The difference between a good and a great actor is not limited to the number of accolades they’ve raked in over the years. It also has to do with their versatility and the willingness to push their acting skills to the limits. Embodying another gender is a talent, not every actor or actress can pull off. However, Angelina Jolie, Cillian Murphy, and Eddie Redmayne are a few examples who cross-dressed for the camera. These versatile actors went out of their comfort zones to do justice to their characters.
Angelina Jolie in Salt (2010)
The Eternals (2020) actress became world-famous as a female action star after her role as Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft. However, Angelina Jolie’s character in action/thriller Salt was an interesting one. The Maleficent actor plays a CIA operative who gets accused of being a Russian Spy.
The attempts to prove her innocence put her spy skills to the test. One particular attempt stands out more than others. Angelina Jolie becomes an epitome of manliness when she dresses up as a Navy officer. The cross-dressing scene even puzzled her real-life son Maddox, who failed to recognize his mother. This scene went viral and is surely one of the most versatile roles she’s ever committed herself to. She’s working on a new BBC TV Show at the moment.
Cillian Murphy in Breakfast on Pluto (2005)
The Irish actor is more than just a Peaky Blinder. Most of us associate him with the Peaky Blinders series, Christopher Nolan’s Batman movie series, and Inception movie. However, Cillian Murphy is much more than that.
The 43-year-old’s performance in Breakfast on Pluto is one not many are familiar with. Neil Jordan’s film sees him embody a transgender woman named Patrick “Kitten” Braden in the 1970s. The storyline revolves around Cillian’s character, who tries to survive as a transgender in a world that does not accept this gender. It’s one of his best roles to date.
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
The actor rose to fame after his Harry Potter-like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. One of Eddie Redmayne’s most versatile roles, however, was playing transgender artist Lili Elbe. His casting was highly criticized by the trans community.
They did not question his talent but argued that character should have been played by someone who could understand it in depth. Director Tom Hooper had a different opinion though and defended his choice.
I think also there’s a certain gender fluidity that I sensed in Eddie Redmayne. I found it intriguing and it led me to think he might be a really interesting person to cast in this role.
These are some of my favorites and I think they deserve a round of applause for these roles. Who is your favorite actor/actress? Let us know in the comments section.