Taking a real-life story and recreating it for on-screen isn’t an easy task, but some have done it flawlessly. I, Tonya, a dark comedy based loosely on the life of Olympic skater Tonya Harding, has already won two Critics’ Choice Awards, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Now, it’s also an Academy Award nominee!
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, currently on FX, features the life and death of Gianni Versace, who was brutally murdered by Andrew Cunanan on July 15, 1997. Ryan Murphy‘s limited series flawlessly brings Versace back to life with an uncanny portrayal of the designer by Edgar Ramirez. Penelope Cruz stars as Donatella Versace, while Darren Criss bares a very creepy resemblance to Cunanan. The first installment of American Crime Story, The People v. O.J. Simpson, was another adaptation that left audiences in awe. From Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown’s transformations into Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden to John Travolta’s eerie representation of Robert Shapiro, the cast blew everyone away.
The Disaster Artist, another film based on true life, has earned a great amount of praise during awards season. It is based on the making of the 2003 cult classic The Room, told by Tommy Wiseau and his best friend, Greg Sistero. James Franco and brother Dave Franco portray the best friends.
Some other very notable mentions go to Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayals of June and Johnny Cash in 2005’s Walk the Line, Lifetime’s 2011 story of Prince William and Kate Middleton, William and Kate, and Eminem playing himself in his 2002 life story, 8 Mile.
Watch the video above for more excellent adaptations. Tell Us: Which is your favorite?