Top 10 Cross-gendered Acting Performances in a Movie

By Melissa Poczatek,

Guys in dresses and girls with facial hair? Whether it is a drama, a comedy or even an animated film, we’ve got it covered! Here is our top ten list of notable cross-gendered performances in a movie.

10. Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs (2011)
Set in 19th century Ireland, Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) decides to dress as a male butler rather than live the restricted female life.

9. Martin Lawrence in Big Momma’s House (2000)
Undercover FBI agent Martin Lawrence pretends to be an old lady in order to protect others in this hilarious comedy.

8. Felicity Huffman in Transamerica (2005)
A pre-sex change Felicity Huffman experiences both gender identification and family issues leading up to her male-to-female surgery.

7. John Travolta in Hairspray (2007)
John Travolta sings, dances and acts as the loving mother to an ambitious teen in this musical movie.

6. Ming-Na Wen in Mulan (1998)
Ming-Na voices the heroic Chinese maiden who dresses as a man to fight in the place of her father.

5. Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love (1998)
This fictional movie tells the story behind Shakespeare’s creation of Romeo and Juliet. In it, Gwyneth Paltrow plays the love interest of William Shakespeare and he bases the story off of the romance they share. Within the movie, Paltrow switches between a male and female identity in order to keep their love hidden.

4. Amanda Bynes in She’s the Man (2006)
When Viola’s (Amanda Bynes’) high school soccer team gets cut, she decides to impersonate her brother to join the rival high school’s soccer team.

3. Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie (1982)
An unemployed actor decides to take up his hardest roll yet - that of a woman - in order to get casted for a soap opera.

2. Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Hilary Swank plays Brandon Teena, a transgender teenager that identifies himself as a male until he finds out that he was actually born a female.

1. Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Robin Williams disguises himself as a female housekeeper in order to be closer to his children after a bitter divorce and lost custody battle.



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