The most dramatic actor transformations for a role

Robert Downey Jr. is unrecognizable on the set of 'The Sympathizer'

Stars Insider

13/01/23 | StarsInsider


Hollywood never fails to impress with its special effects and realistic makeup. Many celebrities go through extremes to transform their bodies for a role, but others are transformed beyond the point of recognition simply with hair and makeup.

Robert Downey Jr. is starring in a new drama series called 'The Sympathizer' based on the Pullitzer Prize winning book of the same name by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Those who saw him on the red carpet at the Golden Globes will already know he shaved his head for the role, but he was totally unrecognizable in full costume on Jan. 11! Some eagle-eyed photographers spotted him leaving the set in full 1970s garb, with flared pants and a pink shirt with a pointy collar. He was also sporting a thinning mop of ginger curls and his newly freckled face looked at least a decade older than the actor himself. The series tells the story of a man born to a French father and Vietnamese mother who works as a communist spy during the Vietnam War. Hoa Xuande plays the lead while Downey Jr., Sandra Oh, and several others take on supporting roles. 

In the following gallery, remember some of the most iconic transformations actors have gone through to play a movie role.

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