Hey Jude: 10 Pretty Boys Who Uglied Themselves Up for a Role
film / tv / lists / guides / news / love / celeb / video / think pieces / staff / podcasts / web culture / politics / dc / snl / netflix / marvel / cbr

Hey Jude: 10 Pretty Boys Who Uglied Themselves Up for a Role

By Agent Bedhead | Seriously Random Lists | December 5, 2012 | Comments ()


This is a very simple list because I'm feeling quite simple this week. In a nutshell, even guys get tired of just being a piece of meat. Here are ten men who tried to escape that pigeonhole with varying degrees of success.

Jude Law in Anna Karenina: Back in the late 1990s, Jude would have indeed played Alexey Vronsky. Both roles are equally conflicted and complex, but I think Jude probably got a lot more out of playing the pious Alexey Alexandrovich Karenin.


Keanu Reeves in The Gift: After A Walk in the Clouds and The Matrix, it's no wonder Keanu was itching to grow some scruffy stubble.


Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds: He made a valiant effort in 12 Monkeys to shed the heartthrob image, but it was Lt. Aldo Raine's weird-ass facial expressions (and neck star) that finally made Brad look unsexy (in a good way).


Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky: Okay, so it's no secret that I don't find Tom Cruise sexy at all, but he's always been a pretty boy. When it wasn't unintentionally hilarious, this movie at least made Tom look not so handsome.


Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men: At this point in his career, Javier wasn't very well known stateside, but he had already wrestled with a Spanish heartthrob rep for quite some time.


Christian Bale in The Fighter: Sure, this movie came after The Machinist, but Bale did more than lose weight for this role. He did some serious uglifying in the make-up chair as well.


Joaquin Phoenix in I'm Still Here: Sure, this was a rapid misfire on many levels, but it also definitely wasn't pretty.


Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Hesher: Actually, I think JGL's metalhead transformation turned on more people than it turned off. At least he tried.


Jared Leto in Chapter 27: Did the weight gain for this movie role finally scrub Jordan Catalano from the collective "squee" database? Probably not.


Johnny Depp in nearly any Tim Burton movie: No explanation needed, but Depp's pretty boy rep persisted until he finally decided a few years ago to never (ever) take a bath again.


Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.

5 Shows After Dark 12/5/12 | In An Unexpected Coup, Mariah Carey Comes Out Of Left Field To Win Christmas

Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Why didn't they put up Ed O'Neill? Oh yeah..He's already ugly. But he managed to ugly himself 10 times worse for his part in "10th Kingdom" (Relish the Troll King)

  • MarkR32123

    Christian Bale in "The Machinist" is incredibly disturbing to see visually, but very impressive. That might be the most insane transformation I have ever seen on screen. And to film Batman right after?!?!?! Jared Leto was another one. Crazy. I might also mention Raging Bull with Deniro. And heck toss in Tom Hanks in Castaway, and I agree with a comment about Diaz in Being John Malkovich too. Sounds like Matthew McConnehy (sp) pulled something similar recently weight wise, yet I have not seen it yet. And I know there is a million Tom Cruise haters out there, but I very much enjoyed Vanilla Sky, and rest assured, he looked VERY different from what you would expect.

  • Bucky

    Joseph looks like a damn monkey, who knew a haircut can change so much.....and I didn't even notice much of pitts de-vamping in inglorious bastards.

  • Anon

    Here are a couple of others:
    Cameron Diaz in 'Being John Malkovich'
    Charlize Theron in 'Monster'
    And one for the future: Daniel Bruhl in 'Rush'

  • jo cavalina

    You really should mention Sean Penn in Carlito's Way. His transformation is quite amazing.

  • Javier

    Jude Law looks a lot like David Hyde Pierce there

  • Gina

    There should be some mention of actors in fat suits, like Eddie Murphy or John Travolta.

  • amylu

    Hesher was a sexpot.

  • maureenc

    It's not that Jude Law is ugly in this role, it's that he looks distressingly like a younger version of my dad in the topmost picture.

  • e jerry powell

    Qualify your use of the term "ugly," please.

    Apart from Joaquin Phoenix, I mean, most of these guys would still be bangable. Particularly Jude Law.

  • Rooks

    Alan Rickman (YES OF COURSE he counts as a pretty boy) -> Ronald Reagan.
    Excuse me, I have to go cry in a corner.

  • CurlieQt

    James Franco in Pineapple Express

  • zeke_the_pig

    Still hot

  • NoPantsMcLane

    I would have gone with Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder instead of Vanilla Sky.

  • Pawesl

    This. He put on a fat suit and has a bald head.

  • Groundloop

    HEY! Some of us call that "going to work"!

  • PDamian

    Mel Gibson tried uglification in the form of facial scarring for The Man Without A Face, with dubious results (I didn't think the scarring was all that realistic). Back then, Mel was quite a looker -- back before alcohol and unspecified nuttery took their toll.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Christian Bale is not uglied up as much as displaying his soul. This Christian Bale and the buff version take turns in the attic depending on the role.

  • mairimba

    I think Brad Pitt still looked hot in IB. The role he uglied himself I'd say was for Burn After Reading.


  • zeke_the_pig

    Yeah you're right. There was still something alluring about Aldo. Chad, however... whatever they used to do that to that face, keep it from being weaponised.

  • mairimba


  • luthien26

    I'd say Tom Cruise was more changed to play the older version of his Vietnam Vet character in "Born On The Fourth of July."

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I was really expecting to see: Matt Damon, The Informant. And Russell Crowe, The Insider.

  • Bodhi

    Brad & JGL is look hella hot to me

  • Pants-are-a-must

    I still think JGL should do a Jamiroquai-JK biopic one day. Yes, I am that mean.

  • emmelemm

    Actually, I think Keanu in The Gift was just about the best he's ever looked.

  • Basement Boy

    Pitt shoulda been in for Kalifornia's "Early Grayce"...

  • SchmidtUltra

    Bale in The Machinist was simply gross.

  • Daniel Day-Lewis - SO sexy as Hawkeye, not so much in Lincoln.

  • Well. Lincoln was never a good candidate for the catwalk:D

  • DeistBrawler

    I would say that Javier Bardem looked weirder/more unattractive in Skyfall than No Country For Old Men.

  • zeke_the_pig

    Agreed. Taking out half of his mouth seemed to even improve things. Sorcery.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    But dammit, was he AWESOME. Most of the uglifying in this list totally backfired.

  • BendinIntheWind

    I waited through the entire movie expecting the blonde hair to be explained. When I saw set photos I assumed it was part of some disguise, but he's just blonde the whole time, for no reason!

    Edited to add: despite the blonde-ness, I still could have watched his first scene with Daniel Craig for hourssssssss...

  • pachinko

    He's blonde because Bond's blonde. He's the other side of the same coin.

  • the dude

    the reason is the character is blonde, that's enough of a reason. What do you want, hair dye that melts into his skull and gives him rage?

  • BendinIntheWind

    It doesn't have anything to do with his character, it's distracting on a purely practical level. We know Harrison Ford wears earrings in his regular life, but if he'd worn them in Air Force One, you'd have this nagging feeling in the back of your mind the whole time of "What's with the earring??" You have to factor in ahead of time what your audience is expecting to see, and changing a known actor's appearance generally isn't done just for the hell of it. So yes, I was expecting a reason.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I think the reason is: he's eccentric. They wanted him to have a slightly off, dandyish appearance. Aside from scars, do Bond villains usually have their personal appearance choices explained?

  • BendinIntheWind

    I'm not saying they all do, or that it's Bond-specific, but as far as I can remember: Goldeneye's now-evil 006 is scarred from the explosion in the prologue, I think Blofeld's scar was the result of some kind of fight earlier in his life, Le Chiffre in Casino Royale cries blood and explains it's just a damaged tear duct, the awful one with Halle Berry has a dude with diamonds embedded in his skin from an explosion... the only one I can think of that's left completely unexplained is Jaws.

  • the dude

    well let me give u one. If they had left him unchanged, all most people would have seen is anton chigurr

  • BendinIntheWind

    I think he exudes "Javier Bardem: Sexy Spaniard" more than anything. Which actually works pretty great for the role.

  • the dude

    i can't say i disagree man

blog comments powered by Disqus