‘Pam & Tommy,’ ‘Outlander’ & More Memorable Transformations on TV (PHOTOS)

Frederick M.Brown/Getty Images; Frank Micelotta/Hulu

For some of our favorite shows, one specific thing has made them stand out: the epic makeup transformations actors have gone through for their roles.

Some actors are unrecognizable after, while others only have minor changes done to their appearance for the story. These changes could mean spending hours with makeup artists and hairstylists — and sometimes hours of having prosthetics applied.

With Pam & Tommy (releasing Wednesdays on Hulu) and Resident Alien (airing Wednesdays on Syfy), there are a few memorable transformations on our screens now. And coming back are The Crown (two more seasons on Netflix), Outlander (March 6 on Starz), and The Walking Dead (February 20 on AMC), to give us more impressive makeup work.

Scroll down for these and more memorable transformations on TV, past and present.

Naomi Grossman as Pepper in American Horror Story
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images; Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Naomi Grossman as Pepper (American Horror Story)

American Horror Story’s Naomi Grossman turning into Pepper, in the Asylum and Freak Show seasons, is one of the wildest transformations. Fans of AHS believed that Pepper, the childlike yet murderous microcephalic female inmate, actually existed. (She’s actually based on Schlitze Surtees, a real carnival performer.)

As she told Entertainment Weekly, Grossman had to shave her hair and add facial prosthetics to get the teeth and face right, along with the ears. The transformation is so epic that pictures of the character and real-life actress are striking to most viewers.

Eliza Taylor as Clarke Griffin
Smallz Raskind, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. via Getty Images; Cate Cameron/The CW

Eliza Taylor as Clarke Griffin (The 100)

Eliza Taylor‘s look as Clarke Griffin was ever-changing throughout the show as she spent more time on the ground. Most notable was in Season 3, where Griffin goes from long blonde to red, while also adopting the dirty makeup look of the Grounders.

Frederick M.Brown/Getty Images; Frank Micelotta/Hulu

Lily James and Sebastian Stan as Pam and Tommy (Pam & Tommy)

Starring Lily James and Sebastian Stan, Pam & Tommy follows Pamela Anderson’s and Tommy Lee’s marriage in the ’90s and the events of when their private tape was stolen and released to the world.

According to USA Today, James, for the role of Anderson, went through extensive hours of makeup and hair to look like the glamorous celebrity. She had to wear a prosthetic chest made of medical-grade silicone to give her Anderson’s curves. These chest prosthetics were sculpted three to four times for the right look.

James wore a prosthetic forehead to cover her natural eyebrows for Anderson’s thinly shaped brows. She also wore upper and lower dental pieces for Anderson’s smile along with four different wigs to match her hair.

For Stan, it took two hours to recreate the rockstar’s tattoos — more than 30 of them at a time. There was also the facial stubble and brown contacts to cover his blue eyes.

The most impressive part is he had to wear prosthetic nipples, for the nipple rings Lee had along with a prosthetic penis for the scene where Tommy converses with his private parts  (something the real Lee wrote about in his 2004 memoir, “Tommyland”).

Game of Thrones Ross Mullan as The White Walker
Ross Mullan/Twitter; Courtesy of HBO

Ross Mullan as The White Walker (Game of Thrones)

The makeup for Ross Mullan’s transformation into the White Walker took six hours each time to become the ghastly snow zombie.

According to The Verge, he had prosthetics from a full-body cast of the actor put on in pieces, with final touches from the makeup artists creating the final look. The icy blue eyes were the work of CGI, and the actor had to wear blacked-out contact lenses.

Gene Page/AMC; Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Samantha Morton as Alpha (The Walking Dead)

In Season 9, The Walking Dead introduced us to the menacing Alpha, the leader of a group of survivors called the Whisperers. According to The U.S. Sun, the actress, Samantha Morton, who took on the role, shaved her head and eyebrows to keep the character’s consistent, terrifying look. With makeup, her look was always dirty and savage as Alpha’s lifestyle with the rest of the Whisperers was like the homeless. She always had black lips and made sure her voice was a low whisper, which made her even more terrifying.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty images
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty images; Courtesy of Syfy

Alan Tudyk as Harry Vanderspeigle (Resident Alien)

Alan Tudyk’s transformation into the alien every now and then is a two-hour process. As he told TooFab, the prosthetics include a single-use painted mask for the scenes he is seen as the extraterrestrial. The teeth and hands are a challenge for him as they are difficult to work in, and he has admitted it is difficult to see through the eyes.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images; Courtesy of Netflix

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven (Stranger Things)

Millie Bobby Brown’s transformation may not seem as dramatic as the rest of our picks, but for Brown, who was 12 before filming Season 1, she had shaved her hair into a buzzcut — a look any 12-year-old would dread (via TVLine, in a video she shared on Twitter but has since been deleted). But she bravely agreed to shaving it and took on the role audaciously.

Fox Photos/Getty Images; Courtesy of Netflix

Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher (The Crown)

The Crown‘s Margaret Thatcher, portrayed by Gillian Anderson, seems to look a lot like the real life character. Anderson, also known as Dr. Jean Milburn from Netflix’s Sex Education, transformed into the U.K.’s first female prime minister in Season 4 of The Crown. As she detailed to The Hollywood Reporter, she subtly had to change her posture, voice, and movement to mimic Thatcher.

Shockingly enough she didn’t need prosthetics or fake teeth, but simply used body language and vocal idiosyncrasies to get it right. As long as she sounded like Thatcher, wore the wig and changed her posture, it was like the ex-Prime Minister was in the room.

Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser on Outlander
Courtesy of Starz

Caitriona Balfe as Claire Fraser (Outlander)

Another minor, but important transformation is Claire’s (Catriona Balfe) gray hair on Outlander. When we first meet Jamie (Sam Heughan) and Claire, they are both in their 20s, but after the 20-year time jump in Season 3, they both had to age.

As Balfe pointed out to TVLine, “a lot of prosthetics can also be jarring and can take people out of the scene, and it cannot look perfect.” So, they stuck to the graying of the hair.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Netflix

Victoria Pedretti as Bent-Neck Lady (The Haunting of Hill House)

This one still haunts us to this day. Victoria Pedretti’s transformation into the Bent-Neck Lady was made possible by prosthetics, so the broken neck made her look as scary as possible. Pedretti went through an extensive and detailed process for the transformation to become the ghost that was haunting young Nell. As seen in a photo makeup effects artist Robert Kurtzman shared with Creative Content Wire, he used prosthetics for the bent neck and makeup for the bruises.