15 Unrecognizable Movie Roles of Famous Actors

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON June 20th, 2016

15 Unrecognizable Movie Roles of Famous Actors

There really is no business like show business. Unlike a white-collar job, the professionals do not necessarily have to wear suits and ties for their day of work but have to dress as the characters they portray on film. Sometimes the character takes an odd tone and the actor’s transformation to the role is beyond recognition. Following are the 15 unrecognizable movie roles of famous actors that you should definitely checkout:


15. Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy)

Eddie Murphy as Professor Sherman

With comedy in his blood, Eddie Murphy pulled off a terrific performance as Professor Sherman Klump, a morbidly obese research scientist who concocts a weight-loss pharmaceutical in The Nutty Professor.

That was not the only unrecognizable role Murphy played onscreen as he also portrayed the Klump’s own father, mother, brother and grandmother. Like his main role of Klump, every other mentioned role too was unrecognizable!


14. Mason Verger (Gary Oldman)

Gary Oldman as Mason Verger In 2001 Movie

A veteran in the business, Gary Oldman nails all of his roles to perfection to the point of countless awards including one Academy Award nomination. Though the actor was nearly unrecognizable when he portrayed an old Count Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula, but it is his role of Mason Verger in Hannibal that caught the audience by surprise.

Left paralyzed and savagely disfigured by Dr. Hannibal Lecter during a therapy session, Verger has a face not even a mother could love. Having no lips, eyelids or cheeks, even the makeup artist Greg Cannom called it “really disgusting.”


13. The Grinch (Jim Carrey)

Jim Carrey as The Grinch

The role of the Grinch portrayed by Jim Carrey is a fine example of how the power of makeup and costumes can transform an actor into something beyond recognition.

Though the movie failed to get positive reviews, it was nominated for three Academy Awards and won one for Best Makeup that it so richly deserved. Carrey’s performance was well praised and won the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Comedy Actor.


12. Butch Cavendish (William Fichtner)

Butch Cavendish as William Fichtner

William Fichtner’s acting skills were put to test once again when he portrayed the ruthless and somewhat cannibalistic outlaw named Butch Cavindish in The Lone Ranger. Add Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer to the mix and you got one hell of an action western movie.

With a torn lip, wig, raw accent and dirt all over the face, it was hard to differentiate between Fichtner playing Cavendish or just some scumbag cowboy from the west.


11. The Creation (Robert De Niro)

Robert De Niro as The Creation in Frankenstein

Mary Shelley’s horror novel Frankenstein has been adapted into many movies and Kenneth Branagh’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is one of them. Starring Hollywood legend Robert De Niro as the monster created by Victor Frankenstein, it was amusing as well as scary to see the actor playing a role so much different from the ones he portrayed before.

Though the movie received anything but positive reviews, it was De Niro’s enigmatic performance that served as the saving grace of the entire two-hour flick. In fact, journalist Janet Maslin stated that the actor’s version of the monster can be a “dandy guest on any daytime television talk show.”


10. Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming)

Alan cumming as Nightcrawler

Image Source: mynerfherder.com

The X-Men franchise is home to many of the most unique characters in comic books and the same can be said about its movie adaptions. X2: X-Men United was the most celebrated superhero movie of its time and the audience were glued to their screens after being amazed by one very significant addition: Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler.

The character’s makeup design took four hours to apply but it was worth the wait due to Cumming’s extraordinary performance as the blue mutant with the ability to teleport. In fact, Cumming studied the character from Marvel Comics and illustrations to play the role with justice.


9. The Cat in the Hat (Mike Myers)

 Mike Myers Actors In Unrecognizable Roles

Based on Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, comedy star Mike Myers portrays the wise-cracking cat of the same name. Employing a Brooklyn accent and fur all over him, it was hard to realize that it was actually Myers portraying the huge, anthropomorphic cat.

The cat costume was made of human hair and angora. Proving to be too hot for Myers, a cooling system was fitted inside the costume for the actor. On an interesting note, Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat was the first book Myers ever read.


8. The Joker (Jared Leto)

Jared Leto as The Joker

Undoubtedly the greatest comic book villain of all time, the role of The Joker is not something that can be given without any serious consideration. That is why Jared Leto is next in line to play the iconic character in the upcoming Suicide Squad film.

The actor is prepared to take the role to a whole new level unlike the ones played previously onscreen by Ceaser Romero, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger as Leto shaved his beard and even eyebrows along with a new haircut to portray the Clown Prince of Crime.