When I was in middle school, I used to watch my VHS copy of The Audrey Hepburn Story about once a month. The made-for-TV movie tells the story of Audrey’s rise to fame, throwing in snippets of her ballet beginnings and involvement in WWII. It kept me enthralled throughout its 3-hour running time (!) with tons of behind-the-scenes looks at her most famous movies and love affairs. Oh, and it also happens to star Jennifer Love Hewitt.
Am I proud of the fact that hours of my formative tween years were spent watching JLove sing “Moon River”? Meh. To this day, I am kind of obsessed with watching famous people act like other famous people. Movie biopics have almost become a requirement for any actor’s resume, either launching stars to Oscar-winning glory (see: Lincoln, The Iron Lady, The King’s Speech) or complete ridicule (see: every Lifetime movie ever made). Either way, the star-making power of portraying real people on film, particularly people with troubled childhoods or drug addictions, is undeniable.
With so many new Hollywood biopics about to hit theaters (including films about Princess Di, Nelson Mandela, and Walt Disney), let’s take a look at some biographical roles that actors have become known for over the years — for better or worse. Here are 15 particularly memorable examples of the dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude. Happy make-believe!
15 Memorable Movie Performances Based on Real People: