In light of recent news that Zendaya will be starring as Aaliyah (even though filming may be cancelled anyway), and the fact that people think Zendaya shouldn’t portray the icon because “she doesn’t look like her,” I decided to create a list of biopics–all of which I have seen–where the actors didn’t look like their characters in the least bit, yet still managed to pull it off.
1.) Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It?
2.) Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in jOBS
3.) Halle Berry as Dorothy Dandridge in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
4.) Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant III in Fruitvale Station
5.) Salma Hayek as Frida Kahlo in Frida
6.) Millie Perkins as Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank
7.) Angela Bassett as Voletta Wallace, Derek Luke as Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Antonique Smith as Faith Evans, Naturi Naughton as Li’l Kim and Anthony Mackie as Tupac in Notorious
8.) Leon as Little Richard in Little Richard
9.) Jennifer Lopez as Selena Quintanilla-Pérez in Selena
10.) Denzel Washington as Malcolm X in Malcolm X
11.) Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I in Elizabeth (and Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
12.) Diana Ross as Billie Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues
13.) Drew Sidora as T-Boz in CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story
14.) Angela Bassett as Rosa Parks in The Rosa Parks Story
15.) Lou Diamond Phillips as Ritchie Valens in La Bamba
16.) Will Smith as Muhammad Ali in Ali
17.) Angelina Jolie as Gia Carangi in Gia
18.) Jim Caviezel as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ
19.) Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela in Winnie
20.) Angela Bassett as Katherine Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream
The way I see it, Zendaya is in good company.