32 Side-by-Side Photos of Real People and the Celebrities Who Played Them On-Screen

Emma Stone or Billie Jean King? (We can't tell either.)

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Fox Searchlight; Getty

One major challenge of making a biopic? Finding just the right actor to play the real-life subject. Some castings are scary accurate, true doppelgängers. And others you're just like, Are these supposed to be the same person? Either way, imagine being cool enough to have a movie made about you and an A-lister live out your life on-screen? Ahead, 33 photos of real people right next to the actors who played them in films. Spot-on casting? You be the judge.

Emma Stone and Billie Jean King

Stone portrays legendary tennis star Billie Jean King in the 2017 movie Battle of the Sexes. "Playing Billie Jean was a bit of a game changer," she tells Marie Claire. She also gained 15 pounds of muscle for the role. Fifteen. Pounds.

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Will Smith and Muhammad Ali

Will Smith in his prime. Smith played Muhammad Ali in the 2001 film—wait for it—Ali.

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Selma Blair and Kris Jenner

Blair played Jenner as her pre-Keeping Up with the Kardashians self in The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which also starred David Schwimmer as her husband, Rob, and Cuba Gooding, Jr., as the acquitted murderer.

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James Franco and Aron Ralston

Franco played daredevil Aron Ralston in the 2010 thriller 127 Hours, which tells the story of how Ralston was trapped in a canyon after a boulder fell on his arm. The portrayal earned Franco an Oscar nomination.

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Jennifer Lawrence and Joy Mangano

They could be related, right? On the right is Joy Mangano, inventor of the Miracle Mop, whose story is featured in the 2015 film Joy.

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Natalie Portman and Jackie Kennedy

Portman played Jackie in the 2016 film of the same name, which recounts the former First Lady's life after her husband's assassination.

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Sandra Bullock and Leigh Anne Tuohy

Michael Oher, the one-time homeless teen and subject of the 2009 film The Blind Side, admits the movie has negatively affected his football career. On the other hand, Bullock totally nails the role of his real-life adoptive mother, Leigh Anne Tuohy.

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Daniel Day Lewis and Abraham Lincoln

We're really not sure if Abraham Lincoln was actually raised from the dead for this film. In any case, the credits state that Daniel Day Lewis doubles as the former president in the 2012 drama Lincoln.

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Helen Mirren and Queen Elizabeth II

None other than Dame Helen Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II in the 2006 drama The Queen.

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Octavia Spencer and Dorothy Vaughn

Dorothy Vaughn was NASA's first African-American manager. Vaughn is one of the three main women whose stories are told in the 2017 film Hidden Figures, in which she was played by award-winning actress Octavia Spencer.

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Taraji P. Henson and Katherine Johnson

Taraji P. Henson also starred in the movie, playing the iconic yet often forgotten NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson. The entire cast was nominated for a SAG award.

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Janelle Monáe and Mary Jackson

Jackson, known for her impeccable engineering skills at NASA, is the third women featured in Hidden Figures. Monáe says she was "honored" to play the role of Jackson.

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Charlize Theron and Aileen Wuornos

Theron plays serial killer prostitute Aileen Wuornos in the 2003 biographical drama film Monster. Wuornos was executed in Florida in 2002 after being convicted of killing six men. Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.

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Ashton Kutcher and Steve Jobs

Kutcher is the ultimate doppelgänger of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, whom he played in the 2013 film Jobs.

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Dev Patel and Saroo Brierley

Based on a true story, Lion details the life of 5-year-old Saroo Brierley, who falls asleep on a train and loses his family. Patel plays Brierley and even met him IRL.

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Julia Roberts and Elizabeth Gilbert

Julia Roberts plays Gilbert in the 2010 film Eat Pray Love, based on Gilbert's best-selling novel. It wasn't the actress' first time playing a real person (more on that, ahead).

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Julia Roberts and Erin Brockovich

Roberts won an Academy Award for her portrayal of the real-life, loudly dressed legal clerk Erin Brockovich in the 2000 film that bears her name. Brockovich became famous when her firm took on PG&E.

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Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Zuckerberg

Eisenberg portrayed the on-screen version of Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, and Zuckerberg was not happy about how it turned out.

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Will Smith and Chris Gardner

We're not crying, you're crying. Will Smith played real-life single father Chris Gardner in 2006's The Pursuit of Happyness. Smith's own son, Jaden Smith, played Gardner's son in the movie.

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Mark Wahlberg and Vince Papale

Wahlberg portrayed Eagles football player Vince Papale in the 2006 film Invincible, about the 30-year-old NFL rookie.

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Angela Bassett and Tina Turner

Bassett's stunning depiction of real-life music legend Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It (1993) solidified the actress' status as a Hollywood heavyweight.

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Brie Larson and Jeannette Walls

Glass Castle stars Brie Larson as Jeannette Walls. The movie is based on Walls' memoir about her tumultuous childhood struggling with poverty and an alcoholic father.

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Kerry Washington and Judy Smith

Judy Smith, a crisis management expert, is the real-life inspiration behind Olivia Pope, whom Washington plays on ABC's Scandal.

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Naomi Watts and Princess Diana

Watts played the People's Princess in the 2013 film Diana, and she totally nailed the icon's look.

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Reese Witherspoon and Cheryl Strayed

Witherspoon played author Cheryl Strayed in the 2014 movie Wild. The film recounts Strayed's journey of self-discovery while hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail, and is based on Strayed's 2012 memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.

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Leo Dicaprio and Jordan Belfort

Dicaprio played real-life disgraced Wall Street mogul Jordan Belfort in the 2013 film Wolf of Wall Street. Same crimes, different looks.

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Jamie Foxx and Ray Charles

Foxx played iconic musician Ray Charles in the 2004 film Ray. Foxx won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance.

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2015 MTV Video Music Awards - Backstage And Audience
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O'Shea Jackson Jr. and Ice Cube

When Ice Cube and the rest of N.W.A. decided to make Straight Outta Compton documenting their rise to fame, the rapper and actor didn't have to look too far to cast the part of his younger self—his son O'Shea is his mirror image!

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Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury

Malek took on the role of British rock band Queen's larger-than-life frontman Freddie Mercury, and his portrayal of the singer in Bohemian Rhapsody was so moving that he won the 2019 Academy Award for Best Actor.

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Denzel Washington and Malcolm X

In 1992, Washington donned a pair of striking brow line glasses to play political activist and revolutionary Malcolm X in Spike Lee's adaptation of The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

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