PHOTO BY: David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images; Greig Fraser/Annapurna Pictures
Vice President Dick Cheney; Christian Bale as Cheney
Christian Bale as Dick Cheney
En español | To play Dick Cheney, 77, in Vice (Dec. 25), Christian Bale, 44, exercised to build up his neck and ate to gain 40 pounds, making him at least 100 pounds heavier than he was playing a skinny insomniac in 2004’s The Machinist.
PHOTO BY: Michael Montfort/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Alex Bailey/Twentieth Century Fox
Queen front man Freddie Mercury; Rami Malek as Mercury
Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury
With an overbite prosthesis and uncanny physical and emotional mimickry, Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) looks more like Freddie Mercury than he does like Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody (Nov. 2), the biopic about the rock band Queen. He will rock you! And maybe also Oscar voters.
Children's TV pioneer Mr. Rogers; Tom Hanks as Rogers
Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers
You Are My Friend (Oct. 2019), about the late children’s entertainer Fred Rogers, Tom Hanks, 62, plays the host of the iconic kids’ TV show Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Compare him with the real Mister Rogers in the 2018 documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, the highest-grossing biographical documentary of all time. It's also likely to win this year’s Oscar for Best Documentary.
PHOTO BY: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States/Focus Features; Focus Features
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her college yearbook photo; Felicity Jones as Bader Ginsburg
Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The Theory of Everything star and Oxford grad Felicity Jones plays Harvard-trained Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, in On the Basis of Sex (Dec. 25), about the gender-discrimination case that made young Ginsburg famous. This year’s Ginsburg film, RBG, is one of this year's highest-grossing independent films.
PHOTO BY: Getty Images; Frank Masi/Sony Pictures
Senator and former presidential candidate Gary Hart; Hugh Jackman as Hart
Hugh Jackman as Gary Hart
The Front Runner (Nov. 6) — about the abrupt 1987 tumble of Gary Hart, 81, from probable president to sex scandal casualty aboard the bad ship Monkey Business — Hugh Jackman, 50, gets a whole new big-haired look.
PHOTO BY: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images; Lily Gavin/CBS Films
Portrait of artist Vincent Van Gogh; Willem Dafoe as Van Gogh
Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh
Willem Dafoe, 63, looks amazingly like the one-eared post-Impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh at the peak of his genius and madness in At Eternity's Gate (Nov. 16), a rapturously smart film by famous painter turned Oscar-nominated director Julian Schnabel, 67.
PHOTO BY: Hulton Archive/Getty Images; Andrew Cooper/Sony Pictures
Actress and model Sharon Tate; Margot Robbie as Tate
Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate
Margot Robbie captures Sharon Tate’s radiant blonde glamour in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (July 2019) by Quentin Tarantino, 55. She looks more like her than Kate Bosworth and Hilary Duff, who play the doomed actress in the forthcoming films Tate and The Haunting of Sharon Tate. Robbie also plays Queen Elizabeth I in the Oscar hopeful Mary Queen of Scots (Dec. 7), even though she doesn’t look a thing like Helen Mirren.
PHOTO BY: Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Sony Pictures Classics
Oliver Hardy; John C. Reilly as Hardy
John C. Reilly as Oliver Hardy
In the sweet, warm bromance Stan & Ollie (Dec. 28), John C. Reilly, 53, plays 300-pound clown Oliver Hardy, who made more than 100 movies with his skinny bestie Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan, 53). The film goes from their 1930s heyday to their melancholy 1953 stage tour of the U.K. in their sixties.
PHOTO BY: Michael Putland/Getty Images; David Appleby/Paramount Pictures
Sir Elton John; Taron Egerton as John
Taron Egerton as Sir Elton John
How did Taron Egerton do such a good job of becoming Elton John, 71, in the biopic Rocketman (May 2019)? Partly, the clothes (big specs, gold lamé jacket, high-heeled shoes with golden wings) make the man. Also, Egerton got to study John’s mannerisms when they acted together in 2017’s Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
PHOTO BY: Getty Images; David Lee/Focus Features
KKK Grand Wizard David Duke; Topher Grace as Duke
Topher Grace as David Duke
Granted, in BlackKklansman (in theaters now), when Topher Grace plays former KKK Grand Wizard turned politician David Duke in the 1970s, he just looks like a movie star in a three-piece suit. But dapper Duke (whom the film depicts getting duped by an undercover black detective pretending to be white to investigate the KKK) really did look like a movie star in a three-piece suit.