15 Actors Who Became Unrecognizable for a Movie Role

There’s nothing more impressive than when an actor is able to completely alter their appearance for a role. For example, in order to play conman Irving Rosenfeld in David O. Russell’s American Hustle, Christian Bale packed on 42 pounds, shaved a portion of his head, and trained himself to walk with a slouch. But physical transformations such as this do not come easy. The increased weight gain combined with the actor’s slouch reportedly resulted in a herniated disc and the actor ultimately lost 3-inches from his height.

Of course, while Bale has become well-known for his extreme method acting style, he’s by no means the only actor to undertake a crazy physical transformation. Ranked from the least to the most shocking, here are 15 actors who have shown insane devotion to their craft over the years, sometimes even risking their health in order to do so.

15. Jake Gyllenhaal — Southpaw (2015)

Jake Gyllenhaal, shirtless and wearing boxing gloves

Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw | The Weinstein Company

Jake Gyllenhaal was nigh unrecognizable in Southpaw, having put on a whole mess of muscles to portray boxer Billy Hope. This came directly on the heels of Gyllenhaal shedding pounds for his gaunt look in Nightcrawler, making his transformation that much more impressive.