10 Brilliant Tweaks That Suddenly Made Actors Cool As F***

Robert Downey Jr. fully embraced his motormouth shtick and became a mega-star.

Iron Man Robert Downey Jr.
Marvel Studios

Acting is one hell of a tough career and certainly not for the faint of heart, given that Hollywood is a cruelly judgmental and superficial industry where talent can only take you so far and everything can quickly change on the turn of a dime.

It's often the most fickle of things which makes the difference between an actor's success and failure, and sometimes all it takes is one genius tweak to transform an actor from down-and-out to so damn cool it hurts.

And that's absolutely the case with these 10 actors, each of whom made themselves impossibly awesome with one change to their appearance or career trajectory.

Sometimes all you need to do is grow out your facial hair and mass audiences will take you more seriously, or perhaps you just need to bring yourself down a couple of pegs with a self-deprecating role that gets general viewers on-side.

This list is nothing if not a testament to the tectonic impact that minor changes can have, in turn altering the entire course of an actor's career in a wildly positive way beyond their grandest expectations.

10. Keanu Reeves Got Long Hair & A Beard

Iron Man Robert Downey Jr.

Though it might seem like a distant memory these days, a decade ago Keanu Reeves' Hollywood career was in pretty damn rough shape, with 2013's big-budget flop 47 Ronin seemingly bringing his blockbuster days to an end.

But the very next year, John Wick of course surpassed any and all expectations by reinventing Reeves as a middle-aged action hero, in a movie which launched a now-five-movie franchise (including upcoming spin-off Ballerina).

While you can give a lot of the credit to the smart script and tight filmmaking, there's also one tweak to Reeves' appearance which restored a sense of cool he'd been lacking for forever - giving him longer hair and a beard.

Up until John Wick, Reeves was clean-shaven in the overwhelming majority of his films - though, ironically, not 47 Ronin. This certainly served him well enough as a younger man, but as he approached his fifties?

The shaggier, coarser look was just inherently better for portraying a grizzled, ageing hitman.

It, combined with the sheer bravura quality of the movie itself, made Keanu Reeves cool once again. Or as the character himself says, "Yeah, I'm thinking I'm back."

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