We are used to seeing these ladies as beautiful, slim, perfectly dressed icons of style, but they sacrificed all that just to get their roles right. Here are actresses who made incredible transformations.

Sometimes actresses need to completely change their appearance in order to create a strong emotional and physical connection with characters they are trying to portray, and they are willing to go to great lengths to achieve this. Cutting off their lovely hair, gaining weight, “growing old” and completely changing their appearance seems to be worth it for these ladies.

Mayim Bialik (Role of Amy Farrah Fowler, The Big Bang Theory)

When you watch this popular geeky TV show you would never guess that super-nerdy, clumsy, unkempt Amy could ever be even remotely attractive, but when you see Mayim on the red carpet, your jaw will drop. She is simply stunning, but ill-fitting sweaters and glasses seem to help pass her off as a nerd. Even more interesting is the fact that Bialik actually has a Ph.D. in neuroscience!

Hillary Swank (Role of Maggie Fitzgerald, Million Dollar Baby)

Few actresses would take on a role that demands of them to wear no makeup, let alone a role that requires them to be beaten up, but Swank loved the challenge, and it had proven to be worth it. Who cares that she looked utterly boyish and unattractive when she delivered one of the most powerful female dramatic monologues, and she got an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Another proof that looks isn’t all that matters in Hollywood.

Anne Hathaway (Role of Fantine, Les Miserables)

As we keep seeing, Anne is one of the most adorable actresses in Hollywood, but for some reason, she keeps accepting roles that will make her look terrible. Most of the times – Princess Diaries, Devil Wears Prada – we get to see her beauty before the movie ends, but her role of Fantine made her look simply dreadful.

She cut her hair off, lost weight, and got a makeup treatment we would never want for anyone – an uglifying one. Even though the role of the tortured prostitute had brought her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, Hathaway said that she “kind of lost her mind doing that movie” and that it took her some time to recuperate from this physically and emotionally difficult role.

Margot Robbie (Role of Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad)

At the moment, Margot is one of the most popular actresses of Hollywood, and when you see her in all her stunningly beautiful glory, you can understand why. This is why it came as such a surprise that she took the role of a comic-book villain.

In the Suicide Squad, she is hot, because you simply cannot hide that body, but the tons of awful makeup, the wig and the costume really did a lot to make her look ugly. Robbie said that the biggest challenge in portraying this character wasn’t dressing up, but understanding and giving life to Harley’s relationship with Joker. Once she understood that co-dependence, she poured her heart and soul into the role.

America Ferrera (Role of Betty Suarez, Ugly Betty)

Devotion to the core. When this actress showed up to her audition for this role, she came with horrible hair, in a plaid skirt, flat grandma shoes, bushy eyebrows, glasses and braces – and the casting directors were impressed. There she was – their perfect Betty.

Ferrera was just starting her career, so this was a risky move for her – there was a chance for the show to be a flop, and for her career to sink with it, but she carried it magnificently, adding character to this shy girl who got a job in a fashion magazine, and encouraging the image of strong Latin women. And even though most people have no idea what America Ferrera really looks like, it was worth it for this actress, as she got a Golden Globe, an Emmy, an ALMA award, as well as dozen others for the role of Betty Suarez.

Every one of these actresses put in a lot of time and effort to bring life to demanding roles, and their efforts paid off. Not just that they got awards for their effort, but they can also serve as great role models that prove that as long as you invest yourself in what you’re doing, you can achieve everything you dream of.

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