From Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder to Bonnie Aarons as as Valak, here are the 20 Most Impressive Actor Makeup Transformations.
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# 8 Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder
In the 2008 comedy Tropic Thunder, Tom Cruise transformed from his normal handsome leading man appearance into that of a lame looking and toxic studio exec. He goes from his usual mop of hair into a half-balding cap, a hairy chest of hair and huge meaty hand prosthetics. Combined with a name like “Les Grossman” this role would become one of Cruise’s more iconic roles.
# 7 Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter
If there’s any movie that would have excessive layers of makeup on someone it would be Alice in Wonder and who else to layer all that makeup on than Hollywood’s infamous chameleon, Johnny Depp. To turn into the Mad Hatter, Johnny Depp had to wear makeup to become a porcelain white and hid underneath a crazy wig of red hair. Johnny Depp is nearly unrecognizable underneath that huge mad hat.
# 6 Helena Bonham Carter in Alice in Wonderland
It would be easy to believe that Helena Bonham Carter’s role in Alice in Wonderland was completely CGI but much of the work was actually done with real makeup and wardrobe. Helena endured hours of makeup to become the Red Queen, although her head was doubled in size in post-production to make her look more cartoonish and evil.
#5 Elizabeth Banks in the Hunger Games
Elizabeth Banks played Effie Trinket, a super rich TV host that always dressed in impractical and candy-hued makeup and wardrobe. She often wears edgy fashion with bold makeup looks that often forced Banks to endure two hours every day to transform into the eccentric character.
# 4 Bette Midler’s Winifred the Evil Witch
One of Bette Midler’s most iconic roles was as Winifred Sanderson, one of the three evil witches in Disney’s Hocus Pocus. Bette Midler looks truly haggish and cartoonish in her makeup for the movie. With small graphic lips and no eyebrows topped with an enormous mop of red curly hair, Bette Midler gets lost in the role, and you really believe she’s transformed into a kooky witch from hundreds of years of ago.
#3 Ron Perlman as Hellboy
Ron Perlman is the actor behind Hellboy, and while he stands a tall 6’1” out of costume, he is definitely not the same huge red muscular demon man as Hellboy. To take on the role he wore almost a full prosthetic suit including a full face of prosthetics around his chin face and head, in addition to that huge iconic Hellboy arm he had to wear. According to Perlman himself, the only part of his body still showing after makeup were his eyelids which were painted red.
#2 Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice
Michael Keaton has a pretty recognizable face, starring in roles like Batman and Birdman but in one of his most memorable roles as Beetlejuice, you can barely find Keaton underneath the layers of costume and makeup. It’s only expected that a mischievous trickster ghost would look as zany as Beetlejuice.
# 1 Valak
The Conjuring 2 is about the Hodgsons, a family that is being haunted by a truly terrifying entity that we eventually find to be the demon nun named Valak. Valak is a terrifying monster of a woman with dark eyes and sandy pale skin. Bonnie Aarons is the woman behind the role and she donned layers of makeup to become the monstrous spirit from the movie. Combined with some special effects and amazing acting from Aarons, you forget that Valak is just a woman in a costume and not a real life monster.