ROLES OF A LIFETIME
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just announced this year's Oscar noms, and one noteworthy entry is Leonardo DiCaprio for the Revenant. The performance has generated a lot of buzz for the still statue-less actor, not least because of his impressive transformation for the role. Here are five other actors who transformed for roles!
- •Dakota Fanning as Paulie in PaulieA four-year-old Dakota Fanning made her uncredited debut in this film playing the green-feathered parrot. "I had to spend nearly eight hours every day having each feather meticulously glued to my skin," the actress recently reflected, laughing. Due to potential legal entanglements, Jay Mohr was credited with the voice acting and a live bird was said to have been on camera, but the truth has since come out, and it sure explains the chemistry between the bird and Tony Shalhoub!
- •Peter O'Toole as Bud in Air Bud: Golden ReceiverAfter a nearly 45 year reign as one of the greatest actors on earth, O'Toole took on one of his greatest acting challenges: portraying a football-playing Golden Retriever. He spent months studying dogs' movement and emotions, then trained with the Minnesota Vikings for two months. The result is a performance so captivating that you truly believe you are watching a dog play football! The only assistance was a few camera tricks, but I think we can let that slide.
- •Katharine Hepburn as Jabba the Hut in Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the JediKatharine Hepburn put on over 800 pounds to prepare herself for this role in the final installment of the original Star Wars trilogy. "Gaining all that weight was easy," the actress said. "The hard part was convincing the audience that someone like Carrie Fisher could strangle me!" Hepburn reluctantly reprised the role for the scenes shot for the 1997 re-release of A New Hope.
- •Carl Reiner as The Bear in The RevenantLeo wasn't the only actor who underwent a massive transformation for Alejandro G. Iñárritu's epic new film. 93-year-old comedy legend Carl Reiner put on nearly 60 pounds of pure muscle and fur through an intense fitness and diet regimen to become the bear from one of the movie's pivotal scenes.
- •Orson Welles as Ken Kratz in Making a MurdererFrom the get-go, the creators of Netflix's True Crime docudrama Making a Murderer knew they'd have trouble presenting the likeness of much-embattled Calumet County district attorney Ken Kratz. They also knew that few living actors would be comfortable giving a human face to such prosecutorial overreach as shown in the series. So, the producers went back in time and recreated the scenes with Orson Welles as Kratz and spliced it in to existing footage for the gripping final product!