15 Famous Actors Who Brilliantly Played The Opposite Gender

A great actor is not recognized by just one great role and character. It’s all about range when it comes to acting, and of course consistency. Take a look at Friends for example. The whole crew, Ross, Chandler, Joey were simply born to play the roles of Friends.


But outside of the famous TV show, their careers were not as successful as we all hoped they would be, and Matthew Perry is still recognized as Chandler Bing.

The list you’re about to see is about acting on a different level. The actors from the list are not all legendary and Oscar winners, but they do have the ability to brilliantly play the opposite gender.


1Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt

It’s no wonder Angelina Jolie did such a great job playing CIA officer Evelyn Salt in the movie Salt. We all saw how she can easily handle all sorts of weapons and spy tools in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. In Salt, she had to play the opposite gender and she killed it!

Angelina Jolie as Evelyn Salt

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2Gael Garcia Bernal as Ángel / Juan / Zahara

The La Mala Educacion education movie is not your typical blockbuster, but it is definitely worth your time. In the La Mala Educacion or Bad Education, Bernal is playing the opposite gender and two more extra characters. That certainly seems like a way to prove yourself as an actor, and Bernal wasn’t shy from the opportunity.

Gael Garcia Bernal as Ángel

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3Eddie Redmayne as Lili

Eddie Redmayne is a brilliant actor indeed, regardless of what gender he’s playing. The Danish Girl movie is all about Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer. Eddie was amazing playing Lili. He even had to deal with few Ricky Gervais jokes during the Golden Globes, that of course most of the audience didn’t appreciate.

Eddie Redmayne as Lili

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4Cillian Murphy as Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden

If you’re fan of Peaky Blinders, you know who Cillian Murphy is. But in the movie Breakfast on Pluto, he’s not quite the ruthless gangster. He managed to completely transform himself for the role of Patrick Braden. He even looks like Scarlett Johansson in the picture below, and that’s what we call a great actor.

Cillian Murphy as Patrick 'Kitten' Braden

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5Adam Sandler as Jack / Jill

When we talk about actors and range, Adam Sandler simply doesn’t fit into the conversation. People either love him or hate him, and it seems like there’s more hatred than love for Adam these days. But he played an opposite gender in Jack and Jill, a poor rated movie that even Al Pacino couldn’t save.

Adam Sandler as Jack

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6Elle Fanning as Ray

Elle Fanning is known for her roles in Super 8, The Neon Demon and the Maleficent. That’s quite the career, considering the fact that she’s only 20-years-old. The real challenge came when Elle had to play a teenager who makes the decision to transition from female to male in the movie 3 Generations, and we think she did a great job.

Elle Fanning as Ray

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7Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena

This was just a preparation for the Million Dollar Baby that came 5 years later. Of course, in Million Dollar Baby, Hilary is not playing the opposite gender, but she kicks ass nevertheless. In Boys Don’t Cry, Hilary tries to adopt her male identity of Brandon Teena in order to find herself and love in Nebraska.

Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena

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8Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire

The movie Mrs. Doubtfire is without a doubt a benchmark for comedy. Robin was simply brilliant and hilarious at the same time. Dude looks like a lady is well known all across the World for a reason. It’s just a shame he didn’t won an Oscar for his amazing performance.

Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire

Image Source: telegraph.co.uk

9John Travolta as Edna Turnblad

From the most handsome actor to a tough guy, John Travolta has done it all. But who would’ve thought that we’ll see Travolta in a movie such as the Hairspray? No action and no shooting, but Travolta is playing Edna Turnblad, a mom of pleasantly plump teenager Tracy Turnblad in the movie Hairspray.

John Travolta as Edna Turnblad

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10Amanda Bynes as Viola

Amanda Bynes had a bright future ahead of her as a young actor with a lot of potential. But things changed when she started to hang out with Lindsay Lohan and commit herself to partying instead of her career. However, her role in the She’s the Man movie is quite legendary.

Amanda Bynes as Viola

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11Patrick Swayze as Vida

Patrick Swayze took on an opposite gender role before it was cool. In the movie To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, Patrick plays a cross-country drag queen alongside Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo. But he was the only one who got a Golden Globe for the role of Vida.

Patrick Swayze as Vida

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12Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as Daphne and Josephine

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are two actors you probably never heard of. Why? Because they were in a movie from 1959 with Marilyn Monroe. Tony and Jack played two musicians forced to pretend to be women, and they stole the show even though Marilyn Monroe was supposed to be the star of the movie.

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon

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13Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan

The I’m Not There movie is based on the life of Bob Dylan. There’s plenty of male actors who could’ve got the role, but it was Cate Blanchett who Jude Quinn, a personification of Bob Dylan. She did an excellent job, and received many awards and nominations for her performance.

Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan

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14Dustin Hoffman as Dorothy Michaels

Dustin Hoffman is one of the finest actors on this list, and of course, range and different roles was never a problem for Mr. Hoffman. He’s now 80 years old, and he’s still going strong, and making movies. His ability to transform in the movie Tootsie brought him an Oscar nomination.

Dustin Hoffman as Dorothy Michaels

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15Alec Guinness in Coronets and Kind Hearts

Every Star Wars fan knows who Alec Guinness is, but that’s not Alec’s highest achievement in acting. No one can question Star Wars popularity, but have you ever heard of the movies Coronets and Kind Hearts? Alec played eight different roles between these two movies, and one of them was a woman named Lady Agatha D’Ascoyne.

Alec Guinness in Coronets and Kind Hearts

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