Effective actress should make full use of their bodies and feelings to produce a performance that can communicate an idea to audiences. Those who are truly talented, on the other hand, manage to make audiences feel and connect with the character they created. And the true sign of an exceptional actors is being able to properly play a character, regardless of age, nationality, language, or even gender.
Learn & Earn wants to introduce you to 10 of these exceptionally good actresses who played male characters on the big screen. And they did it so well, you may not have even realized the character was played by a woman.
1. Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena
Thanks to that role, in 2000, Hilary Swank was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe, winning both for her performance in Boys Don’t Cry in the category of “Best Actress.” The story focuses on the life of Brandon Teena, a character played by Swank, who is forced to flee to a town in Nebraska as a transgendered man. The movie has been acclaimed by critics and has been considered one of the best movies of the year.
2. Gwyneth Paltrow as Viola de Lesseps
In 1998 Shakespeare fell in Love with Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes. The film won 7 Academy Awards and 3 Golden Globes. Paltrow played Viola de Lesseps, a character who disguises herself as Thomas Kent to impress Shakespeare because, back in the daytime, women were not allowed to go on stage to perform in plays of theater. The actress received an Oscar, a Golden Globe and two SAG Awards for her excellent performance in this movie.
3. Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt
In 2010 salt came out and starred Angelina Jolie. The story revolves around Evelyn Salt, an on-run CIA agent accused of spying on behalf of the KGB. She uses all her skills to prove her innocence including disguising herself as a male colonel.
4. Kathy Burke as Perry
Kevin & Perry Go Large is a 2000-year-old comedy in which Kathy Burke played Perry, one of the male leads. The film received critics good and bad reviews but is recognized for its excellent soundtrack.
5. Mariah Carey
Obsessed is a song from the twelfth album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, by Mariah Carey. The singer said this was one of her favorite compositions, adding it was inspired by the Mean Girls movie (she is a big fan). The video clip portrays Carey as a woman and a stalker who follows her all over. Carey also plays the stalker.
6. Blanca Portillo as Friar Emilio Bocanegra
In the film, Alatriste which came out in 2006, Blanca Portillo played Friar Emilio Bocanegra.
7. Cate Blanchett as Jude Quinn
I’m Not A 2007 film based on the life story of Bob Dylan. The performance of Cate Blanchett has earned her an Oscar nomination, a nomination for the SAG Award, a nomination for the BAFTA, and a Golden Globe nomination. She finished on winning the Golden Globes Best Supporting Actress.
8. Linda Hunt as Billy Kwan
The Year of Living Dangerously is a 1982 film in which Billy Kwan played Linda Hunt. She dyed her hair for this part and plucked her eyebrows to look like a guy. Her performance won her a “Best Supporting Actress” Oscar in 1983.
9. Amanda Bynes as Sebastian Hastings
She’s the Man is a 2006 teenage film based on the Twelfth Night, play by William Shakespeare. Bynes has played Viola Hastings in this film, pretending to be her brother, Sebastian, playing soccer while he’s on a London trip.
10. Elle Fanning as Ray
As suggested by the name, the 2015 drama, 3 Generations, presents the story of 3 generations of women. Elle Fanning plays Ray, a teenager who undergoes a gender transition, forever changing family routine and expectations.
Have you recognized these male actresses in their performances? Would you like us to write an article about those actors who played female characters successfully? Let us know, in the section on the comments! You may know someone we should have included in this list too.