Anjelica Huston, The Witches (1990): It’s hardly rare when some ravishing Hollywood beauty slaps on tacky makeup, cuts her hair with a pair of household scissors and tries to pass as one of the great unwashed, but few are willing to go full-on horror show. John Huston’s regal daughter was no stranger to playing hideous creatures when, for this Roald Dahl spin, she donned makeup that made her look like a Skeksi. She was also the hissing baddie, nesting in a sea of greasy tubes, in the Michael Jackson 3D opus Captain EO.
Charlize Theron, Monster (2003): Theron was merely a semi-respected actress before she reimagined herself as a homicidal lesbian with a bad complexion, jowly cheeks, oddly plucked eyebrows and clunky false teeth. That she had the acting chops to match the transformation almost seemed beside the point for AMPAS voters.
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose (2007): Though long established in her native France, American viewers barely knew Cotillard when she broke through as Edith Piaf. Which means they didn’t know that she she was about 10,000 times hotter than the diminutive, druggy crooner she was playing, who looked about twice her age when she died at 47.
Michelle Pfeiffer, Stardust (2007): Though she spends much of the film as her still-radiant self, Pfeiffer plays a witch concerned with overcoming her true self—that is, your standard hideous, wart-encased crone.
Christina Ricci, Penelope (2006): Maybe “grotesque” is too much. All Ricci did was slap on a prosthetic pig nose, which is apparently enough to turn off every man except James McAvoy.
Emma Thompson, Nanny McPhee Returns (2010): As in the previous installment, Thompson plays a Mary Poppins type, save for the bulbous Santa Claus nose, a hairy mole, wiggly cheeks and a descending front tooth. But as she proceeds to whip her young charges into shape, these afflictions slowly fade, leaving us with the pretty Thompson we know and still kind of dream of. Beauty is deeper than skin.
Sergei Gregoriev is a KGB officer in 1981 Russia, disenchanted with Communism and a winsome Francophile thanks to a long-ago stint in Paris. Making friends with a French businessman, Gregoriev starts slipping him highly sensitive information, which makes its way to DST French Intelligence and eventually the Reagan White House.
Six Long-Running Film Franchises