The job of an actress is to pretend to be fictitious people. But every once in a while an actress will take on the role of a real person who pretended to be fictitious people. What we’re trying to say is that it is awesome when an actress is able to get into the role of iconic actress from the past whom we still hold so dear. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it fails, but either way here is a look at eight actresses who have (somewhat) recently portrayed actresses from the past.
Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe – My Week with Marilyn (2011)
Picking somebody to play Hollywood’s most iconic sex symbol couldn’t have been easy, but Williams turned out to be the right move: she went on to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress as well as an Oscar nomination.
Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly – Grace of Monaco (2014)
Given their equally elegant looks, it came as no surprise when Oscar winner Kidman was chosen to portray the American-born Oscar winner Kelly, who gave up acting when she married Prince Rainier in 1956. For her efforts, the former Mrs. Tom Cruise was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Sienna Miller as Edie Sedgwick – Factory Girl (2006)
This film saw Miller playing the troubled actress and socialite Sedgwick, who was known for associating with pop art extraordinaire Andy Warhol. Although the movie was thoroughly panned by critics, Miller’s acting was seen as the lone bright spot. Consequently, Miller would go on to portray an actress who had starred in several Alford Hitchcock movies. So maybe the whole “actress playing an actress” thing is Miller’s calling!
Laetitia Casta as Brigitte Bardot – Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life (2010)
In this biopic about the life of legendary French musician Serge Gainsbourg, Casta shined as the 1960’s French sex symbol Bardot. For her well-received efforts, Casta took home several French film awards.
Gwen Stefani as Jean Harlow – The Aviator (2004)
Unlike the others on this list, Stefani didn’t make herself a household name as an actress, but the lead singer of No Doubt impressed a lot of people with her acting skills in her brief appearance as glamorous 1930s blond bombshell. Although she received a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination for her performance, she hasn’t acted since, other than a few documentaries and some bit parts in TV shows as herself.
Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor – Liz & Dick (2012)
Lohan was sadly mistaken if she thought she would regain stardom after playing the lead role in the biopic chronicling the scandalous relationship between Taylor and Richard Burton (husband #5 whom she married, divorced, married again, and divorced again). Many critics found Lohan’s acting to be hilarious, although unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be a comedy.
Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh – Hitchcock (2012)
Johansson has been acting since she was a child, but few of her roles have been as impressive as her uncanny channeling of Janet Leigh (the lead actress in the 1960 horror classic Psycho). Although Johansson ultimately didn’t manage to win any awards, nobody doubts that she looked the part. The movie was nominated for an Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling.
Jennifer Love Hewitt as Audrey Hepburn – The Audrey Hepburn Story (2000)
Okay, so Hewitt hasn’t really been huge in almost two decades. But when she portrayed Hepburn – one of the most beautiful actresses of all time – back in 2000, she was still at the peak of her career. Although her performance as the Hollywood dream girl could be best described as “meh” let’s pause for a moment and feel nostalgic about it anyway.