We have seen many male actors changing into female characters to add a greater comic effect to movies. Films like “Tootsie” and “Mrs. Doubtfire” are great examples. Let’s look at the reverse situation when women play men in movies.
Angelina Jolie – “Salt”
While being a secret agent, it’s very important to know how to gain a perfect disguise. For women it can be obvious to change hairstyle and hair color, the ultimate disguise is to become a man. It feels like a role of a spy is perfect for Angelina Jolie as she is able to transform easily. The male disguise was done so well that it was almost impossible to recognize this wonderful actress.
Cate Blanchett – “I’m Not There”
Cate Blanchett has a very impressive role history and transforming into a man in the movie from start to finish was a new experience for her. Playing the iconic role of Bob Dylan, she has proven that nothing is impossible for her. She was nominated and won many awards for this role including an Oscar.
Amanda Bynes – “She’s The Man”
A classic romantic comedy with a twist – girl needs to become a boy to achieve the goal. This gender-bending comedy based on Twelfth Night has introduced all the awkwardness multiplied by teenage hormones. Amanda had to play both characters Viola and her “brother” Sebastian. A perfect transformation and a good comedy to enjoy.
Hilary Swank – “Boys Don’t Cry”
This film takes us through the real-life story of Brandon Teena. Brilliantly played by Hilary Swank, this role landed her an Oscar as well as a Golden Globe award. One of the first films to reveal the plight of trans people, it also raised public awareness. Swank’s acting showed very well that self-identity and masculinity issues are very real. The actress lived like a man for a month to make the character come to life.
Gwyneth Paltrow – “Shakespeare In Love”
Gwyneth Paltrow disguises herself as a man to be an actor in Shakespeare’s play. For which she received an Oscar. This film transforms the perception of Shakespeare to a new level as you can see that inspiration for his plays came from very unusual places. The story even gives a hint how gender-bending narratives started to appear beginning with Twelfth Night.
Tilda Swinton – “Orlando”
Tilda Swinton is one of those actresses who have a very distinctive appearance. Unlike many movies when actors change their looks to achieve a particular goal, here the change happens overnight and Sir Orlando becomes Lady Orlando. This role has challenged the relationship and nature of the sexes and Tilda was a perfect for this role.
Barbra Streisand – “Yentl”
The movie is based on sexism in a Jewish community and how a woman tries to get education by dressing as a man. The film introduces a love triangle which actually goes too far providing an extremely comical experience.
Whoopi Goldberg – “The Associate”
Whoopi Goldberg completely changed her appearance by changing into a white older male. This satirical comedy has proven that women can be men quite literally. The actress has played her role brilliantly considering she had to wear a lot of makeup, hide her very prominent feminine figure and change her voice to achieve an authentic character. Even though the film wasn’t very well received by critics, Goldberg’s charisma makes it a nice film to watch.