The Toronto Film Festival is your chance to see A-list movie stars wandering the streets, but it’s also an opportunity to see them really flex their acting muscles. Often, TIFF films push the boundaries, and force actors to step out of their comfort zone.
Here are 11 actors who you won’t even recognize in their most recent roles.
11 actors you seriously won’t even recognize in their TIFF roles
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)Fresh off his Oscar-winning transformation in The Theory of Everything—a crowd favourite at last year's festival—Eddie Redmayne goes even further playing Lili Elbe, an early recipient of sexual reassignment surgery.Universal
Johnny Depp (Black Mass)Extreme makeovers are nothing new for Johnny Depp, but his dramatic turn as notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger has resulted in another dramatic change: critics like him again.Warner Bros.
Elle Fanning (About Ray)Another look at the complexities of gender identity, About Ray stars Elle Fanning as a teenager who was born in the body of a girl, but hopes to change that. The character's ultimate fate remains a mystery, but this much is clear: Fanning is unrecognizable.The Weinstein Company
Julianne Moore (Freeheld)Playing a terminally ill lesbian police officer with blonde hair, this film allowed Julianne Moore to take a break from just about all of her core traits.Lionsgate
Colin Farrell (The Lobster)Colin Farrell packed on several pounds and a moustache for his role in The Lobster, but the biggest deviation from the actor's reality is his character's difficulty finding a mate.Protagonist Pictures
Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)Increasingly known for his leading man charm and good looks, Idris Elba enters unsettling new territory as the brutal leader of an African child army. It's a far cry from the title role in 2013's Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.Netflix
Ben Foster (The Program)Getting in the physical condition necessary to play Lance Armstrong couldn't have been easy, but it appears that Ben Foster pulled out all the stops. That said, it's still not clear if he went full Armstrong and got an assist from performance-enhancing drugs.StudioCanal
Ethan Hawke (Born to Be Blue)One of the more reliable actors in the business, Ethan Hawke gets consistent results by delivering one of several variations on his own personality. In Born to Be Blue, he goes in another direction, disappearing into the skin of jazz legend Chet Baker, and wielding a trumpet with rare assurance.eOne
Tom Hiddleston (I Saw the Light)Navigating his own set of musical biopic challenges, Tom Hiddleston abandons his English accent to play Virginian country music legend Hank Williams. Adding to the level of difficulty, Hiddleston is already a full five years older than Williams was when he died.Sony Pictures Classics
Tom Hardy (Legend)Notorious for clashing with his co-stars—just ask his Mad Max: Fury Road co-star Charlize Theron—Tom Hardy teams up with the one actor he can tolerate: himself. The downside? He had to give two performances for the price of one.Universal
Mads Mikkelsen (Men & Chicken)You may know Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen as TV's Hannibal Lecter, but in this collaboration with countrymate Anders Thomas Jensen, TIFF reports that he is “near-unrecognizable," thanks in part to an “outlandishly fake moustache."M&M Productions