Some actors really go the extra mile to prepare themselves for a role. Whether it be through makeup, amazing physical changes, or both. They prove their devotion to the role by making drastic changes to their physicality. Here are some transformations in horror that showcased actors willing to go the extra mile.
Christian Bale in The Machinist
Christian Bale is notorious for going to incredible lengths in order to prepare for roles. But The Machinist was his first time undergoing a major physical transformation and remains his most dramatic. Bale dropped down to just 100 pounds in preparation for his role in the film. What makes this story even more extreme is that he was cast as Batman while filming The Machinist and immediately after production wrapped, the actor had to gain back double the amount of weight that he had lost in time to shoot Batman Begins.
It may not be a proper horror film, but Monster is nonetheless horrifying. Charlize Theron, one of the most beautiful women on the planet, plays serial killer Aileen Wuornos. She completely transformed for the role, and did not resort to simple prosthetics to do it. Theron used tattoo ink to weather her skin, shaved off portions of her eyebrows and wore dentures that gave her teeth a rotted appearance. She went to extremes to become the beaten-down, broken Wuournos, but it was well worth it as she wound up winning a Best Actress Oscar for her role in the film.
Pepper immediately became a standout character in American Horror Story. She has become such a fan-favorite. Audiences loved the oddity of her character, they immediately latched onto her and wanted to see more of her. But Grossman looks nothing like her Horror Story character in real life and underwent drastic changes to appear as such onscreen. This transformation was aided by prosthetics, but Grossman also shaved her head and contorted her physicality for the role.
There is perhaps no bigger testament to actors willing to go to extremes for a part than the man of a thousand faces himself. Lon Chaney was the father of makeup effects in a lot of ways. Even now, no one is entirely sure the extents he went to and exactly what he used. He completely contorted his face for Phantom of the Opera and changed—and almost destroyed—his physicality for The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He showed for the first time what kinds of transformations were truly possible in cinema. No discussion on the subject is complete without him.