Acting is all about pretending to be someone else, and some actors do it so well that you wouldn’t be able to recognise them at a glance when they are in character. Whether it’s the costume, some extra facial hair, or a full-on giant fake head, sometimes it’s the actor’s expression that makes all the difference.

In this post, I present to you two actors who are masters at this art.

The first is Michael Fassbender in……

Inglourious Basterds      

Fassbender as double agent, Archie Hilcox. Photo credit: www.screencrave.com

Fassbender as double agent, Archie Hilcox. Photo credit: www.screencrave.com

Role played: Archie Hilcox

What he did for the role: Michael Fassbender actually went all in to get the role of Hans Landa, even taking French lessons and putting in 5 hours of practice on the German villain Landa every night. However, the director Quentin Tarantino made him try out for Archie Hilcox instead as he had already cast Landa by the time Fassbender met him for auditions. Fassbender didn’t think that he would get the part but he was offered the role of the genteel Hilcox who could speak fluent German and the King’s English.
Frank

What a waste of a beautiful face. Photo credit: www.hollywood.com

What a waste of a beautiful face. Photo credit: www.hollywood.com

Role played: Frank

What he did for the role: Ok, ok. I know. This is cheating since there’s no way you can tell its Michael Fassbender inside that creepy looking giant head unless you look at the cast. The biggest issue for him when playing this role is the sound reverberating through the giant head and of course the heat! At least this proves he’s not just an actor known for his looks eh?

 

X-Men Series

Fassbender as Magneto in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Credit: nerdrepository.com

Fassbender as Magneto in X-Men: Days Of Future Past. Credit: nerdrepository.com

Role Played: Erik Lehnsherr, the guy who later became Magneto

What he did for the role: This is perhaps one of Michael Fassbender’s most memorable roles. He brought pain and anger into this villain’s role and managed to turn the usually one-dimensional Magneto around to win the sympathy of audiences. Yes, his furrowed brows can bend metal and human hearts.

Viggo Mortensen in…

Eastern Promises

Viggo Mortenson as a Russian criminal in Eastern Promises. Credit: www.brego.net

Viggo Mortenson as a Russian criminal in Eastern Promises. Credit: www.brego.net

 

Role Played: Nikolai

What he did for the role: Mortenson had to fight in the buff. Nude. No clothes. Naked. For two days to film a brutal, slippery, four-minute fight scene in a Turkish bath. All he had to wear during the scene was a grand total of 43 tattoos. Mortenson studied Russian gangsters and Russian gangster tattoos to make his role as a Russian mobster look even more realistic.

Appaloosa

Mortenson sporting a goatee and a handlebar mustache in Appaloosa. Credit: www.cinefilos.it

Mortenson sporting a goatee and a handlebar mustache in Appaloosa. Credit: www.cinefilos.it

Role: Everett Hitch

What he did for the role: THAT FACIAL HAIR. All of which is natural. Mortenson grew a thick goatee and bushy mustache while also keeping his hair (those on his head, not face) military short. That’s a glorious looking goatee and I’m sure many people would agree.

 

The Lord of the Rings Series

Have Mortenson's wrinkles been magicked away by Gandalf, or by Photoshop? Photo credit: fr.jrrtolkien.wikia.com

Have Mortenson’s wrinkles been magicked away by Gandalf, or by Photoshop? Photo credit: fr.jrrtolkien.wikia.com

Role: Aragorn

What he did for the role: This is obviously the most famous role that Mortenson played. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if people only recognised him in this role and not any other since the LOTR series is so popular! He also broke a toe kicking a helmet in a scene in The Fellowship of the Ring, almost drowned in an undertow in another scene and let his son play the first orc he kills in the movie. Dedication.

 

Both of them in….

A Dangerous Method

Mortenson as Freud and Fassbender as Jung. Credit: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

Mortenson as Freud and Fassbender as Jung. Credit: sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com

Roles: Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung

What they did for the roles: You will be forgiven if you are unable to recognise them in their roles in the movie A Dangerous Method. Michael Fassbender plays the role of Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Gustav Jung, while Viggo Mortensen plays the role of Sigmund Freud, an Austrian neurologist who is also known as the father of psychoanalysis.

Short synopsis of the movie:

The movie starts with Sabina Spielrein (played by Keira Knightley) beginning a course of treatment for hysteria with Swiss Doctor Carl Jung in a psychiatric hospital in Zurich. This begins the relationship between Spielrein, Jung and Freud with Spielrein eventually being allowed to assist the two doctors with their experiments. One thing led to another and Spielrein and Jung started to have an affair despite the initial reluctance of Jung to break the taboo of having a sexual relationship with his patient and his resistance to the idea of infidelity. Thus begins the story of A Dangerous Method where you get to see the rise and fall of the relationships between Jung and Spielrein, and the eventual decline Jung and Freud’s relationship.

The movie was critically acclaimed and also won various awards including but not limited to: Best Actor for Michael Fassbender in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, Performance by An Actor in a Supporting Role for Viggo Mortensen in the Genie Awards and a nomination for Viggo Mortensen in the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Pictures. A Dangerous Method was released in 2011 but will be showing in at GV Grand as part of GV Screen Gems on May 5. Personally I think this is a worthwhile movie to watch especially for the performance of the two lead actors which is stellar to say the least.

Trailer: