Ben Foster takes the reins as Lance Armstrong in Stephen Frears’ biopic, The Program, delivering a captivating performance that is enhanced by the actor’s scarily similar physical appearance to the disgraced cyclist.

To celebrate its release of The Program, we’re taking a look at other actors who have transformed into uncanny resemblances of characters…

Ben Foster – The Program (2015)
It is remarkable what a shave and a bit of hair-dye can do for a person. In Ben Foster’s case it transformed him from a blonde haired, bearded, 34 year-old into a spitting image of Lance Armstrong. The combination of his strikingly similar looks and his method approach to the subject (he actually took performance-enhancing drugs) allowed Foster to portray an eerily impressive representation of the fallen hero.

Johnny Depp – Black Mass (2015)
Johnny Depp put in an almost completely unrecognisable performance as mobster James “Whitey” Bulger in Scott Cooper’s biopic Black Mass. Hidden under an array of prosthetics and make-up, Depp transformed into a stunningly accurate visual representation of the infamous criminal. His makeover was seemingly ugly enough to generate early Oscar hype but recently failed to garner any Academy recognition, leaving Depp still struggling to revive his once reputable career.

Johnny Depp

Charlize Theron – Monster (2003)
The exceptionally beautiful former model, Charlize Theron, underwent a shocking physical alteration in preparation for her role as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Patty Jenkins’ film Monster. Packing on 30 pounds was just the start for Theron as she also donned fake dentures, shaved eyebrows, and masses of splotchy make-up in order to match Wuornos’ appearance. Her terrifyingly unidentifiable performance paid off when she was awarded an Oscar for best actress.

Charlize Theron

Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn (2011)
It is never going to be an easy task when you are playing a character as famous and loved as Marilyn Monroe. Michelle Williams took on the burden by completely submerging herself in the character. Williams studied Monroe’s entire career to learn her mannerisms and, with the help of a wig and fake mole, produced a picture perfect copy of the legendary star that was worthy of Academy recognition.

Michelle Williams

Seth Rogan – Steve Jobs (2015)
With Jonah Hill starting to make a name for himself in serious dramas, it seemed inevitable that his stoner pal Seth Rogan would follow suit. Rogan enters the world of drama in Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs with a solid performance that was entirely enhanced by the fact he looks exceedingly similar to the real life character he plays, Steve Wozniak. Who knows, maybe we will see him in the next Tarantino film, or perhaps working alongside Leonardo DiCaprio.

Seth Rogan

Phillip Seymour Hoffman – Capote (2005)
The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman gave an astounding performance as Truman Capote in the adaptation of Gerald Clarke’s book. While it is undeniable that Hoffman managed to look the part, Clark also stated that he was more like Capote on screen than Capote was in real life. Bringing the whole package of looks and acting to the piece, Hoffman successfully managed a ground-breaking performance that leaves you wondering whether or not you are watching an actor or the real person.

Philip Seymour Hoffman2

LA’s Fitness – The Program – Infographic

Lance Armstrong Infographic

THE PROGRAM is on digital platforms, Blu-ray and DVD NOW, courtesy of StudioCanal.

Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham is the founder and owner of the Blazing Minds. She is also a Cinema reviewer, based at the Scala in Prestatyn and at the many Cineworld screens, where she reviews the latest movies, she has also had several articles published in various publications. In 2015 she became an Award Winning Blogger and also has her website listed as one of the UK's Top 10 Film Blogs.
Karen Woodham
Karen Woodham