Beastly Star Alex Pettyfer and More Hot Stars Gone Ugly For Roles

Burberry model-turned-actor Alex Pettyfer shows an unsightly side of himself in the new movie Beastly. From Johnny Depp's cutting look in Edward Scissorhands to Gerard Butler's mask-worthy face in The Phantom of the Opera, see the sexiest stars in their un-sexiest roles.

Everett Collection,Takashi Seida

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Alex Pettyfer in Beastly

Burberry model-turned-actor Alex Pettyfer finds himself cursed without hair and covered in tattoos after he runs afoul of his prep school’s resident witch (Mary-Kate Olsen) in Beastly, which hits theaters this weekend. The modern telling of the classic Beauty and the Beast has Pettyfer’s character seeking love in order to break the witch’s spell—enter High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens. For his transformation from beautiful 20 year old to ghastly onscreen outsider, Pettyfer shaved his head and underwent a daily six-hour uglification process. “Four and a half hours to put on the prosthetics, and one and a half to take them off,” he told Teen Vogue. “We basically came up with this concept that everything that he thought was ugly on a person would come out in him,” Pettyfer added to, noting his character’s disgust early on in the film about a peer’s face tattoo.

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Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands

This uglified character is likely responsible for more teenage crushes than any other. Tim Burton gave Johnny Depp a makeover for 1990’s Edward Scissorhands, replete with pasty makeup, massive black hair, and, of course, shears instead of fingers. Depp plays the title character, who is the invention of a mad scientist who died before completing his project, leaving Edward without human hands. An Avon saleswoman (Dianne Wiest) takes him in and eventually, Edward falls in love with her daughter (Winona Ryder) before being chased back to his castle by intolerant townsfolk. “I’m lucky,” Depp told CBS’ Early Show. “I feel like the suit, the makeup, the hands, being bound up like that and sort of restricted in a lot of ways helped me to find what I ultimately found, which was the character.” On Arsenio Hall, he explained why he related to Edward. “I think it’s a pretty universal thing… It’s the feeling of not being able to fit in.”

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Mel Gibson in The Man Without a Face

Mel Gibson now probably has firsthand knowledge about living in hiding, feeling misunderstood and hated. But he got his initial insight into those emotions in his 1993 directorial debut The Man Without a Face, in which Gibson also starred as Justin McLeod, a former teacher living as a recluse after being badly maimed in a car accident that killed his student. Accused of pedophilia, McLeod is exiled to another town, where he’s treated with suspicion by everyone, except the one student he’s tutoring. In a particularly dramatic scene, the alienated and frustrated McLeod asks, “Is this what you see? I assure you, it is human. But if that's all you see, then you don't see me. You can't see me!” Gibson said wearing the makeup McLeod required was unpleasant. “It took a while. You know, they had to glue that thing on. What a pain in the neck… literally,” he said. “It’s a real drag sitting there, getting stuff glued on you… You could lose your mind.” How prophetic.

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Robert De Niro in Frankenstein

Though he was typecast as a good-looking New York gangster throughout the 1970s and '80s, Robert De Niro took a career turn to play Mary Shelley’s patchwork monster in the 1994 film version. The movie may have received mixed reviews, but De Niro’s depiction of the Creature—featuring a face full of bloody stitches— was lauded across the board. His commitment to looking frightening also helped Frankenstein nab an Academy Award nomination for Best Makeup and the praise of The New York Times. “Mr. De Niro's appearance is transfixingly bizarre, aided by astonishing makeup effects and the actor's own physical transformation into a grieving, lumbering outsider,” Janet Maslin reviewed.

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Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky

In Cameron Crowe’s 2001 thriller Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise plays David Aames, a cocky boy wonder, strutting around New York and sleeping with the city’s beautiful women. When a psychotic ex drives him off a bridge, leaving him horribly disfigured, he soon discovers he doesn’t have anything without his face. Aames goes about buying his face back, but spends part of this trippy Cameron Crowe film wearing a waxy mask. For heartthrob Cruise, Aames’ development wasn’t only about the physical. “I’m not a fan of movies where something happens physically and the whole movie is about the affliction,” the star told MIT’s The Tech. “You start to go right past whatever physical affliction is present, and you see what’s going on in the person, and that’s a great thing. That’s why I made the movie.”

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Gerard Butler in The Phantom of the Opera

Now action star and Aniston ex Gerard Butler plays one of the most famous deformed characters of all time: The Phantom of the Opera in Joel Schumacher’s 2004 film adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic. With half of his face covered by a white mask, Butler’s character—a musical genius—haunts the Paris Opera. In a series of flashbacks, the audience learns the Phantom’s mangled face was responsible for him being tortured and exploited as a child, but Butler found a brightside in the mask. “You have to understand the advantages of that mask insomuch as it's something to hide behind and it's also a very powerful thing to behold,” Butler told the BBC. “You use it like a tool to help you become the character… He wants to present the most intimidating and sexy exterior he can.”

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Eric Stoltz in Mask

In the 1985 movie Mask, Eric Stoltz dared to play Rocky Dennis, a real-life American boy who had an extremely rare brain deformity that bloated and elongated his face. The film, which also starred Cher as Rocky’s drug-addicted mom, followed the congenial teenager as he gradually overcame the trepidation of his high school classmates and fell in love with a blind girl who couldn’t see his deformities. In one scene, Rocky explains, “Don’t worry… I look weird, but otherwise I'm real normal. Everything'll be cool.” Though he had previously played one of Sean Penn’s shirtless stoner friends in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, it was his transformation in Mask that earned Stoltz a Golden Globe nomination and the makeup team an Academy Award.

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Liam Neeson in Darkman

Liam Neeson played the tormented Peyton Westlake, who is hideously burned in an assassination attempt, in Sam Raimi’s 1990 cult hit Darkman. But when the radical treatment he receives enhances his strength and makes him unable to feel pain, Westlake decides to use his new powers to take revenge on the criminals who injured him. Neeson spent the majority of the film in a dark trench coat with his disfigured face covered in ragged bandages and a fedora atop his head. He recalled the role being fun, but “very, very hard work because of wearing the prosthetic pieces every day, which took three, or four hours to put on” in an interview. But Darkman also challenged Neeson to achieve a difficult equilibrium. “ Darkman requires an imposing presence and a bruised soul,” The A.V. Club reviewed, “and there are very few actors, now or then, that can embody both at once.”