Oscar-Worthy Transformations: The Most Demanding Roles in Film

  • Oscar-worthy transformations demand a lot from actors and actresses
  • From Charlize Thron to Matthew McConaughy, we saw some incredibel performances
  • See who we think went through the biggest change for a role last year
Oscar-worthy transformations
Image source – Foreign and Commonwealth Office, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Soon reaching the end of April, the Oscar Gala is right in front of us. The 93rd Academy Awards will take place on the 26th of April, in Union Station Los Angeles and the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center. Each year, the Academy awards actors and actresses for something outstanding. With hopes to predict the best actor and actress in a leading role, we discuss Oscar-worthy transformations over time. 

Preparing for a role, especially one worthy for an Oscar nomination, is probably the hardest part of actors’ jobs. Of course, some iconic performances did not require the actors to change their physiques. However, artistic preparation includes a whole new mindset for each role. For us to believe in a character, we need to see the performer believing in the character too. Therefore, while some of these transformations are not as visible, the psychological and emotional preparation can actually change the performer’s life. Let us highlight some of these transformations that became Oscar-worthy, and what we foresee for this year’s gala. Odds on Unibet Sportsbook show great opportunities on this year’s predicted winners. We aim to collect the best odds from online sportsbooks in the UK! 

Are there Oscar-worthy transformations this year?

Women have a hard time in the film industry. If the roles only focus on their physique they are being criticised, yet the ones not afraid of showing a less popular side have been treated the same way. Luckily, change is in the making. We can see this even from this year’s nominees. The classic feminine character seems to slowly fade away, and we are eager to see reality. And this is exactly what we got from this year’s top performances in the best actress in a leading role category. According to Unibet Sportsbook, as we reach the gala date, Carey Mulligan shows the smallest, 2.25 odds.

For her performance in Promising Young Women, Carey captured everyone’s attention. As critics described the film as ,,impossible not to be hooked”, the actress is a favourite this year. But was it an Oscar-worthy transformation? In fact, her appearance in the film has been criticised, claiming that she could not exactly pull off the look her character was young supposed to represent. In some ways, we have to agree. Promising Young Women is an iconic film criticizing sexism and the hardships women have to face. Yet, it would not be fair to say that Carey Mulligan went through a major transformation for the film.

Viola Davis as a Blues icon

Oscar-worthy transformations
Viola Davis – Red Carpet Report on Mingle Media TV, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On the other hand, there is Viola Davis. With ,,only”  the second-best odds, we should highlight her incredible transformation into blues icon, Ma Rainey. The swaggering transformation was something Viola Davis could definitely pull off. The film, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a musical drama full of capturing energy. And as a matter of fact, we have seen Viola Davis in plenty of series roles. She can pull off crime, justice, drama but a musical? She most certainly did, hence we devote Viola Davis an award for an Oscar-worthy transformation. Bet on Viola Davis Unibet Sportsbook with 2.80 odds! Moreover, there is more hope for female directors to win this year than ever. See our predictions on the best director category, including our favourite, Chloé Zhao.

Actresses who were not afraid to change

Jumping back a few years, we should take a look at some transformations that made actresses iconic. The Oscar gala is definitely one of the most fruitful events for entertainment betting. Various online gambling sites in the UK fight for attention with their odds. And surely, every time there is a transformative performance, we know where to look. To give some examples, let us remember the times when actresses really stepped out of their comfort zones.

Who can forget Charlize Theron’s turn as prostitute-turned-serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster? To portray the unglamorous and weather-worn character, the gorgeous star underwent an incredible make-under that left her unrecognizable, gaining 30 pounds and wearing prosthetic dentures, contact lenses and makeup.

Cate Blanchett completely transformed for her role as the matriarch in Elizabeth by bleaching her eyelashes and eyebrows. She also wore ornate wigs and headdresses along with her elaborate Victorian costumes. Unsurprisingly the film won Best Makeup at the Oscars and a garnered Best Actress nod for Cate.

Oscar-worthy transformations
Kate Blanchett – Joan Hernandez Mir, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 2011, the Oscar-winning film Black Swan was incredibly demanding from both Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. Portman received an Academy Award for her performance. Not only did she prepare for a year to achieve a ballerina physique and master her dancing technique, but Natalie Portman also lost 20 pounds to play her character. Not to mention, the role was incredibly demanding mentally, hence we declare Nina’s character an Oscar-worthy transformation.

 Actors in leading roles to transform

After collecting a Golden Globe nomination, a BAFTA nod and numerous critics awards in the lead-up to the 93rd Academy Awards, Chadwick Boseman earned a posthumous lead actor Oscar nomination Monday morning for Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, his final feature film performance (Source: Los Angeles Times).  This performance has odds of 1.00 on Unibet Sportsbook. Playing a talented trumpet player, Chadwick Boseman is most likely to receive a posthumous win. This epic film rightfully received five Oscar nominations, with all the actors presenting truly transformative roles. While Boseman’s win is almost a given, we have also collected the most unexpected nominations this year.

From previous years, we all remember Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. Both actors received the award for Dallas Buyers Club. For his turn as homophobic AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey lost 38 pounds of muscle. We also witnessed the mental transformation of McConaughy in this shocking drama. Similarly, to play the crack-addicted former boxer Dicky Eklund in The Fighter, Christian Bale shed pounds by “running like crazy.” The method actor is famous for dropping and gaining weight quickly for roles – after dropping down to 120 pounds for The Machinist, the six-foot-two actor bulked up to more than 200 pounds to play Batman in ‘The Dark Knight (Source: hello magazine). Of course, these roles did not become Oscar-worthy purely because of bodily transformations. The incredible artistic work and dedication earned the actors and actresses the well-deserved Oscar.

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