10 Gorgeous Actresses Who Got Downright Ugly for the Big Screen (PHOTOS)

Laura Anastasia | Jul 26, 2015 Movies
10 Gorgeous Actresses Who Got Downright Ugly for the Big Screen (PHOTOS)

Actresses can spend hours having their hair and makeup done in order to get into character, but the extra time doesn't always equal extra glam. In fact, for some roles, the results of all that prep work can be drab, disgusting, or downright terrifying. And that's no easy feat for makeup artists transforming gorgeous gals like Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Aniston.

Still, embracing a character that isn't easy on the eyes can be a good thing come awards season, as Oscar winner Charlize Theron learned when she took on the lead role in Monster. Regardless of motivation, these 10 actresses aren't afraid to go blah or blech for a big role. When the movie makeup comes off, however, their real beauty shines through. 


Image via Universal Pictures

  • Charlize Theron


    Image via New Market Film Group

    Theron was almost unrecognizable as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. Her transformation included shaving her eyebrows and putting on dentures and prosthetic eyelids, not to mention packing on 30 pounds. It was worth it. Theron won an Oscar for the role. 

  • Charlize Theron Offscreen


    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    One of Hollywood's most beautiful leading ladies, the South African star's beauty secret is skipping blowdryers when she's not headed to red carpet events to give her locks a break.

  • Felicity Huffman


    Image via film still from Transamerica

    Huffman donned fake facial stubble, thick makeup and a dowdy wig to play transsexual Bree, who is transitioning from male to female, in Transamerica. The result is one of the most stunning transformations ever recorded on film. 

  • Felicity Huffman Offscreen


    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    Despite her good looks, Huffman doesn't see herself as a knockout -- and she's fine with that. "Beauty can make you powerful in a way that isn't good for you," she has said.

    More from The Stir: What 10 'Dowdy' TV Actresses Look Like in Real Life (PHOTOS)

  • Jennifer Aniston


    Image via Cake trailer

    Aniston ditched her workouts, skipped makeup, and added prosthetic scars to play Claire Simmons in Cake. The dowdy results were a surprise to fans of one of America's favorite sweethearts.

  • Jennifer Aniston Offscreen


    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    Aniston has said that her biggest beauty regret is bleaching her eyebrows once for a magazine cover. The stunning star is widely considered one of the most loveable -- and beautiful -- women in Hollywood. 

  • Olivia Wilde


    Image via @oliviawilde/Twitter

    Thanks to plenty of face and body paint, Wilde transformed into a decaying demon to play a resurrected doctor in the horror flick The Lazarus Effect.

  • Olivia Wilde Offscreen


    Image © Photo Image Press/Splash News/Corbis

    Wilde says the secret to her good looks is her eyebrows, and grooming them is her top beauty priority. She welcomed a son, Otis, with longtime love, Jason Sudeikis, in 2014. 

    More from The Stir: 5 Celebrity Couples Who Share Identical Body Parts (PHOTOS)

  • Salma Hayek


    Image via Miramax.com

    Salma Hayek got hairy for her starring role in Frida, sporting a unibrow and mustache. It may not seem like those two changes would make a huge impact, but did they ever! 

  • Salma Hayek Offscreen


    Image © Photo Image Press/Splash News/Corbis

    The Mexican-born beauty learned the secret to flawless skin from her grandmother: "Never wash your face in the morning," the actress has said. Her beauty and cosmetics line, Nuance, is available at drugstores nationwide.

  • Mariah Carey


    Image via Lionsgate

    Carey skipped makeup and her trademark false eyelashes for her role as a dowdy welfare worker in Precious, a film that went on to win critical acclaim.

  • Mariah Carey Offscreen


    Image © Xavier Collin/Celebrity Monitor/Splash News/Corbis

    The actress, singer, and mom of twins mixes mint extract into her gloss for naturally plump lips, though we're sure that isn't her only beauty secret. 

    More from The Stir: 13 Celebs Who Totally Transformed Their Looks With Plastic Surgery (PHOTOS)

  • Anne Hathaway


    Image via Universal Pictures

    An already trim Hathaway shed a whopping 25 pounds and chopped off her locks for her Oscar-winning role as Fantine in Les Miserables. The result was an emaciated, pale complexion that made fans do a double take. 

  • Anne Hathaway Offscreen


    Image © Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com/Corbis

    Oscar-winning Hathaway credits her glowing skin in part to Bikram yoga and a plant-based diet. She's also been known to rock short hair with style and panache, something not all starlets can do and still look good.

  • Kaley Cuoco


    Image via @normancook/Instagram

    TV screen queen Cuoco traded pretty for gritty, piling on heavy eye makeup for her turn in Burning Bodhi, due out in late 2015. 

  • Kaley Cuoco Offscreen


    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    Cuoco says she can't live without four products: Deodorant, lip conditioner, cologne, and nasal spray. "People get congested at night!" she has said. 

    More from The Stir: 5 Emmy Award-Winning Actresses Who Have Made TV Worth Watching Again (PHOTOS)

  • Drew Barrymore


    Image via Fox Pictures

    Barrymore dived right into Josie Geller's dorky persona in Never Been Kissed, with bad hair, blah makeup, and over-the-top clothes -- and audiences loved her for it. 

  • Drew Barrymore Offscreen


    Image © Splash News/Splash News/Corbis

    Now mom to two girls and founder of her own cosmetics line, Flower Beauty, Barrymore is all about cleansing. She washes her face three times a day. "Fall asleep with your makeup on and you'll wake up doomed," she has said. 

  • Emma Thompson


    Image via Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang trailer

    The unrecognizable Thompson played for laughs with thick eyebrows, warts, frizzy hair, and a fake nose, ears, and teeth as the titular character in Nanny McPhee


  • Emma Thompson Offscreen


    Image © infusny-220/INFphoto.com/Corbis

    The award-winning British actress has said Botox and plastic surgery are "psychotic," a fact that makes some fans love her even more!

    More from The Stir: 8 Formerly Hot Stars Who've Ruined Their Faces With Plastic Surgery (PHOTOS)

  • Rooney Mara


    Image via Columbia Pictures

    Mara's severe bangs, shaved eyebrows, and multiple piercings gave the actress a harsh look as Lisbeth Salander in the film adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

  • Rooney Mara Offscreen


    Image © Photo Image Press/Splash News/Corbis

    Her unique look and talent has made Mara a rising star in Hollywood. She credits her glowing skin to her top two beauty must-haves: eating well and always wearing sunscreen. 


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