[[quoteright:350:[[Music/MariahCarey http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_mariah-carey-29_6061.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:From this...]]
[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/{{Push}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mariah-carey-precious.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:...to this.]]

->''An actress known to be good-looking who plays a role which calls for her to indulge in a makeup that makes her look homely usually gets flattering notices from the reviewers, even if her performance isn't worth a nickel[.]''
-->-- '''George Jean Nathan'''

An actor or actress known for their physical beauty being altered by makeup and prosthetics to play an unattractive or even ugly character, usually as OscarBait. This doesn't cover really deformed or monstrous characters like Freddy Krueger or Quasimodo; that would be TheGrotesque.

Note: This is different from HollywoodHomely, where, an actor or actress will be "plained down" with unflattering clothing or hairstyle, glasses, a better-looking sibling, crippling shyness hiding their looks or so on, but the result is only (maybe) average-looking by non-Hollywood standards. A Hollywood Homely character can quite easily be changed in-story to the actor's normal appearance for a BeautifulAllAlong reveal. This trope, instead, is when the actor uses makeup or prosthetics to change the look of their face to match the expectations and image of the character.

This trope usually happens in biopics and serious dramas, and covers attractive actors playing below average-looking characters (or real people), and there is a definite effort to not only play down but deliberately counteract the actor's usual good looks. Since most Hollywood actors tend to be very attractive, it's an interesting challenge for them to portray a {{Gonk}}.

If they're playing outright [[OurMonstersAreDifferent monsters]] who are usually portrayed as ugly, this may result in a GorgeousGorgon.

See also DyeingForYourArt, which generally covers actors who change their appearance for their roles. Contrast with AdaptationalAttractiveness.
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!! Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In-universe, unusually justified example: In ''ComicBook/{{Passionella}}'' by Jules Feiffer, Passionella, having achieved success as a movie star, decides to make a more realistic movie where she plays a non-beautiful, unglamorous, chimney sweep. All of her scenes in the movie are shot during the day, where all her previous glamorous roles could only be filmed at night, because she only transforms into a beautiful, glamorous movie star in the evening. She wins the Best Actress Oscar, of course.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Creator/CharlizeTheron as Aileen Wuornos in ''Film/{{Monster}}''. The actress [[DyeingForYourArt gained between 25 and 30 pounds]], shaved her eyebrows, and wore prosthetic teeth. As such, she looked completely unrecognizable in character and got the Best Actress Oscar in a walk.
* SalmaHayek as Frida Kahlo in ''Film/{{Frida}}''. To play Kahlo, Hayek either used make-up or grew out her own mustache and unibrow.
* Creator/NicoleKidman wore a prosthetic nose to play Virginia Woolf in ''Film/TheHours''.
* Creator/EmmaThompson in ''NannyMcPhee''.
* Creator/TomCruise wears a baldcap and a fatsuit in ''Film/TropicThunder''.
* ''Film/BeingJohnMalkovich'':
** Creator/CameronDiaz wears frumpy clothes and frizzy hair.
** Creator/JohnCusack in that same movie also does not look too attractive with his greasy hair and unclean skin, descending into seediness at the midpoint of the film.
* Creator/BradPitt at his homeliest (with the exception of ''Film/TheCuriousCaseOfBenjaminButton'', where he was aged up considerably) was in ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'' -- didn't use prosthetics, but gave the character a lazy eye and unflattering hairstyle.
* [[http://www.themakeupgallery.info/character/fat/obese/shallow.htm Gwyneth Paltrow, the actress who played her mother]], and [[http://www.themakeupgallery.info/character/plain/fugly/shallowbb.htm Brooke Burns]] in ''Film/ShallowHal.'' When the movie got flak for casting such a thin woman as a heavy character, the director defended himself by noting that the concept called for her to be attractively thin through most of the movie -- Paltrow could fat up while a heavy actress could not thin down. The result is a movie littered with bad fat jokes... about the smoking hot Paltrow.
* Almost all the women in the movie version of ''Literature/{{Push}}''. Music/MariahCarey (Precious' social worker, pictured above) is the most obvious example, but the lead actress Gabourey Sidibe was also made to look larger using unflattering clothes.
** MariahCarey doesn't look too good in her role as the titular character's mother in ''Film/TheButler'', either.
* Creator/ReneeZellweger in the ''Literature/BridgetJones'' film series. Now imagine, gaining weight to play a character, then losing it after you're done shooting the movie, then having to ''regain'' your weight to replay that character. Never mind the gap, but... Fat rebound effect much?
* Creator/SharonStone in ''Film/AlphaDog'', where she uses a fatsuit in an interview [[spoiler:held years after her only son was killed.]]
* Creator/JohnnyDepp had his head shaved (''by Creator/HunterSThompson'') and wore huge glasses in Creator/TerryGilliam's ''{{Literature/Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas}}''. BenicioDelToro just put up a lot of weight and a leatherman's moustache. They both looked quite unspectacular in result. But it was the brilliant acting that made them truly offputting.
* Creator/HeathLedger as SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker in ''Film/TheDarkKnight''.
** Played with by Creator/TomHardy in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''. While Bane's mask, bald head, wrecked skin, and grotesquely musclar body make him anything but attractive, Hardy's naturally handsome face still allows us to immediately identify him in a flashback as [[spoiler:the prisoner who helps Talia escape.]]
* Creator/JudeLaw played a slimy, gaunt, brown-toothed, heavily balding photographer/assassin in ''Film/RoadToPerdition'' with [[spoiler: disfiguring facial scars in the end]]. Like in ''Literature/AnnaKarenina'' he made himself balding, grew a big beard, and gave hims spectacles and wrinkles to make himself look older and unattractive. And in ''{{Contagion}}'' he has snaggle-teeth to point out that he's the bad guy.
* Gloria Swanson in ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'' had to look more aged as Norma Desmond than she did in RealLife.
* The handsome, elegant Dame Judi Dench playing the haggard spinster Barbara Covett in ''NotesOnAScandal''.
* [[http://www.joblo.com/images_arrownews/ElizabethBanks288.jpg This]] is Creator/ElizabethBanks. [[http://www.horror-asylum.com/news/pics/elizabeth-banks-and-jennifer-lawrence.jpg This]] is Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket in ''Film/TheHungerGames'', under ten tons of makeup to bring out her wrinkles and make her look more like Joan Rivers than a 37-year-old woman has any business looking.
* Blake Lively in ''Film/TheTown'' looks convincingly unglamorous and disheveled, sporting ratty clothes, cheap makeup, and noticeable cuts and bruises on her body looking about as far removed from ''{{Gossip Girl}}'' as its possible to get.
* [=AnnaLynne McCord=] in ''Film/{{Excision}}'' not only wears no makeup, but has acne scars and badly damaged hair, and looks far less attractive than the blonde bombshell that [=McCord=] is in real life.
* The normally very beautiful Lena Headey sports some very nasty looking facial scars, cracked lips and bad teeth in ''Film/{{Dredd}}'' while playing former prostitute turned drug baron Mama.
* Missi Pyle as Fran Stalinovskovichdavidovitchsky in ''Film/DodgeballATrueUnderdogStory''. Of course, this doesn't stop Owen from falling in love with her. In the epilogue, she is shown to be [[Main/ProgressivelyPrettier substantially more attractive]], though.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Big Rhonda on ''Series/That70sShow''. The actress who plays her appeared out of costume in a flash forward once, and looked nothing like Big Rhonda.
* Ana Maria Orozco, the original Betty in ''YoSoyBettyLaFea'', especially when compared with her [[UglyBetty Anglo counterpart]] who was HollywoodHomely at worst. The Colombian producers went the whole nine yards on transforming Orozco: no makeup, bad haircut, the ugliest glasses possible, orthodontics... they even hired an expert to choose specifically the most unflattering colors and styles to dress her, then the writers incorporated that knowledge on the script to justify and explain her eventual makeover and her business plan.
* Creator/AmySedaris is another comedian who is attractive in real life, yet prefers playing unattractive characters. The Creator/DavidSedaris essay "Shiner Like A Diamond" noted how she is easily the most attractive member of the family, yet all her life she enjoyed hiding it under wigs and prosthetics. She has said in interviews as well that she's never comfortable doing straight-up sexy, she can't help but add some sort of goofy element to it.
** Don't forget her "fatty suit".
* HelenaBonhamCarter as Morgan in ''Film/{{Merlin}}''. In the first act she is a homely girl with a lazy eye and pigtails, but uses magic to make herself beautiful in order to trip up Arthur. [[spoiler: At the end [[ThisWasHerTrueForm her magic slips away and she is homely again]].]]
* Angela Bettis as the title character in the [[MadeForTVMovie TV remake]] of ''{{Carrie}}''. Drab clothes, messy hair and something about not washing her face or anything definitely hid any beauty that she had, making it that much more special when [[SheCleansUpNicely she went to the prom]].
* Some well-applied zombie makeup was enough to make the incredibly handsome JamieBamber look utterly horrible during a guest stint on GhostWhisperer. There's also his appearance on {{House}}, where he starts out looking like his usual gorgeous self, but his looks worsen as his condition does--yellowing skin, bulging eyes, etc--until finally, the site of him laying on a bed wearing nothing but boxer shorts is completely undercut by the fact ''his skin is peeling off''. Quite jarring considering that he's usually MrFanservice in whatever he's starring in.
* Most of the women on ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'' are made to look a lot uglier than they actually are using a combination of unflattering hairstyles, minimal makeup (with the exception of a few characters) and the ill-fitting prison uniforms.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theater ]]

* Any actress who plays the Witch in ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'' until the end of the first act. The ultimate example may be Bernadette Peters from the original Broadway production.
* As well as the actors who play the title character in ''ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', most of whom are quite handsome in RealLife.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the Ember Island Play in "WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender", this is taken to the max, since every single actor playing one of the show's main characters is less attractive than the real person.

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