27 Movie Transformations That Made Our Favorite Stars Completely Unrecognizable

Thanks to the magic of makeup, prosthetics and visual effects, actors can become virtually unrecognizable for a film role. Check out some of the most extreme cinematic transformations of all time. Killer Films / Dreamworks / Lions Gate / Warner Bros.
1 Renee Zellweger - Pathe UK
Renee Zellweger in Judy (2019) Pathe UK
2 Renee Zellweger - Getty Images
Renee Zellweger is playing Judy Garland in a biopic coming out in late 2019, The film is set three decades after The Wizard of Oz and follow the legendary performer as she prepares for a series London shows shortly before her death. Getty Images
3 Ralph Fiennes - Warner Bros
Ralph Fiennes in the Harry Potter movies Warner Bros.
4 Ralph Fiennes - Getty Images
To make Ralph Fiennes into evil Lord Voldemort took a lot of CGI work. “There’s this idea that we put the shots through the computer and it just vanished off his face,” visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin told Radio Times. “[His nose] had to be painstakingly edited out, frame by frame, over the whole film. And then the snake slits had to be added and tracked very carefully using dots put on his face for reference.” Getty Images
5 Lee Pace - Marvel Studio
Lee Pace in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Marvel Studio
6 Lee Pace - Getty Images
You could easily watch Pace as the menacing Ronan the Accuser and not even know he’s in Guardians. Besides his blue complexion, he’s got tar-black makeup, piercing purple eye and a giant headdress. “Nothing puts you in the character like looking in the mirror and seeing yourself completely transformed,” Pace told CBR.com. “It changes the way that you move. It changes the way you speak. It changes the way people look at you when you walk onto set.” Getty Images
7 Charlize Theron - Newmarket Films
Charlize Theron in Monster (2003) Newmarket Films
8 Charlize Theron - Getty Images
Theron gained 30 pounds and donned yellowed false teeth to play real-life Florida serial killer Aileen Wuornos. That hard work earned her the Best Actress Oscar in 2004. Getty Images
9 Bill Nighy - Walt Disney Co
Bill Nighy in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) Walt Disney Co.
10 Bill Nighy - Getty Images
Bill Nighy played Davy Jones in Dead Man’s Chest but thanks to some CGI magic, he was virtually unrecognizable in the film. To create the octopus-like visage, Nighy's face was tracked via motion capture technology and replaced in post-production.

Dead Man’s Chest went on to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
Getty Images
11 Tilda Swinton - Universal Pictures
Tilda Swinton in Trainwreck (2015) Universal Pictures
12 Tilda Swinton
The striking English actress was so transformed as Amy Schumer’s spray-tanned boss many moviegoers didn’t realize it was her. Swinton modeled the character after former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld, starting with a custom wig and loads of makeup. “[Tilda] said, ‘If I’m going to put makeup on, I’m going to put on the most eyeliner I can,’” Trainwreck stylist Kyra Panchenko told Entertainment Weekly. “We spent a lot of time on the eyes.” Getty Images
13 Rooney Mara - Columbia TriStar
Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Columbia TriStar Pictures