Embarking on a Hollywood journey can be a wild adventure, full of unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes, to achieve stardom and wealth, actors must delve into the shadowy depths – or at least portray characters who do.
You’d be amazed to discover that many famous TV stars and comedic maestros once brought major villains, adversaries, and downright wicked characters to life in other shows and movies. It’s incredible how easily we overlook these roles. So, let’s pause for a moment to recognize and celebrate these performances that leave us stunned. Make sure to pick your favorite mind-blowing transformation!”
1. Hannah Waddingham – From Shame Nun To Team Leader
During her stint on Game of Thrones, actress Hannah Waddingham left a lasting impression as Septa Unella, also known as the Shame Nun. Remember that scene where she made Cersei Lannister strut through King’s Landing stark naked while ringing a bell and repeating “Shame… shame… shame”? Yeah, that was her.
But now, in her role on Ted Lasso, Waddingham takes on a completely different character named Rebecca Welton. She portrays a former team owner who used to be consumed by bitterness and revenge. However, thanks to the influence of the ever-optimistic and kind-hearted Ted, she gradually transforms into a friendlier and more understanding person.
2. Aya Cash – From Sinister Superhero To Small-Town Reporter
Aya Cash, the talented actress, has had quite the range in her roles. In the quirky comedy Welcome to Flatch, she portrays a small-town newspaper editor. However, before that, she donned a cape and embraced a rather terrible ideology on The Boys.
Her character, Stormfront, is portrayed as a “hero” who is just as deranged as Homelander. Her dark actions from the past ultimately lead to her downfall.
3. Kristen Bell – From Spotlight Stealer To Former Horrible Human
When The Good Place begins, Eleanor Shellstrop isn’t exactly the sweetest person on the planet. But witnessing her transformation into an extraordinary human being is one of the most delightful aspects of watching the show from start to finish.
But let’s not forget that before she soared to greatness, Kristen Bell portrayed a rebellious burlesque dancer with a knack for hogging the limelight in the fun and flashy movie Burlesque, featuring Christina Aguilera and Cher.
4. Jean Smart – From The Head Of A Crime Family To Vegas Superstar
Jean Smart, who gained fame from her time on the hit sitcom Designing Women in the 1980s, has been making waves on television with her recent notable roles. One of these standout performances is her portrayal of Floyd Gerhardt in Fargo, where she portrays the fierce and calculating matriarch of the Gerhardt crime family.
Floyd Gerhardt is a character who stops at nothing to achieve her goals, even resorting to violence when necessary. This compelling role led to Smart receiving an Emmy nomination for her outstanding performance. However, it was her later role as Deborah Vance, a stand-up comedian and headliner in Las Vegas, in the show Hacks that ultimately earned her the coveted Emmy award.
5. Jennifer Aniston – From Annoying Big Sister To Small-Screen Icon
Before Jennifer Aniston became a national obsession with her iconic haircut, she played the role of Jeanie, Ferris Bueller’s irritating sister on the small screen. Jeanie’s sole purpose in life was to get her brother into trouble. Unfortunately, the series didn’t stick around for too long.
However, after a couple of years, Aniston made a comeback in a different role. This time, she captivated audiences as Rachel Green. Who could forget that memorable moment when she stormed into Central Perk wearing a wedding dress?
6. Max Greenfield – From Assistant From Hell To A One-Name Wonder
Before settling down in a cool loft in downtown Los Angeles alongside his interesting group of friends, Max Greenfield had a rather mischievous role as assistant Nick Pepper, the irritating troublemaker on Ugly Betty.
However, fast forward a few years and he transformed into primetime’s lovable jerk with a hidden soft side, Schmidt, on New Girl.
7. David Tennant – The Good Doctor Goes From Mind-Controlling Mega-Villain To Demon With A Heart Of Gold
David Tennant is widely recognized for his portrayal of the 10th Doctor on Doctor Who. However, he managed to captivate audiences in a different way with his spine-chilling performance as Kilgrave in Jessica Jones. Kilgrave, a villain with extraordinary mind-control abilities, left viewers thoroughly terrified.
But fear not! Tennant was able to redeem himself and return to the realm of heroes with his role as the demon Crowley in Good Omens. His portrayal of Crowley brought him back to the good side and reminded us of his true talents.
8. Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris, known for his role as Barney in How I Met Your Mother, has proven time and again that he shines when he embraces his darker side. One notable instance was in the movie Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, where he revealed a different aspect of his talent. Another striking example was his portrayal of Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events, where he underwent a remarkable transformation with the help of prosthetics to bring the villainous character to life. In both these projects, Harris showcased his ability to captivate audiences with his portrayal of dark and complex characters.
9. Kaley Cuoco – From Twisted Twin To Fighting Crime In The Sky
We all have to start somewhere, right? Well, for Kaley Cuoco, the talented star of Big Bang Theory, her journey began with voicing the character of Kirstee Tweevil in a not-so-great kids’ show called Bratz.
But hey, things turned out pretty well for her! That small gig opened doors to bigger and more exciting projects. You might have heard of them: The Big Bang Theory and the popular HBO series, The Flight Attendant.
In fact, Kaley’s remarkable performance in The Flight Attendant earned her an Emmy nomination. Pretty impressive, huh? She’s definitely come a long way since her days as the voice of a Bratz vixen.
10. John Malkovich – From Psycho On The Run To Annoyed Scientist
In the movie Con Air, John Malkovich portrayed the cunning criminal Cyrus “The Virus” Grissom, who pulls off a daring airplane hijacking. Fast forward twenty-five years, and Malkovich sheds his orange jumpsuit for a more sophisticated look in the show Space Force. He now sports a tan blazer and a beard, playing the role of Dr. Adrian Mallory, a scientist who ironically opposes the department he is a part of.
11. Asa Butterfield – From Pint-Sized Potential Threat To Bewildered High Schooler
In the show Merlin, Asa Butterfield portrayed the character of young Mordred. He played Merlin’s legendary foe, who initially started as a druid but eventually chose to go against Arthur and Merlin.
However, in the series Sex Education, Butterfield took on a completely different role. He left behind his robes and transformed into Otis, an awkward teenager trying to navigate the challenges that arise from his mother’s unconventional profession.