Have you ever wondered if a historical figure portrayed by an actor was similar to their real life counterpart? Directors sometimes change the appearance of the character from the real person actor is portraying simply for the audience and for production value. Sometimes even the smallest detail can totally change the importance of a historical figure and their role in the history, thus turning them into a completely different person. and this happens quite frequently in Hollywood movies, but hey, it is the movies not a history lesson.
Xerxes I in ’300′
Portrayed by Rodrigo Santoro
The historical portrait of the Persian king Xerxes I is quite ambiguous. Some historians state that he was a narrow-minded and weak, yet arrogant and conceited, ruler while others consider him a wise and experienced warrior. It seems like in the movie they decided to combine these two portrayals of Xerxes. If it wasn’t enough, they granted the king with a very questionable wardrobe. They two don’t look alike at all in real life.
Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great) in ’Alexander’
Portrayed by Colin Farrell
Critics have noticed a couple of serious historical inaccuracies in this movie. Plus, the appearance of Alexander, portrayed by Colin Farrell, is a little different from the original, don’t you think?
The young Salvador Dali in ’Little Ashes’
Portrayed by Robert Pattinson
Although Pattinson looks nothing like young Dali in reality, the actor did put his best to create the image of the great, eccentric, and genius artist. Come on Dali grow that iconic mustache already!
King Leonidas I in ’300′
Portrayed by Gerard Butler
Historians say that the king of Sparta, Leonidas I, did nothing truly remarkable during all 10 years of his reign and only died heroically at the battle of Thermopylae. So, if the director planned to make a more historically accurate movie, the king Leonidas should not have been portrayed so brave and epic, movie will be quite different then.
Emperor Commodus in ’Gladiator’
Portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix doesn’t look like his historical prototype. In addition to this, the movie also suggests some inaccuracies concerning the biography of the Roman statesman. The real Commodus ruled Rome for almost 13 years, whilst in the movie he reigns ineffectively for about two years. Moreover, the emperor Commodus did participate in the gladiator battles, but always without any danger to his life or health.
William Wallace in ’Braveheart’
Portrayed by Mel Gibson
Historians still found some dramatic historical inaccuracies. For example, unlike Gibson’s character, the real Sir William Wallace was a Scottish knight and came from a noble family. and I don’t think Sir William Wallace look as cool as Mel with the paint.
Joan of Arc in ’The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc’
Portrayed by Milla Jovovich
Despite Luc Besson’s dedication to details, the appearance of Joan in the movie was quite controversial. But Milla Jovovich was hands down amazing in this movie but look quite geeky than her real life counterpart.
King Arthur in ’King Arthur’
Portrayed by Clive Owen
The title character in this movie looks very different from the legendary British leader. Plus, according to critics, the movie itself is full of historical inaccuracies. As I said earlier movies are for having fun and not giving a history lesson, so have fun with them.
King Henry VIII in ‘The Tudors’
Portrayed by Jonathan Rhys Meyers
As you can see from the original portrait of the King Henry VIII of England, he was much bigger than his TV double in ‘The Tudors’ series.
Cleopatra in ’Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra’
Portrayed by Monica Bellucci
She is a real life Cleopatra, It’s believed that the last pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt was extremely beautiful. But it fact, Cleopatra was small and not that attractive. Ironically, only beauties — Vivien Leigh, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Monica Bellucci — had a chance to portray this historical figure. and I must add Monica is the most gorgeous Cleopatra ever!