20 actors who underwent incredible transformations for a role

Famous actors are often associated with their multi-million dollar paychecks, but we forget that it's not easy to literally take on another person’s appearance and personality. Physically they may be cast to play a character that's younger, older, attractive, ugly, fat, thin, alien, robotic... Apart from pushing their acting skills to the limit, they also have to spend hours being transformed by talented make-up artists and costume designers if they're going to pull off their role and impress movie theater audiences.

Here are 20 actors who were completely transformed for a role - would you have recognized them if you hadn't seen their name in the credits?

1. Karen Gillan played Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy

© eastnews   © eastnews  

2. Tilda Swinton made up as Madame Blanc in Suspiria

© eastnews   © Cinemaholics_/twitter  

3. Christian Bale as Trevor Reznik in The Machinist

© eastnews   © Filmax Entertainment  

4. Oscar Isaac played Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse

© eastnews   © Marvel Entertainment  

5. Hugh Grant made up as Chef Kona in the movie Cloud Atlas

© eastnews   © Focus Features  

6. Tom Cruise as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder

© eastnews   © Paramount Pictures  

7. Chris Hemsworth is unrecognizable as Owen Chase in In the Heart of the Sea

© eastnews   © chrishemsworth/instagram  

8. Johnny Depp made up as Whitey Bulger in Strictly Criminal

© eastnews   © Warner Bros. Pictures  

9. Carice van Houten as the Red Priestess Melisandre in Game of Thrones

© eastnews   © HBO  

10. Cate Blanchett as the homeless man in Manifesto

© cateblanchett/instagram   © The Match Factory  

11. Gary Oldman incarnates Dracula in the famous remake of this horror classic

© eastnews   © Columbia Pictures  

12. Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

© eastnews   © Warner Bros. Pictures  

13. Doug Jones played the faun in Pan's Labyrinth

© eastnews   © Warner Bros. Pictures  

14. Ryan Reynolds had to kiss goodbye to his good looks for his role in Deadpool

© eastnews   © Marvel Entertainment  

15. Jared Leto as Nemo in the movie Mr Nobody

© eastnews   © Pan-Europeenne  

16. Ron Perlman was completely transformed for Hellboy 

© eastnews   © Columbia Pictures  

17. Vanessa Hudgens as the homeless Agnes 'Apple' Bailey for Gimme Shelter

© VanessaHudgens/twitter   © Roadside Attractions  

18. Hugo Weaving as Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger

© eastnews   © Marvel Studios  

19. Meryl Streep as a Rabbi in the miniseries Angels in America 

© eastnews   © HBO  

20. Eddie Murphy played 4 characters in Coming to America, including the barbershop customer Saul

© eastnews   © Paramount Pictures