Biopic Actors and Their Real-Life Counterparts

Daniel Day Lewis (Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln)

Countless film actors have starred in a number of biopics, depicting a range of historical and cultural figures, but how accurate is their physical likeness? By juxtaposing images of fully costumed actors with photos of the actual people they are modeled after, the viewer is given the opportunity to carefully assess the similarities.

From political and spiritual leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Ghandi to rock star Joan Jett and tech visionary Steve Jobs, there have been a number of real-life subjects with biographical movies about them, regaling tales from their influential lives. Each leading actor from these films is transformed through makeup and costuming to resemble their real-life counterparts–in some cases, to an indistinguishable degree, like Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf in La Vie en rose. In Ashton Kutcher's case, there's an uncanny resemblance between the leading male actor and a young Steve Jobs that requires little more than growing the right facial hair and wearing business casual attire.

Ashton Kutcher (Steve Jobs, Jobs)

Lindsay Lohan (Elizabeth Taylor, Liz and Dick)

Helen Mirren (Queen Elizabeth, The Queen)

Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar Hoover, J. Edgar)

Anthony Hopkins (Alfred Hitchcock, Hitchcock)

Scarlett Johansson (Janet Leigh, Hitchcock)

Penn Badgley (Jeff Buckley, Greetings from Tim Buckley)

Kristen Stewart (Joan Jett, The Runaways)

Aaron Taylor-Johnson (John Lennon, Nowhere Boy)

Amanda Seyfried (Linda Lovelace, Lovelace)

Salma Hayek (Frida Kahlo, Frida)

Denzel Washington (Malcom X, Malcolm X)

Meryl Streep (Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady)

Marion Cotillard (Edith Piaf, La Vie en rose)

Joaquin Phoenix (Johnny Cash, Walk the Line)

Reese Witherspoon (June Carter, Walk the Line)

Ben Kingsley (Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi)

via [reddit, Refresher]


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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