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20 Biopics Where The Actor Looked Nothing Like the Celebrity

Top left: Tina Turner; Bottom right, Angela Bassett in a scene from "What's Love Got to Do With It?"

Top left: Tina Turner; Bottom right, Angela Bassett in a scene from “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”

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

L to R: T-Boz, Drew Sidora. Photo Credit: FanPop

Left, T-Boz; Right, Drew Sidora. Photo Credit: FanPop

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.

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  1. Pingback: » Movie Review – Elizabeth: The Golden Age Fernby Films - July 15, 2014

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