The on-screen transformation Theron is best known for is her descent into the deepest depths of the human experience to play a real-life serial killer Aileen Wuornos In Patty Jenkins‘2003 film, an achievement that earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress.

“We never talked about this big thing, like a goal – ‘We’re going to gain 30 pounds,'” Theron explained to SplicedWire, noting how Wuornos grew up homeless and had a child at 13. It wasn’t about getting fat. Aileen wasn’t fat. Aileen had scars on her body from her lifestyle, and if I had made this movie with my body – I’m very athletic – I don’t know if I would. I felt the things Aileen felt with her body . It was about getting to a place where I felt closer to Aileen’s life. I didn’t want to look at my body and see my natural muscles. Something like that would have thrown me off completely if I tried to be her. “

She ditched a wig in favor of hairstylist Katie Swanson, who tormented Theron’s own locks to reach Wuornos’ unkempt hair, and had her eyebrows bleached and thinned to almost nothing.

Although it may look like she was wearing a plastic full face mask, the only prostheses on Theron’s eyelids were to make them heavier, and the whole process took a little under an hour. Makeup artist Toni G Airbrush layers of translucent tattoo ink textured with green marble sealer to give Theron’s face a weathered, tough look, and Sakamoto art Handmade dentures full of discolored, crooked teeth. She also wore brown contact lenses to cover her blue eyes.

“By the time we started the makeup and hair tests, we had gotten so used to mine [Aileen] Face, “shared Theron Winfrey in 2005.” I stayed in it most of the time while I was on set. I would wear Aileen’s clothes all the time, have my hair the way it would, so the crew really got to know me as Aileen. “

As for her weight, “I was just like, ‘I’ll see how much I can put on,'” she said. Fortunately, the process started “over Christmas, so it was perfect. I ate all of the desserts.”