Movie Stars Who Play Stars

Lindsay Lohan as Linda Lovelace? Sure, and check out other stars who played stars.

28 photos
Getty Images
Lindsay Lohan is set to play 1970s porn star Linda Lovelace, making her the latest star to play the role of a star. Check out other famous people cast as, well, famous people.
I'm Not There features not one but four Hollywood A-listers playing the part of folk singer Bob Dylan, including Cate Blanchett.
Warner Bros./Getty
Morgan Freeman delivered a powerful performance in 2009's Invictus, playing South Africa's first black president, Nelson Mandela. Costar Matt Damon said Mandela hand-picked Freeman for the part.
Former Hollywood "It" girl Gretchen Mol stripped down to play pin-up model Bettie Page in The Notorious Bettie Page. Mol said of the role, "I knew my body would never really be like Bettie's, but there were enough details that were passable."
Jamie Foxx won an Academy Award for his portrayal of R&B legend Ray Charles in the film Ray.
Twilight starlet Kristen Stewart grabbed her axe and slipped into the role of pioneering female rocker Joan Jett for The Runaways. Stewart said that Jett was on set during the filming to give her pointers.
The godfather of "gonzo journalism" Hunter S. Thompson was famous for his hard-partying, gun-toting habits. Johnny Depp stepped up to channel the madness in the film adaptation of Thompson's autobiographical romp, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
The biopic Frida was a labor of love for Salma Hayek, who played the title character, artist Frida Kahlo. The actress went to great lengths to nail the famed surrealist, wearing odd sized shoes to create a limp and sporting a mustache.
Getty/Columbia Pictures
Will Smith stepped into the ring to play one of the strongest roles of his career in the film Ali. As the controversial champion boxer Muhammad Ali, Smith alternately charmed and chafed everyone around him in the movie.
Tejano musician Selena Quintanilla was a superstar in Mexico at the time of her murder in 1995. Latina pop star Jennifer Lopez stepped into her shoes in the 1997 film Selena.
Howard Hughes was many things: record-setting pilot, successful businessman and edgy film producer. In his later years he also transformed into a paranoid recluse. Leonardo DiCaprio tells his life story in the film the Aviator.
Eva Duarte de Peron rose from humble beginnings to become first lady of Argentina and a major political figure. Material Girl Madonna took on the role in the 1996 musical film, Evita.
The lead singer for The Doors Jim Morrison helped create the image of a rock and roll life style: a steep climb to fame, prolific philandering, substance abuse, and finally death by drug overdose. Eighties star Val Kilmer captured Morrison's obsession to a 'T' in Oliver Stone's The Doors.
The tag line for the 2008 film W is "a life misunderestimated." In the unflattering biopic, 43rd president George W. Bush is played by a buffoonish Josh Brolin.
For two decades, Amelia Earhart won national celebrity by setting trans-Atlantic flying records. The female aviator disappeared in 1937 at the height of her popularity, flying somewhere over the Atlantic. Hilary Swank played the high-flying heroine in 2009's Amelia.
Miramax/Tamra Davis
Brooklyn-born Jean-Michel Basquiat was a darling of the New York art scene. Starting as a graffiti artist, Basquiat linked up with Andy Warhol and gained international acclaim before dying of a heroin overdose. Jeffrey Wright played the art star in the 1996 movie Basquiat.
When James Dean died in his Porsche roadster at the age of 24, he instantly took a place in Hollywood mythology. Young heart throb James Franco donned leather to imitate the 50's icon in the made-for-TV flick James Dean.
Billie Holiday's rise to musical stardom is as heart-wrenching as they come. Her brilliant jazz singing helped her escape a Harlem brothel, only to fall into substance abuse later in life. Diana Ross got an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Holiday in Lady Sings the Blues.
Country legend Johnny Cash also rose up from a hard-luck background to achieve musical greatness. His journey and his struggle with substance abuse are played out poignantly by Joaquin Phoenix in the 2005 movie Walk the Line.
Snooki might not know who "Old Blue Eyes" was, but for decades Frank Sinatra was one of country's best loved singers. Goodfellas star Ray Liotta played the swinging singer in the 1998 made-for-TV movie The Brat Pack.
Getty/Columbia Pictures
Hustler owner Larry Flynt has been a free speech defender for much of his life. Flynt's rise to the top of the smut mag business is chronicled in the film the People vs Larry Flynt, with Woody Harrelson in the title role.
Comedian Andy Kaufman kept audiences unsettled with an off-beat brand of humor. Long time admirer Jim Carrey played the oddball comedian in the 1999 film Man on the Moon.
Many years before he dramatically dropped 100 pounds, actor John Goodman played one of New York's favorite heavyweight baseball players, Babe Ruth, in The Babe.
Jackson Pollock's swirling painting style changed modern art. Ed Harris gave a critically acclaimed performance as the reclusive artist in Pollock.
United Artists/Getty
Honored by comedians as one of the greatest and strangest funny men to take the stage, Lenny Bruce was frequently arrested for obscenity towards the end of his career. Dustin Hoffman acted as the foul-mouthed comic in the 1974 film Lenny.
Bobby Darin emerged from the mean streets of the Bronx to become one of the greatest crooners of the 1950's. Kevin Spacey filled out his jowls and his hairline to play the Grammy-winning great in Beyond the Sea.
Jerry Lee Lewis was famous for kicking his stool out of the way and playing his piano standing up, or leaning over backward. Dennis Quaid mastered the trademark movie for the 1989 movie Great Balls of Fire.
The first openly gay man to hold public office, Harvey Milk was one of the most courageous and famous crusaders for gay rights. Sean Penn gave a powerful performance as the martyr, winning an Oscar for the title role in Milk.
Contact Us