On-screen transformations aren’t purely dominated by Autobots and Decepticons. Actors can undergo their own forms of cinematic overhauls too, from makeup-heavy makeovers to complete 180-degree turns against type to — as the case may be — shocking returns to one’s original form.
All of these and more are represented in the Best On-Screen Transformation category at the 2012 MTV Movie Awards. This year’s nominees include the twice-nominated Colin Farrell for his dirtbaggy turn in “Horrible Bosses” and “Hunger Games” favorite Elizabeth Banks’ perfectly pink metamorphosis as the irrepressible Effie Trinket, among others.
There’s no shortage of worthy candidates for the Best On-Screen Transformation award, but which nominee will walk away feasting on Golden Popcorn? You can make that choice for yourself by voting over at MovieAwards.MTV.com — but first, let’s re-examine each of the nominees, shall we?
Colin Farrell, “Horrible Bosses”
The Irish actor is the epitome of the leading man: dark-haired, dark-eyed, smoky-voiced, with an enormous list of credits to his name including “S.W.A.T.” and his Golden Globe-winning turn in “In Bruges.” None of those qualities are on display in Farrell’s “Horrible Bosses” performance as coke fiend Bobby Pellitt, a balding, overweight son of a you-know-what. His physical transformation is as shocking as Tom Cruise’s Les Grossman of “Tropic Thunder” fame. It’s no less award-worthy, either.
Elizabeth Banks, “The Hunger Games”
Banks was a huge “Hunger Games” fan well before the movie ever got into motion, and her adoration for the world of Panem shines brightly through her performance as the bubbly Effie. It’s no easy task trying to recognize the “Zack and Miri” actress beneath the layers upon layers of pink-and-pale powder, but trust us, she’s there — and she’ll be there for many years to come, thanks to the huge success of the first “Hunger Games” film.
Johnny Depp, “21 Jump Street”
We did it, guys! No, seriously, we did — MTV News long championed for a Depp cameo in Jonah Hill’s “21 Jump Street,” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star delivered with flying colors. Aside from the fact that Depp is virtually unrecognizable in the role, it’s the hilarious and astonishing way that his part plays out that proves just how much of a transformation this “Jump Street” throwback really was for the Oscar-nominated actor.
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”
As Jamie Foxx and Philip Seymour Hoffman will happily tell you, getting under the skin of real-life historical figures is a great way to win yourself an Oscar. That tactic didn’t work for Williams at this year’s Academy Awards, but it could very easily lead to a Golden Popcorn trophy at the Movie Awards on Sunday. Williams is virtually unrecognizable as Monroe, slipping into the iconic entertainer’s tragic life with ease.
Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
If I were a betting man, I’d put money on Mara taking home the Best On-Screen Transformation award. Seriously, did any of these other candidates get their no-no parts pierced for their roles? I didn’t think so! Beyond the long-term physical adjustments she made to her own body, Mara embraced punk-hacker Lisbeth Salander’s cold and calculating personality wholeheartedly, convincing us beyond a shadow of a doubt that she truly was the girl who played with fire.