The 11 Most Insane Movie Makeovers

September 25th, 2013 8:00pm EDT

The 11 Most Insane Movie Makeovers Sometimes you have to suffer for your art. Whether it's dropping (or packing on) weight, sitting in a makeup chair for three hours a day, or getting new piercings, some actors and actresses are willing to do what it takes to convey a realistic character. Here are some of the Most Insane Movie Makeovers:
Rooney Mara in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Mara went the distance to present a faithful Lisabeth Sander. The actress has he hair dyed and cut into Sanders' bizarre fashion and bleached her eyebrows and lost weight. Most shocking, however, is Mara went ahead and got all the body piercings of her character: lip, nose, ears (four each) and her nipple. Before the role, Mara had no piercings - anywhere.

The Cloud Atlas Cast (Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, and Hugo Weaving)
That creepy fellow in the photo above is actually Halle. The main cast of Cloud Atlas went through several transformations throughout the movie, as they each played separate (but ultimately related) characters. The man below? That's Hugo Weaving.

Tom Hanks: Cast Away
Hanks usually weighs around 185 pounds, but for Cast away he went up to 230 to play a Fed Ex delivery man that gets stranded on an island. He then lost it all and then some to portray the affects of starving, ultimately settling at 172 pounds. Hanks said his doctor suspected he was losing weight by vomiting and was even tested for it - but in reality he just limited his diet to fiber-rich foods.

Charlize Theron in Monster
Theron packed on 30 pounds to play serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She also had to wear specialized teeth that pushed her jaw forward. Her eyebrows were bleached and reshaped and her skin was covered with several layers of makeup to make it look abused and weathered. To give her hair a greasy look, it was covered with clear tattoo ink and marble sealant.

Matthew McConaughey in The Dallas Buyers Club
Fans were actually worried when photos of McConaughey surfaced making him look like a skeleton. After he packed on muscle to play a stripper in Magic Mike, he dropped 50 pounds to play a man with AIDS and began to lose his eyesight due to malnutrition. Doctors helped him stabilize and Matt is getting back to a healthier weight nowadays.

Jared Leto in The Dallas Buyer's Club, Chapter 27
Leto also signed up for the drama, playing a cross-dresser dealing with the AIDS virus. There haven't been reports of how much weight the actor/singer has lost, but he has shared photos of his gaunt appearance. He's had some experience: Leto put on 67 pounds to play John Lennon's killer David Chapman. His trick? Pour olive oil and soy sauce onto his food - including ice cream.

Christian Bale's Rollercoaster: The Machinist, Batman Begins, Rescue Dawn, Dark Knight
Bale, the definition of a method actor, dropped 60 pounds to play an insomniac in The Machinist. His diet? Coffee and apples. He then regained all 60 pounds and put on 60 more to play the muscular Batman, causing him to suffer mood swings. Rescue Dawn was shot in reverse, so Bale had to lose weight to play a P.O.W., then gained weight throughout filming before packing on the muscle again for Dark Knight.

Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry
To get into character of a woman living as a man, Swank wrapped her chest and stuffed her pants months before filming to get into the role. She then began to live as "her brother James" and fool her neighbors.

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis in Black Swan
Portman and Kunis aren't that big anyway, but the two of them dropped a significant percentage of bodyweight and reportedly weighed less than 100 pounds to play a pair of ballerinas. To top it all off, some training days topped 16 hours, leading Portman to worry about her health. Director Darren Aaronofsky allegedly started sending food to her trailer after a while.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper
To look like a younger Bruce Willis, Joseph underwent three hours of makeup application every day. It was so thick that they had to pop "sweat bubbles" with pins because his skin couldn't breathe. The prosthetics drastically changed his jaw-line and even the shape of his brow, to the point where audiences believed he simply had CGI over his face the entire film.

Robert Downey, Jr. and Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder
We'll get a bit meta for this one. Downey, Jr. plays a method actor who undergoes surgery to look like a black man for a movie role. In reality, he dealt with a few hours' worth of makeup each day - as did Tom Cruise, who made a surprising appearance as Les Grossman. His costume even had minute details like larger, hairier hands… but his largest transformation may have been his character's off-the-wall personality.

Related: Charlize Theron, Christian Bale, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Hugo Weaving, Jared Leto, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew McConaughey, Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, Robert Downey Jr., Rooney Mara, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Slideshows, Celebrity, Movies, Photos, Evergreen

© 2013

Photo Credits: PR Photos; © Sony Pictures Digital Inc; © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.; Paramount Pictures; New Market Films; Pacific Coast News; Jared Leto / Instagram; Paramount Classics; Fox Searchlight; FOX;

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