9 Actors Identical To The Real-Life People They Played

Daniel Sarath
Published: October 16, 2015

Some actors have inhabited their real-life characters so well they are barely distinguishable from the actual person. One of these actors is Ben Foster who, this weekend, can be seen embodying Lance Armstrong in The Program, a drama about the investigation into the Tour De France winner's doping allegations.

Foster has been an awards-tipped performer since the first still of him as Lance Armstrong appeared online showing him with a remarkable uncanniness to the cyclist. However, there are many others who have made a transformation just like his, whose resemblance to their characters are surprisingly close.


Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in 'Lincoln'

Daniel Day Lewis is one of the most notable 'method actors' in the world. From the moment he walks on set to the final day of shoot he rarely stops living as the character he is playing. Playing Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's movie he didn't break character for three months, so much so that everyone on set had to address Day Lewis as "Mr. President". Madness or genius? Regardless,, it added a third Oscar to his shelf.


Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan in 'I'm Not There'

It is shocking just how much Cate Blanchett looks like the folk singer Bob Dylan. Playing Dylan during his infamous electric years - other actors play him at different stages of his life in Todd Haynes' experimental biopic - she nails every aspect of the iconic singer. She has the shaggy look, the vocal drawl and even the awkward shuffle. It won her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.


Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong in 'The Program'

Ben Foster was committed to really understanding the effect of performance enhancing drugs before taking on the role of Lance Armstrong in The Program, a film about the investigation into his cheating. To do this, he took some himself. He told The Guardian: "Doping affects your mind. It doesn’t make you feel high. There are behaviours when you’ve got those chemicals running through your body that serve you on the bike but which, when you’re not… I’ve only just recovered physically."


Denzel Washington as Malcolm X in 'Malcolm X'

When Spike Lee was hired to direct Malcolm X he never had anyone else in mind but Denzel Washington with whom he had worked two years earlier on Mo' Better Blues. Washington had already played Malcolm X in a play called When The Chickens Came Home To Roost but did even more research before shooting the movie, reading many articles about the man and watching hours of footage from his speeches.