7 Oscar-Worthy Movie Transformations That Will Astound You In 2015
As much as it pains me to admit this, the Oscar winners are easier to predict than you might think. The Academy is made up of an older crowd of voters, all of whom have made their specific interests clear: historical biopics, extreme weight loss/gain, powerful portrayals of LGBT/underdogs/the oppressed are shoe-ins to catch their attention. But more often than not, the Academy is always apt to change focus when they see actors undergoing intense transformations.
Both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto became unrecognizable in Dallas Buyers Club , and they both took home Oscars. Eddie Redmayne underwent a total physical transformation in portraying the ALS-stricken Stephen Hawking, and he won Best Actor at the ceremony earlier this year. As we look ahead at the films coming out in 2015, we're already starting to see some of the early awards hopefuls kicking off production. We know the 2016 Oscars are a long way off, but it's never too early to start thinking about who might be up for consideration. Even if these actors never get nominated by the Academy, though, their on-screen transformations will blow you away.
1. Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl
You've gotta admire Redmayne's stamina and dedication. It's only been a couple months since he won Best Actor for The Theory of Everything, and he's already back to work on his next big effort, The Danish Girl . Telling the story of Einar Wegener's historic journey to become one of the world's first transgender women, the film reunites Redmayne with his Les Miserables director Tom Hooper and sets the young actor in the lead role.
2. Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw
Gyllenhaal was honored with a Golden Globe nomination early this year for his work on Nightcrawler, but he ultimately lost that one to Redmayne and he was snubbed from the Oscars. Will Southpaw be able to turn things around? The Academy loves actors who bleed for their art — more so if they actually bleed — and the 34-year-old must have suffered greatly in order to get those stacks-on-stacks-on-stacks of abs. Here you can see Gyllenhaal as a prized boxing champion. "We literally turned him into a beast," director Antoine Fuqua told Deadline a while back. "I’m confident that this will change how people see Jake, as a leading man."
3. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Snowden
JGL may be producing and starring in the live-action Fraggle Rock movie, but he's got some serious acting chops under his belt. He's ready to flaunt them when he debuts his performance as controversial figure Edward Snowden in Oliver Stone's upcoming biopic. Our first look at the star in action was released by the studio earlier this month, giving us a preview of the life the whistle-blower led before infamously making headlines. Snowden will be released this December, a perfect time to be considered for Oscar season.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
Fifth time's the charm, right DiCaprio? The poor guy can't catch a break when it comes to the Oscars. He's been nominated four times in the past for Best Actor — for What's Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator, Blood Diamond and The Wolf of Wall Street — and one other nomination he shared as a producer on 2013's Martin Scorsese pic. This year saw his fellow Oscar snub Julianne Moore finally winning a statuette, so will this year be the year DiCaprio breaks his cycle? Take a look at him as the burly mountain man in The Revenant (which, by the way, is being directed by this year's Best Director Alejandro González Iñárritu). He looks like he's ready to pounce on that Oscar as his character is ready to pounce on those who left him for dead.
5. Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs
The upcoming Steve Jobs biopic (or, rather, one of the upcoming biopics) has gone through a tumultuous pre-pre-production process. Christian Bale was originally courted for the title role of Apple's famous co-founder, while Gone Girl helmer David Fincher was in talks to direct. However, both of them parted ways, Bale shortly after he found out Fincher wasn't going to be involved. That left room for Danny Boyle to plant himself in the director's seat and the talented Michael Fassbender to step into Jobs' shoes. We haven't seen anything official from the production so far, but we have spotted the X-Men star in character on set. And he looks remarkable, especially next to Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak.
6. Miles Teller in Bleed for This
After breaking out in The Spectacular Now, Miles Teller has been cultivating a slew of film gigs that have been skyrocketing him to stardom. We've seen him wow us in the Oscar-winning Whiplash , we've seen him grapple with Tris in the Divergent movies and we've already previewed his turn as Mr. Fantastic in the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. But now he's got Man of Steel-worthy abs, and it's all for his latest role. He revealed his glistening muscles on a recent episode of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and the audience applauded his drastic change. Pretty soon, we all will.
7. Jason Segel in The End of The Tour
By the end of this year's Sundance Film Festival, the name on everybody's lips was Jason Segel. Critics who have seen his turn as celebrated author David Foster Wallace in The End of the Tour have praised the actor for delivering his finest performance yet. His resemblance to the man who was hailed as the best modern writer is uncanny, although its his delivery that's been titillating the film festival circuit. Segel has never won an Oscar before, neither has he been nominated. I don't want to place bets, but...he's definitely an early contender.
Images: Focus Features; The Weinstein Co.; Open Road Films; 20th Century Fox; Getty Images; A24 Films