Movie Characters Look Nothing Like They Look in Movies:
Whether they are real or fictional, the characters we see in the movies sometimes look completely different than the way they were supposed to look like. Be it Harry Potter or Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, the list goes on and on and on. Hollywood sometimes makes things very redundant and unnecessary. We get it. Getting an actor who looks like the spitting image of the way a character is supposed to be is hard. But at least the casting director could show some sort of effort because the people on this list look exactly nothing like the on-screen counterparts they are supposed to play, so much so that it could be considered an absolute travesty.
1. King George VI – The King’s Speech
The King’s Speech told the story of King George the sixth and his tale of how he overcame his speech problem to address the nation in the heat of the Second World War. It also stars Sir Ian McKellen in a titular role. Colin Firth portrays King George VI in the movie. The British monarchy does not look like how Colin Firth was dressed up for the film. George VI was called Bertie by his loved ones. The speech impediment is accurately shown and Firth does a good job there. The looks could have used a little bit more work. What is even more unforgiving is that the movie could have actually made Firth look the part. They just did not bother enough to go the extra mile.
2. Wladyslaw Szpilman – The Pianist
The late Polish American Musical Maestro is a legend in the artistic world. His story of how he survived the Nazi occupation of Poland forms the crux of the story in the 2002 movie The Pianist. Roman Polanski wanted Adrian Brody to play the titular character. But the truth is Wladyslaw did not look as pale and thin as Adrian Brody does. The world will always imagine Wladyslaw Szpilman the way Polanski made Brody portray him. But the picture above might beg to differ. Brody was good as the eponymous character. All we will complain about is the character’s accuracy, which was missing in the movie.
3. Henry Hill – Goodfellas
After Godfather, Goodfellas might be the greatest gangster movie of all time. People might differ on that ideology but it is what it is. Henry Hill was a real-life gangster who gained power and rose to become one of the most powerful mob bosses the United States has ever seen. The story also shows how Hill fell from power. Ray Liotta does a splendid job as the mob boss Henry Hill but does he even remotely look the part?? The answer would be a resounding no. Still, we would say that Liotta’s performance in Goodfellas was a career-best and we are ready to overlook the inaccuracy on that account.
4. Jordan Belfort – The Wolf of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio has made a career out of movies where he plays characters that are either con artists, swindlers or both. If you put the morally questionable acts aside, Jordan Belfort, the protagonist of The Wolf of Wall Street, is a pretty likable character. Belfort may not be the best role model. But his antics sure made us all laugh. The visual fit of the character was a mess though. As a matter of fact, none of the characters apart from Margot Robbie’s Nadine Belfort looked even remotely alike the real-life characters they were based out of. The movie was amazing thanks to DiCaprio’s performance and Martin Scorsese’s amazing direction. The casting could have used a little bit more time is all we are saying.
5. Tony Mendez – Argo
The movie Argo is about a Technical Operations Officer from American Intelligence who is sent to Iran to ex-filtrate a group of American Diplomats trapped in the country after the Islamic revolution in Iran in the 1960s. Ben Affleck played Mendez on screen. The truth is – Affleck did not even look a little bit like Mendez. He was a short and stout fellow with a huge beer mustache. Affleck looked tall, handsome and with a beard and long hair. The movie was good and Affleck’s direction was spot on. The fans were swooned over by Affleck’s amazing directing talent that they totally forgot about character accuracy.
6. Major Motoko Kusanagi – Ghost in the Shell
Masamuna Shirow created Ghost in the Shell keeping in mind that the world is converging into a single entity and will one day be an amalgamation of all the different cultures. No one culture or race will reign supreme. It will be a grand mixture. The world of Ghost in the Shell also reflects that philosophy. Major Motoko Kusanagi of Ghost in the Shell is a woman of pure Asian descent. She has to have mongoloid roots. When the anime was adapted into a Hollywood movie, the world scoffed at the choice of Scarlett Johansson for the role of Kusanagi. She looked nothing like her on-screen counterpart. It looked like a blatant white-washing technique to paint a Japanese pop culture masterpiece and Americanize it to suit western interests.
7. Richard Kuklinski – The Iceman
After Goodfellas reinvigorated the gangster genre, The Iceman carried the trope forward. Richard Kuklinski was a prolific hit-man who killed hundreds of people throughout his career as a mob enforcer. But he was crafty at disposing of the bodies of his kills that he could only be convicted of three murders. Kuklinski is played by Michael Shannon. Apart from the fact that the movie completely misunderstands Richard Kuklinski, Shannon’s casting was also another affront to the movie. Kuklinski was a lot of things. The movie showed them all in detail. But his life was a family man was not explored. Shannon’s get-up made him look like a loner, which was like rubbing salt on an already deep wound.
8. Light Yagami – Death Note
Granted it is not a movie but we had to include Death Note on this list because it was just as bad as Ghost in the Shell at white-washing a major Asian character. Light Yagami is the protagonist of Death Note, a series that revolves around a brilliant student who gets his hands on the personal notebook of the God of Death and uses it to kill anyone he deems unworthy of living. Light Yagami was played by Nat Wolff in the series. While we are not complaining about the acting of Wolff (which was kind of awful), the Studio’s decision to cast a white Caucasian male in place of an Asian male was outright wrong and unjustified.
9. Frank Abagnale Junior – Catch Me If You Can
Catch me if you can is the story of a master con artist who goes by the name of Frank Abagnale Junior. He started his conman career by learning to forge checks. He soon self-taught himself to forge important papers and documents and impersonated himself as a man of a high position. He was a pilot, an investment banker and even an FBI agent at times if need be. Yes, he was able to con the FBI. He was THAT good. But he looked nothing like Leonardo DiCaprio, who portrayed Abagnale on screen. Abagnale looked like an average guy, which was good for him since his face would not draw as much attention. Spielberg cast DiCaprio because the movie needed a bit of overextended drama.
10. Scott Thorson – Behind the Candelabra
Scott Thorson is the iconic American Boy Toy of the 1970s and 1980s. Thorson was the partner of renowned American artist Liberace. The movie Behind the Candelabra explores Liberace’s relationship with Scott Thorson and the eventual lawsuit that shook both of their worlds. Thorson is played by Matt Damon while Liberace is played by Michael Douglas in the movie. Douglas’ casting for Liberace was spot on. Damon’s on the other hand, was absolutely not a good fit. Apart from the visual inaccuracy with Thorson, the character portrayal by Damon for Thorson was a total mismatch.