Thursday Movie Picks: Unrecognizable Actor Transformation

Thursday Movie Picks

It’s the first Thursday Movie Picks of the month, and it’s April already! Excuse me 2019 but where do you think you’re going? Can we slow down a little? I’m not ready to face my 30th Birthday yet…

This week in the series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves we’re talking about unrecognizable actor transformations. Sometimes it isn’t enough for actors to mentally transform themselves for a role, they have to change themselves physically too, and that’s really quite incredible to me. Trying to eat sensibly a couple of weeks before a wedding is daunting enough!

Anyway, without further ado, here are my picks this week…


Christian Bale, The Machinist (2004)

Let’s be honest, we could all fill our lists simply with Christian Bale roles this week. The man is nothing but committed to his job. But none of his transformations shocked me more than his in The Machinist. It’s one thing to lose some weight for a role, but he looked like a corpse! He went down to 110 pounds for the role which is shocking enough, but the role he took on next? Batman Begins! Talk about yo-yo dieting! For what it’s worth, The Machinist is a fantastic, twisty movie. I’ve seen it twice now and I couldn’t recommend it enough.


Tom Hanks, Cast Away (2000)

I spent a long time in the shower hiding from my toddler thinking of options for the theme this week when I suddenly remembered Cast Away. I haven’t seen it for years but it was possibly the first Tom Hanks movie I ever saw. During pre-production, Tom Hanks put on 50 pounds in order to appear middle-aged, and then he was given a year off to transform himself into a real cast away. He stopped shaving and cutting his hair, and shed 55 pounds with a tough diet and exercise regime. I’m feeling hungry just thinking about it.


Matthew Lewis, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

I can’t talk about dieting anymore, so let’s turn to the biggest transformation shocker of the Harry Potter universe, the moment Matthew Lewis turned into bumbling fool to stunning heartthrob. Okay, his transformation may be something he didn’t really have any control over, but at the time he was living proof for all awkward teenagers that there was hope for us yet!

26 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Unrecognizable Actor Transformation

  1. Neville aged so well lol. Who knew he’d end up being the hottest of the bunch? I also chose Christian Bale but for another movie because like you said, we could make an entire list of Bale movies.

    I always end up watching Cast Away when it’s on TV. Great picks!


  2. for me, the best part about Matthew Lewis growing up so nice is that Neville’s name became a verb for awkward boys becoming hot men. He “Longbottomed”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. All this extreme weight loss/gain for the sake of film is just crazy! Charlize Theron’s transformation in Monster was almost worrisome as Christian Bale in The Machinist. Well… almost. P.S. Glad there is one (very) positive transformation in your list! 🙂


  4. Oh, we match on The Machinist. These are good picks. Who would’ve thought that Neville would become the most attractive of the entire Harry Potter bunch?


  5. Ah, Matthew Lewis! Even Tom’s impressed in that pic 🙂

    Christian Bale’s commitment and talent is impressive but sometimes I can’t help but feel like his transformations overpower everything else.


    1. I know what you mean, when the most praise you can give an actor for a role is how different they looked you’ve got to wonder about the quality of the movie itself! I felt that way about Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour.


  6. Christian Bale is one intense actor who takes things way to far and I hope he doesn’t suffer later on as a result. Tom Hanks was great in this movie and he said his hair just came out in that colour…I wonder if he was speaking the truth but this is Tom Hanks so could be. Love Neville who turned out very studly…if the cougar in me can say this.


  7. Ha! I love what you did with you’re last. He gives hope to all those pimply faced nerds out there. I didn’t care for The Machinist and Bale is going to regret all these extreme transformations, this whole suffering for your art thing is going to destroy his health eventually. Tom Hanks did a similar thing but at least he only did it once and Castaway is a good film though its nothing I have any desire to watch again.

    Since I think the whole damaging your body for a role is foolish I chose transformations that were achieved via the makeup chair.

    The Lost Moment (1947)-Publisher Lewis Venable (Robert Cummings) is desperate to acquire love letters between noted 19th century poet Jeffrey Ashton and Juliana Bordereau (Agnes Moorehead). Learning that Juliana is still alive at 105, Lewis arranges an introduction. Assuming the identity of a rich author, Lewis meets the now-blind Juliana, who allows him to rent rooms in her home. As Lewis’ searches for the letters he must contend with the resistance of Juliana’s great-niece, Tina (Susan Hayward) a tightly wound schizophrenic duel personality obsessed with Ashton. This slightly reworked version of Henry James The Aspern Papers isn’t for everyone, star Susan Hayward hated it and referred to it as The Lost Hour and a Half, but features a most impressive makeup job on Agnes Moorehead who though in her mid-forties is unrecognizable as the ancient Juliana.

    Mask (1985)-Rocky Dennis (Eric Stoltz) a sweet-natured extremely bright teen suffers from Lionitis which caused his facial features to be deformed taking on the appearance of that beast. Thanks to his wild but tough and loving mother Rusty (Cher) and biker friends who see him for who he is Rocky doesn’t let his affliction get in the way. But the greater world is not so understanding, at least at first, and there are many obstacles to face. Based on a true story Stoltz is buried under mountains of prosthetics but manages to convey Rocky’s essence extremely well, matched every step of the way by Cher.

    Bettlejuice (1988)-Tim Burton’s wild ride of a movie tells the tale of Barbara (Geena Davis) and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin) freshly dead in a car accident, finding themselves stuck haunting their country residence and unable to leave the house. When the unbearable Deetzes (Catherine O’Hara, Jeffrey Jones) and teen daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) buy the home, the Maitlands attempt to scare them away without success. Their efforts attract Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton), a rambunctious spirit whose “help” quickly becomes dangerous for the Maitlands and innocent Lydia. Keaton done up in wild style is brash and inimitable.


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