In this weekend's Carnage, Kate Winslet plays an uptight investment banker who tries to broker a parental agreement concerning the damage done during a playground dispute between her son and another boy. So how did the British actress transform herself from a teenage murderer in her breakthrough role to a middle-aged New Yorker determined to settle her son's stick fight?
In this weekend's Young Adult, Charlize Theron plays a bitter teen lit author who returns to her hometown to reclaim her high school sweetheart. (A high school sweetheart who also happens to be a perfectly happy husband and new father.) So how did the South Africa-raised Theron transform herself from a delicate ballet dancer to a Oscar-winning onscreen homewrecker?
This weekend, Gerard Butler revisits the very Shakespeare play that launched his acting career: Coriolanus. This time around, Butler plays Tullus Aufidius, the rival of the title character in Ralph Fiennes's big screen adaptation. So just how did a Scottish actor who started with Shakespeare boomerang back to the very same play a decade later after achieving Hollywood stardom?
In this weekend's Happy Feet Two, Robin Williams voices Ramón, a South American penguin lothario, and Lovelace, a deep-voiced love guru. So how did a self-described quiet child from Chicago transform himself into one of Hollywood's most energetic Academy Award winners and skilled impressionists, who pulls double duty in Warner Bros.'s latest animated feature?
In this weekend's Tower Heist, Eddie Murphy stars as as a benevolent crook who helps a few Ponzi scheme victims attempt to recover their money. So how did a Brooklyn-area stand-up transform himself into an '80s comedic superstar, an unexpected dramatic talent and this February, an Academy Award host?
In this weekend's Puss in Boots, Antonio Banderas voices the swashbuckling title cat -- a peripheral Shrek character who became so popular that he earned his own $130 million DreamWorks prequel. So just how did Antonio Banderas transform himself from Madonna's sexual prey in Truth or Dare to a sword-wielding predator in both live-action and animated formats?
In this weekend's Margin Call, Demi Moore plays a workaholic risk management exec whose reckless peers at a fictional Wall Street investment firm help ignite the 2008 economic crisis. So how did a Brat Packer from the '80s transform herself into a high powered finance exec?
In this weekend's The Big Year, Steve Martin stars as a wealthy retiree who spends his free time spanning the globe in search of rare bird species -- a passion that gives way to a competition against his similarly "birding" enthused friends played by Jack Black and Owen Wilson. So just how does a Texas-born stand-up transform himself into the only successful actor/comedian/author/playwright/banjo player/Emmy winner/onscreen bird watcher in Hollywood history?
In this weekend's Real Steel, Hugh Jackman stars as a boxing promoter who bonds with his estranged son over a junkyard robot that they train towards a fictional, futuristic boxing championship. So just how did an amnesiac prisoner on an Australian television series transform into a Tony and Emmy Award-winning movie star?
In this weekend's 50/50, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a public radio employee who, when diagnosed with cancer, struggles to survive the disease and the changed attitudes of those around him. So how did a teenager best known for playing a sitcom alien transform himself into one of our most versatile actors who is capable of playing anything from a troubled teen prostitute to a lovelorn greeting card writer?
In this weekend's Killer Elite, Robert De Niro plays a special ops vet whose kidnapping sends his former partner Jason Statham out of retirement and into ass-kicking mode. So how did a New York City high school drop-out transform himself into one of our greatest living actors, who, 40-odd years after his film debut, earns applause in second-rate action thrillers for merely appearing onscreen?
In this weekend's Drive, Ryan Gosling plays a Steve McQueen-esque movie stuntman by day and a getaway wheelman by night. How did Mr. Notebook transform himself from a 13-year-old Mickey Mouseketeer who soulfully sang cheesy lyrics alongside Justin Timberlake to one of our most respected movie stars and box office heartthrobs? You can always trace a direct line through a few important roles to illustrate what led to an actor's current success. As such, let's look at nine pivotal performances that track the evolution of Ryan Gosling.
In this weekend's Warrior, Nick Nolte assumes his most personal role to date: that of a recovering alcoholic who can't seem to redeem himself in the eyes of his sons, or at the end of the day, himself. How did Nolte transform himself from a strapping TV miniseries rebel to a gravelly-voiced vet actor mirroring his own notorious demons onscreen?
In Our Idiot Brother, Paul Rudd plays the shaggy-haired titular character, a guy so naively idiotic that he hands a uniformed police officer marijuana after the cop claims to be having a bad day. How did Rudd transform himself from a socially conscious law student who romances his hot ex-stepsister in Clueless to a socially imbecilic drifter who yearns for his dog Willie Nelson? You can always trace a direct line through a few important roles to illustrate what led to an actor's current success. As such, let's look at nine pivotal performances that track the evolution of Paul Rudd.