The Appeal Of The Movie Makeunder
- Next1 of 9The Help: Walt Disney Pictures/Photofest; Emma Stone: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images
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Playing Plain1 of 9
By Shannan Rouss
Thanks to her role in The Help, Emma Stone has now joined the ranks of actresses who have downplayed their looks for a part. Proving to audiences and critics that they're "more than just a pretty face," these stars seem to relish the opportunity to focus more on their performance and less on their appearance. See how some of Hollywood's most beautiful women have de-glammed over the years.
Not Afraid2 of 9
In 1966, Elizabeth Taylor played the role of a middle-aged, embittered wife in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? She was just 32 years old. To add years to her appearance, she gained 22 pounds and was aged with makeup and a smattering of gray hair. Her efforts earned her a second Academy Award for Best Actress.
Going For Gold3 of 9
Around the time she was gaining recognition for her daring ensembles, Cher did a 180 to play a matronly Brooklyn accountant in Moonstruck. Like Taylor, the star won an Oscar for her role, reinforcing the popularity of the anti-pretty trend.
Worth The Weight4 of 9
Although she didn't win an Oscar, Renée Zellweger was a Best Actress nominee for her role in Bridget Jones's Diary. Famously packing on the pounds, the usually svelte Zellweger didn't look plain as much as she looked average, like someone you could know. Fans and critics praised her for being sympathetic, funny and likable as Bridget.
Being Nosy5 of 9
In Hollywood, where perfectly sculpted noses are the standard and speculation about who's had rhinoplasty abounds, it's ironic that actress Nicole Kidman would require a different sort of nose job to play writer Virginia Woolf in The Hours. Kidman's glammed down performance won her (you guessed it!) a Best Actress Academy Award.
Scary Good6 of 9
In an extreme makeunder, former model Charlize Theron gained weight, lost her brows, wore dentures and colored contact lenses, and had her skin weathered with makeup. The result? An Oscar-winning performance as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. Up until her breakout role, the actress's ethereal beauty relegated her to mostly playing dying girlfriends and devoted wives.
The Plain Truth7 of 9
Without the help of prosthetic features or any weight gain, Halle Berry's plain is actually pretty, reminding us that looking bedraggled in Tinseltown is not the same as looking bedraggled in real life. That said, Berry's gritty performance as the wife of an executed murderer won her the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first (and so far only) African American woman to do so.
Tough Call8 of 9
As a master of the makeunder, Hilary Swank followed up her Boys Don't Cry performance with another Oscar-winning turn in Million Dollar Baby. With her angular features, the actress is something of a chameleon, but seems to shine in roles where her looks matter less.
Not-So-Plain Jane?9 of 9
With a bare face and mousy brown hair, Mia Wasikowska played the plain governess in Jane Eyre. Though detractors said she was "too pretty" for the part, we think a good performance transcends appearance.
Like other made-under stars, Wasikowska is neither entirely glamorous nor entirely plain. What we see of stars on the red carpet is no more accurate than these glammed-down versions, and in reality, how they look is probably somewhere in the middle.
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