Swank walked into a barber shop to cut her long hair off and was refused by multiple venues who didn't want to do it. Eventually, one did and she then spent the next four weeks trying to pass as a boy with near perfect success. This lead to her giving one of the most emotionally powerful performances of her career.
Matt Damon - Courage Under Fire
Matt Damon had to lose 50 pounds for this role. How did he do it?
"I'd run six-and-a-half miles in the morning and six-and-a-half miles at night and I'd eat just chicken breast, egg whites, one baked potato a day, no butter, no salt and a lot of coffee, a lot of cigarettes. ... It was really stupid."
Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
Weight lost: 30 Pounds
"He would ride his bike 15 miles to the set or run ten miles to the set and then he would have a kale salad. I think he was on one third of the caloric intake so when we’re watching him, he’s got this weird energy. I feel sometimes when he's in the car with [co-star] Riz [Ahmed] that he’s going to like eat him." - Dan Gilroy
Jude Law - Dom Hemingway
Weight Gain: 20 Pounds
“It just seemed clear that I needed to sort of look a little bit more excessive because he was someone who didn’t eat healthily, probably had a bit more bulk, drank too much, smoked too much, so I certainly changed what I normally eat,”...“Ice cream — couple of tubs of ice cream a day. Cheeseburgers were good. Lots of pasta, beer, milkshakes,”
A couple of tubs of ice cream a day? Talk about unreal.
Rooney Mara - Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
For her role in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara had to change her completely angelic appearance to one that didn't give a damn about what the world thought of her. She cut her hair short, dyed it black, lost some weight and got dozens of piercings all over her body to truly become Lisbeth Salander. Yes, she actually got her nipple pierced as well.
Tom Cruise - Rock of Ages
For Rock of Ages, Tom Cruise had to get ripped for his role as a rock mega icon. In addition to spending three hours a day just learning to dance, he spent several more hours hitting the gym and following a strict diet to achieve his punk god look.
Edward Norton - American History X
Edward Norton isn't the kind of actor to normally bulk up for a role, but when he does, he goes all out. It's been rumored that he achieved his American History X look in just three month from a heavy protein based diet and a rigorous workout schedule. Apparently, Arnold Schwarzenegger was so interested in Norton's quick transformation that he even contacted the actor to ask if he had taken steroids for the role. He had not.
George Clooney - Syriana
Weight gain: 30 pounds
The truth is, it’s not nearly as fun as it sounds, the idea of putting on that kind of weight, but at the end of the day, in general, that’s what we do for a living,” ...“So my job was just to eat as fast as I could, as much as I could … But mostly you just ate until you wanted to throw up, and made sure you didn’t throw up. So that was my job for a month, was eating.”
Absolutely crazy. Apparently George's diet was very pasta heavy.
Tilda Swinton - Trainwreck
In an almost unrecognizable performance, Tilda Swinton plays the editor of a men's magazine in this year's Trainwreck. To achieve this look, Swinton spent several hours in the make-up chair, ordered a custom made wig, and put on just a little bit of weight to pull it off perfectly. I personally didn't even realize this was Tilda Swinton until writing this article.
All of these actors went to great lengths for the sake of their artistry and they all deserve to be noticed for their efforts. Some of these roles might have been a little bit more overlooked than the others, but not is a good time to show some love.