Actors Who Look Nothing Like The Real-Life Figures They Played

Leonardo DiCaprio has portrayed more than his share of real-life figures in motion pictures. The list of historical individuals he’s played ranges from film producer and businessman Howard Hughes in “The Aviator” to, most recently, career criminal Ernest Burkhart in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon.” In most of these cases, he’s played these men at roughly the same age as his own. But for Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar,” a 2011 biopic of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, his performance covered roughly a half-century of the lawman’s life. And while his acting earned critical praise, his appearance in the film drew atrocious reviews.

The problem began with the fact that DiCaprio looked nothing like Hoover, whose sunken eyes, protruding jaw, and asymmetrical nose underscored his reputation as an obsessive bulldog for justice. DiCaprio’s longtime makeup artist, Sian Grigg, applied layers of prosthetics, including dental appliances, a bald cap, contact lenses, and latex body padding, to transform the actor. The end result suggested power and age but also looked like a mask of Hoover, not the real man. Critical assessment was divided: the Hollywood Reporter called the effects outstanding but the New York Times dismissed them as “an impasto of old-coot movie makeup.” CNN took it one step further, labeling DiCaprio’s look as dreadful.

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