1. Christian Bale
Since the fall of the golden age where every single star was always themselves and where true characters didn’t really exist, actors and actresses that transforme themselves into the characters gained respect. There are dozens of actors and actresses in Hollywood, however there are not much of them that could sacrifice their bodies to their roles. Those who transform are now accepted as true artists. Christian Bale is one of them.
Christian Bale is now among the top actors of Hollywood. He is the latest Batman in the latest The Dark Knight Trilogy. He is the Moses in Exodus. And he doesn’t hesitate to change his body for his roles. His first changed himself for American Psycho (2000). To achieve to become Patrick Bateman, Christian Bale worked out and excercised for months to put on some muscles. Right after American Psycho, Bale appeared in a psychological thriller The Machinist (2003) – which is among the top 10 best Christian Bale movies - and he lost lots of weight for the roles. He almost looked like a horrible junkie. Just two years later, Bale was this time Batman and he has built more muscle than he has built for American Psycho. For American Hustle (2013) he put on weight this time, which doesn’t really consist of muscles.
Christian Bale is among the actors who are able to use their body as instruments to portray their characters at their best. This method has been used since 60s, but especially since 70s. Extreme body transformations have been seen mostly in 80s and 90s. Since 2000s actors and actresses approach the method more professionally and they try not to harm their bodies.
2. Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is one of the true legendary actors of all time. Since his first appearance in The Godfather II (1974), De Niro always appeared in highly tense crime thrillers which really need some tough acting. As a very talented actor, there is no such thing like “Robert De Niro failed to play this role”. He literally can act! However he managed to shock whole world when he played Jake Le Motta in Martin Scorcese‘s cult classic Raging Bull (1980).
Today we are used to the actors that put on weight or loose weight in order to achieve make their acting perfect. However back in 70s it was not a very common thing. Because Hollywood was liberated in early 70s from the Hays Code. However it took sometime to create a truely independent cinema. New Wave, was highly new and promising. Directors like Scorcese and actors like Robert De Niro are the architects of this new cinema. Robert De Niro gained 60 pounds (27 kg) to portray Le Motta. It was among the first “weight-gain-for-a-role”s.
Before Raging Bull, De Niro lost some weight for his role as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976). he later on gained and lost weight countlessly for his roles. But besides he is one of the most talented actors ever lived. He is able to portray anyone, even if he does’t change his appearance.
3. Matthew McConaughey
Who would guess that Matthew McConaugney the prince charming of many mediocre romantic comedies would one day become of the most talented actors of our times? He was fine in Contact (1997) and was ok in Amistad (1997). Then in 2000s he has appeared in some romantic comedies as the prince charming.
However he was considered as a true talent by his performances in dramas such as The Lincoln Lawyer (2011), Killer Joe (2011), Mud (2012) and Magic Mike (2012). however he was astonishing in Dallas Buyers Club (2013) and True Detective (2014).
matthew McConaughey lost more than 50 pounds to portray AIDS patient Ron Woodroof. He truely looked like an AIDS positive person. Later on he gained some weight and portrayed some other astonishing roles. McConaughey states that he would loose or gain weight again for a role.
4. Jared Leto
Talented young actor Jared Leto played with Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club. He portrayed Rayon, a AIDS positive trans woman who helps Woodroof to smuggle the drugs into US. Jared Leto is a young actor and musician who truely believes in method acting and who is truely able to devote himself to his roles. Jared Leto is also a musician and he has a band called Thirty Seconds To Mars which he founded with his brother Shannon Leto.
Leto began his acting career in early 90s. After appearing in some tv-series of the time, he gave his first important performance in Urban Legends (1998). however his breakthrough role was Harry Goldfarb in Darren Aronofsky‘s Requiem For A Dream (2000). the movie tells the story of four people who somehow become addicted to all sorts of drugs. Harry Goldfarb is a junkie. To portray the character, Leto lost a great deal of weight in order to look like a junkie. Well, he did…
Leto doesn’t only loose or gain weight for his roles. He also changes his hair, his style or as it is in Dallas Buyers Club, if it is needed to wax his legs, he does it right, just like women do. Jared Leto also gained more than 70 pounds for his role in Chapter 27 (2007). constantly states that he believes in method acting and he will continue to use the technic all his career long.
5. Daniel Day-Lewis
English actor Daniel Day-Lewis is the best actor living for a great many of critics. If he is not “the” one, he is without a doubt among the bests who influenced a whole bunch of young actors all around the world. Daniel Day-Lewis is known for his obsession with method acting. He is so obsessed about “becoming the character”, it is stated that he sometimes became even delusional when he was studying his roles.
Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t loose or gain much weight or something. He sure changes his appearance, changes his hair, his look on his face, even his walk. And yes, he sometimes looses weight for his roles and sometimes gains some extra pounds. However the thing about Daniel Day-Lewis’ transformation is not just the appearance. As he is obsessed about becoming the character, well he truely beceomes the character he portrays.
To prepare himself for the role of Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Day-Lewis worked for a year. He even forbidden to call people him Daniel, he wanted everyone to call him Abraham. He had lost some weight in order to portray Daniel Plainview in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s movie great oil There Will Be Blood (2007). When he they were shooting My Left Food (1989), Day-Lewis used to band his food even when they finish the shootings that day. He insisted to live like that, he never walked during the filming of the My Left Food, not even in his personal life.
6. Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley is a great talent. We always see him in such powerful and deep characters such as Gandhi and Itzhak Stern. As an actor, he appeared more than 100 movies and several tv-shows. He is considered as a great actor since early 80s. However he gained worldwide respect and praise by portraying Indian leader Gandhi in Richard Attenborough‘s award wining epic bio-drama Gandhi (1982).
To portray Gandhi, Kingsley spend months to study him. Later on he lost more than 20 pounds and he shaved his head in order to look like him. He also had some sunbathes in order to darken his skin a bit. Kingsley also changed his appearance several times for his roles.
7. Noomi Rapace
We first know her as Lisbeth Salander in Millenium Series or The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo movies. She was truely looking dangerous. She was a tense gay woman who had some traumas in her past. However she was brave and fearless. Based on the novels with the same name, the movies have their special place in cinema history. And yet Lisbeth Salender is among this millenium’s true femme fatales.
Noomi Rapace was so successful portraying Lisbeth Salander that most people didn’t believe she was her when she appeared in Babycall (2011), Sherlock Holmes (2011) or Prometheus (2012). she truely looked like someone else. It was like she was Lisbeth Salander and Noomi Rapace was a character she played. Noomi Rapace is a great example which shows that it is not enough to change the appearance only, an actress or an actor should also devote his or her soul to the character.
8. Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is the one who showed us that a perfectly beautiful woman could also become a monster if she wishes. She won an Academy Award for best actress in a leading role for her performance in Monster (2003). she was also nominated for some 20 more awards.
Theron began his career in mid 90s. She was notable as Mary Ann Lomax in Devil’s Advocate (1997). she was such a cute and sexy young woman with a huge and beautiful smile. However she transformed herself into a total psycho and a true monster to portray the only female serial killer of America, Aileen “The Monster” in Patty Jenkins movie Monster (2003).
to portray Aileen, Theron gained more than 20 pounds. She changed his walk, his look and she totally lost her pretty smile. She was now someone else, someone, well, monster. Christina Ricci played her girlfriend Selby and they did a great job together. Charlize Theron as Monster is an unforgettable role in cinema history.
9. Renée Zellweger
Chubby Bridget Jones is hero of a generation. She is cute, smart and lovely. And yet seriously bright and intellegent. Without a doubt Bridget Jones is the most notable and most well-known performance of Renée Zellweger. She was so stunning in the movie that it totally turned out to be a huge success at box office and a quite little phenomenon among women. Back in early 2000s, every women wanted to be as smart as Bridget.
To portray Bridget Jones, Renée Zellweger gained at least 15 pounds. However later on she lost them when the whole series are finished in 2004. Bridget Jones’s Diary was directed by Sharon Maguire and it was based on Helen Fielding’s novel of the same name. It stars Hugh Grant as the fob Daniel Cleaver and Colin Firth as Bridget’s prince charming Mark Darcy along with Renée Zellweger as Bridget. The film received generally positive reviews and it was praised by the critics. It was one of the hit movies of the year. Zellweger was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
10. Marion Cotillard
Marion Cotillard is a French actress, singer and song-writer. However everybody remembers her as Edith Piaf. She was so astonishing in the movie as Edith, almost everyone prayed for her to win the Oscar and get the Academy Award for best actress. Well, she did…
Marion Cotillard is a young actress and it could be said that she is new in cinema industry. However there are not much performances like her performance in La Vie En Rose (2007). She didn’t portrayed Edith Piaf, she became her. She felt her in her soul and showed her deepest secrets to us. It was a total unbelievable cinema experience to watch Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf. To portray Edith Piaf, Marion Cotillard lost some weight, changed her hair and her look. She also changed her walk and began to walk just like Edith.
Marion Cotillard won the Academy Award for Best Actress, along with other awards such as the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress and the César Award. Marion Cotillard’s Edith Piaf is the first French-language role ever to win an Academy Award. Marion Cotillard’s deeply emotional performance was highly praised by the critics. Some critics even suggested that Marion Cotillard played the role of her life. Marion Cotillard was the most remarkable actress of 2009, and yet she continues her career mostly in Hollywood.