Dour Actresses Cover Up in Pursuit of Oscars

Winslet's been making the rounds on the red carpet this year, picking up a Golden Globe for "Revolutionary Road" and a BAFTA for "The Reader." But her breathless, glam awards show aura contradicts her somber persona in the latter film, the one that scored her a best actress nomination over "Revolutionary Road," which many expected would garner Oscar attention. Then again, the story of a former Nazi concentration camp guard responsible for the deaths of 300 prisoners is the kind of stuff the Academy falls for. Winslet's ability to bottle up her charm and furrow her brow surely helped. She's nominated for a best actress Oscar.

Charlize Theron, 'Monster'

Tall, blond and with legs that seem to go on for miles, Theron looks the part of the classic screen goddess. Which is why, when the former model-dancer gained 30 pounds, shaved off her eyebrows and put in a set of prosthetic teeth to play prostitute-serial killer Aileen Wuornos, the Academy took notice. Theron beat out Diane Keaton and Naomi Watts to win the best actress Oscar in 2004.

Hilary Swank, 'Boys Don't Cry'

Not only did Swank strip off her makeup and movie star-wardrobe for "Boys Don't Cry," she also subjugated her sex for the entire length of the film. Swank transformed from rising starlet to transexual teen to play Brandon Teena in the 1999 indie drama. Her moving performance led to a best actress Oscar, which Swank accepted in a ball gown, heels and a full face of makeup, belying the boy she played on-screen.

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