Top 10 Ugly Characters Who Are Hot In Real Life

Written by Tiphaine Delahaye It's amazing what some movie making magic can do to these actresses, because on screen they actually look noghting like they do in real life! WatchMojo present the Top 10 Ugly Characters You'll Never Believe Are Actually Hot In Real Life! But who will take the top spot on our list? Thesy Surface, Naomi Grossman, or Charlize Theron? Watch to find out!
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Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, but sometimes, the difference on and off-screen leaves little room for debate. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 ugliest characters that are hot in real life!

For this list, we’re looking at actresses from both film and television who underwent major transformations to make them appear less attractive on-screen than they are in real life. While beauty is certainly subjective, the differences speak for themselves when looking superficially at before and after photos.

#10: America Ferrera as Betty Suarez
“Ugly Betty” (2006-10)

The titular Betty from this TV series is hardworking and intelligent, but as the title suggests, looks are not at the top of her list of qualities. So when she shows up at the office of a top New York fashion magazine in a poncho with her big blue metal smile, she’s not very well received. But when you see what this beautiful American with Honduran parents looks like in real life, it becomes clear just how hard the makeup artists and costume designers had to work hard to achieve the “ugly” effect! Her perfect smile, fiery gaze and beautiful hair quickly wipe away any memory of her on-screen look.

#9: Kate McKinnon as Dr. Jillian ‘Holtz’ Holtzmann
“Ghostbusters” (2016)

The new, all-female version of Ghostbusters certainly gave the franchise a fresh look. Among the cast was Kate McKinnon, who plays Jillian Holtzmann, the technical wizard of the crew. With those odd yellow goggles and that hairstyle straight out of the ‘80s, it’s hard to detect the natural beauty of this SNL star. However, under that ill-fitting costume hide plenty of noteworthy features, all of which shine through in real life. Remove those wraparound shades and you’ll also find some vibrant blue eyes and a beautiful head of hair. Don’t let her good looks fool you though... she’s every bit as badass in person.

#8: Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth
“Game of Thrones” (2011-18)

Few TV shows in history have had the cultural impact of Game of Thrones, and its success is in no small part thanks to its high-caliber characters. Gwendoline Christie plays Brienne of Tarth, a strong woman who better embodies the virtues of knighthood than most actual knights. A true tomboy, her short hair and sharp features are far but feminine. But behind this armored shell, there is a killer body. With her curvy figure and tall stature, she’s worked with number of fashion designers and photographers. This athletic model and actress is a true chameleon! Speaking of tomboys who stun off-screen, how about young Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams?

#7: Cameron Diaz as Lotte Schwartz
“Being John Malkovich” (1999)

American actress Cameron Diaz certainly has tackled a wide variety of roles. In the 1999 movie Being John Malkovich, she played a wacky wife who’s totally obsessed with animals. With her frizzy hair and makeup-free face, her usual sex appeal is completely suppressed. Then again, John Cusack isn’t exactly looking his best in this film either. Regardless, that same year, Diaz appeared in Very Bad Things, where she played a future bride who’s utterly irresistible - albeit a little unstable. Throughout her various roles, and as herself, her stunning good looks have given us reason to marvel countless times over the years. We certainly wouldn’t ask Lotte for hairdresser recommendations though.

#6: Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson
“Mad Men” (2007-15)

The hit series Mad Men brought Elisabeth Moss’ exceptional acting to the world’s attention. She played Peggy Olson, a career-driven woman with substantial ambitions, initially working as secretary to notorious womanizer Don Draper. She’s an early feminist, who, despite a rough start, works her way up the male-dominated world of New York advertising. Compared to the seductive Joan Holloway, Peggy is underdressed and usually hides her curves behind baggy clothes. But don’t be fooled: Elisabeth Moss is in fact a woman of undeniable charm. With an enchanting gaze and distinct features, she’s a strong woman on all fronts.

#5: Emma Thompson as Nanny McPhee & Sybill Trelawney
“Nanny McPhee” (2005) & “Harry Potter” franchise (2001-11)


Emma Thompson is barely recognizable in her role as Nanny McPhee and, to a slightly lesser extent, the Divinations teacher at Hogwarts. Sporting a wart on her face and buck teeth in Nanny McPhee and thick glasses with a dishevelled hairdo in Harry Potter, Emma Thompson can truly transform herself. But underneath all those layers of makeup hides an elegant blonde with a brilliant smile and sparkling eyes. They say that a true actress should be able to play diverse roles. Well, in that case, Emma Thompson has certainly proven herself to be a master of her craft.

#4: Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011)

Rooney Mara’s breakout role may not have showcased her looks, but her undeniable talent obviously shone through, as the role earned her a nomination at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. She portrayed young hacker Lisbeth Salander. In keeping with the source material, her gothic style made her less than conventionally appealing. But in real life, all those piercings, tattoos and dark makeup disappear, and an undeniably beautiful and bright woman emerges. This mysterious and enchanting actress has turned many heads and will continue to do so, since her promising career has just began!

#3: Naomi Grossman as Pepper
“American Horror Story” (2011-)

You’d be forgiven for not recognizing Naomi Grossman and Pepper as the same person! In the chilling TV series American Horror Story, Naomi plays a microcephalic woman - an individual with an abnormally small head that results in developmental issues in the brain. For the role, a team of professional makeup artists completely altered her face and body, using silicone masks and other artificial prosthetics. Naomi even gave up her beautiful hair and shaved her head. But surprise! Behind all these alterations, Naomi has a regular sized head, soft features and plenty of sex appeal.

#2: Thesy Surface as Margaret McPoyle
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (2005-)

It’s Always Sunny is known for its very colorful characters and controversial subject matter. Even so, the character of Margaret McPoyle is one of the most bizarre of the entire series. Poor Margaret is a deaf-mute who flicks her tongue like a snake. In order to accentuate her eccentricity, the creators decked her out with a unibrow, greasy hair and an expressionless look. But it’s truly shocking once you see the actress who portrays Margaret! Thesy Surface, minus the costume, is gorgeous. The revealing photos taken of this doe-eyed beauty certainly prove as much!

Before revealing our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:
- Sophie McShera as Daisy Robinson
“Downton Abbey” (2010-15)

- Clare Preuss as Caroline Krafft
“Mean Girls” (2004)

#1: Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos
“Monster” (2003)

They often say that beauty is a factor in success, but for Charlize Theron, diminished beauty made her a truly respected star. She won the Oscar for best actress for her role in 2003’s Monster, in which she played a prostitute at her wits’ end who commits several murders. The movie is based on the true story of American serial killer Aileen Wuornos. This woman with tired features, rotten teeth and dirty hair is the character that earned Charlize true recognition in Hollywood. Even today, Theron continues to showcase her incredible acting talent in countless roles, whether she’s playing an ugly or a beautiful character.
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