It’s no surprise that most of the famous female celebrities are gorgeous. But hitting the genetic lottery is one thing — what you do with those looks is another. While it might be tempting to be seen only at your best, famous women often choose to play grittier characters because it makes them more relatable, and also ups their credibility as an actress. They just need to be brave enough to shed that airbrushed skin for the sake of the role. Here are the top A-listers who aren’t scared to drop the beauty queen act for something a little more real.
1. Julia Roberts
Roberts and her zillion-watt smile both earned a title role in “Pretty Woman,” cementing her status as one of the most beautiful women in America. But she didn’t care about being immortalized as that seductive and charming character — instead, she explored new territory with the role of KiKi in “America’s Sweethearts”, a plain Jane with glasses and bad bangs living in the shadow of her sister, who eventually transforms into a beauty. A classic case of don’t judge a book by its cover!
2. Sarah Paulson
She’s portrayed Linda Tripp with a prosthetic nose, a reckless guest with crimped hair in “American Horror Story: Hotel,” and in the latest season, a completely transformed drug addict with missing teeth who needs a lot of skincare help. It’s safe to say that Paulson is always focused on her craft rather than her looks for the roles she takes on.
3. Christina Ricci
With her flawlessly applied eye makeup and pulled back hair in “The Matrix Resurrections,” Ricci looks like the put-together queen that we always see her as, in roles and the red carpet. But when she starred in “Monster” alongside Charlize Theron, that all changed. She cut her hair off, adopted pencil thin brows, and gained weight for the role, turning her into someone practically unrecognizable.
4. Olivia Wilde
The alluring, feline-like beauty of Olivia Wilde can’t be denied. You might remember her perfect blow dry and dewy skin when she played Sabrina from “The Change Up,” but her appearance in “The Lazarus Effect” looked like more a Halloween costume than your typical hot girl. After going totally aggro and insane after taking an experimental serum, a makeup-free Wilde develops totally blacked out pupils.
5. Charlize Theron
Both Charlize and Ricci win an award for completely stripping down for “Monster.” This role seriously took guts, and both gals could only be recognized as the celebs that they truly are if you really took a long look. For Charlize, telling someone’s story and getting the role as realistically portrayed as possible should be a priority — not looking thin and glam.
6. Alyson Hannigan
This cute and quirky redhead became the subject of many a crush when she turned the reputation of band geek into something that many girls aspired to be. The pretty Michelle might have had a nerdy personality, but her stunning looks prevented this role from being as realistic as it should have. When she donned a fat suit to portray the obese Julia in the movie “Date Night,” she looked completely different.
7. Helena Bonham Carter
Helena has a knack for choosing bizarre roles where she looks anything less than normal, but the buttoned-up, red lipstick wearing version of her that we see in “The Crown” as Princess Margaret is drastically different than the terrifying version of her as the villain in the “Harry Potter” franchise. The teeth and hair alone are enough to give us goosebumps!
8. Kaley Cuoco
Nerds all over fell in love when they saw blond bombshell Kaley Cuoco playing attractive neighbor Penny in “Big Bang Theory.” But she proudly wore a fat suit in the movie “To Be Fat Like Me,” about a photogenic athlete who disguises herself as a big girl to prove that in the end, personality wins.
9. Meryl Streep
A fashion-forward, silver-haired vixen in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Meryl Streep was far from a glossy magazine spread when she starred as Helen Archer in “Ironweed,” a terminally ill woman surviving after The Great Depression. Over the decades, Streep has played a wide range of female characters, and she’s never afraid to completely change her look for a role — even if it’s less than flattering.
10. Helen Mirren
No matter what role you plop Helen Mirren in, you can bet that she’s going to play it brilliantly, without any concern for how beautiful she’s going to look on-screen. While she’s played more glammed up roles in movies like action comedy “RED,” she played a very different character as a maid in “The Door,” where she bravely plays her age without makeup, in dowdy clothing.
11. Jodie Foster
While she was no means playing a beauty queen in “Silence of the Lambs,” Jodie’s natural prettiness has shone through in most of her movies, especially those where they enhance her femininity like they did in the movie “Sommersby.” However, in “Hotel Artemis,” we see a much more disheveled portrayal, with tired eyelids, thick glasses, and wrinkled skin.