This is What Historical Figures Really Looked Like
By | March 27, 2017
When making historical movies, the smallest detail is crucial as this can change the image, the importance, and the role of a particular historical figure.
One of the many things the director and his team have to consider is the actor’s similarity to his real life counterpart. Have you ever wondered if an actor actually looked like the person he was portraying?
Xerxes I in ’300′
Portrayed by Rodrigo Santoro
The representation of the Persian king Xerxes I is as confusing as his very questionable wardrobe. Some historians claim he was a narrow-minded, arrogant, conceited ruler, while others say he was a wise and experienced warrior.
Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great) in ’Alexander’
Portrayed by Colin Farrell
Aside from the physical discrepancies of Colin Farrell to Alexander, critics also noticed many serious historical inaccuracies in the movie. Would you agree?
The young Salvador Dali in ’Little Ashes’
Portrayed by Robert Pattinson
Although Pattinson doesn't really look like real life Dali, he did his best to portray the great, eccentric and genius artist.
King Leonidas I in ’300′
Portrayed by Gerard Butler
Except for his heroic death at the battle of Thermopylae, historians claim that King Leonidas I of Sparta, did nothing truly remarkable during his 10-year reign.
Emperor Commodus in ’Gladiator’
Portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix' looks is nowhere near his his historical prototype. Moreover, the movie also suggests some inaccuracies regarding the biography of the Roman statesman. In history, Commodus ruled Rome for about 13 years, while in the movie his reign was significantly cut short into two years. And although emperor Commodus did join in the gladiator battles, there was never any danger to his life or health.
As much as the physical discrepancies of Joaquin Phoenix are to Commodus, the movie also showed many historical inaccuracies. These included reigning ineffectively for 2 years, when in fact, he ruled Rome about 13 years. He also joined gladiator battles which will not put his life to any danger or his health.
William Wallace in ’Braveheart’
Portrayed by Mel Gibson
Despite the 10 Academy Awards’ nominations and winning 5 nominations, ‘Braveheart’ still did not steer clear from historians' judgment. For one, the two doesn't really look alike, and unlike Gibson's character in the movie, the real Sir Wallace actually came from a noble family.
Joan of Arc in ’The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc’
Portrayed by Milla Jovovich
Milla Jovovich's acting was hands down amazing, but her look as "Joan of Arc" made quite a stir.
King Arthur in ’King Arthur’
Portrayed by Clive Owen
Yet another noted movie with an actor very dissimilar from his real-life counterpart.
King Henry VIII in ‘The Tudors’
Portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Unlike his TV double in ‘The Tudors’ series, English king Henry VIII is much bigger.
Cleopatra in ’Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra’
Portrayed by Monica Bellucci
Some of the beautiful actresses who had a chance to be her were: Vivien Leigh, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Monica Bellucci. Contrary to popular belief, Cleopatra was small and not that attractive. Nonetheless, Roman dictator Julius Caesar and his successor, Mark Antony, fell for her easily. This is probably why she was viewed as one of the most beautiful women of her time.