At some point in our lives, we’ve all wondered what it’s like to step into the shoes of our favourite celebrities and live like them for a day. While some enthusiasts cosplay as their beloved stars, others have succumbed to a more permanent solution to look like them. Some of these procedures have gone well, while others… not so much.
From “Male Kim Kardashian” to “Zombie Angelina Jolie,” here are 12 people who went to great lengths to look like their favourite idols and celebrities.
Over the course of 14 years, Los Angeles-based superfan Adam Guerra has splurged £150,000 (roughly $190,000) on a total of 18 cosmetic surgeries, including cheek, bum and jaw implants, a nose job and fillers—all in the hope of resembling his favourite idol, Madonna.
In an interview with The Sun, Guerra, who performs Madonna’s hit songs under the drag name ‘Venus De-Lite’, admitted that he has spent “practically my whole life, my whole wallet, all the money that’s been given to me” to look like the ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ singer. “I’ve had my cheeks implanted and my jaw done several times, I’ve had my chin done and I’ve had brow lifts and fillers,” Guerra explained. “But it is so worth it because goddamn, I look like Madonna.”
Let’s face it, there’s only one Ryan Gosling in this world. No one else has the same rugged scruff, intriguing eyes and chiselled jawline like the La La Land star. Back in 2013, however, aspiring actor Nicholas Ryan underwent extensive cosmetic procedures to look like the heartthrob in question.
After two hours of treatments, the New Jersey-based enthusiast was given nearly £4,000 ($5,000) worth of Botox and filler injections to make his face resemble his favourite hero. “Gosling’s got a look that a lot of people in America are looking for right now, especially in my line of work,” Ryan told the Daily Mail at the time. “I’m hoping I’ll get more auditions and roles if I look more like him. That’s why I had the surgery.” The enthusiast also added how women love The Notebook actor and believed the procedure would also improve his love life.
“I’m secretly excited how women will react now I look a little bit more like their celebrity crush,” he said. “Ryan Gosling does well with the ladies, hopefully so can I.”
For superfan Donna Marie Trego, it all started when she was asked to perform a Lady Gaga cover during a theme night at a local pub. From there, Marie Trego went on to spend over £70,000 ($87,990) to transform herself into the ‘Bad Romance’ singer with the help of more than 40 outfits, wigs and even her own team of dancers.
“Donna Marie as Lady Gaga is internationally acclaimed as the ‘Best Lady Gaga Tribute on the planet’!” the superfan’s website reads. Heck, Marie Trego has also met up with her favourite star in person. “Oh my god, you look just like me—you are amazing,” Lady Gaga herself was heard squealing with excitement after meeting her tribute act and impersonator.
“She’s taken over my life. My house is full of costumes. There’s a bit of Gaga in every room,” Marie Trego explained in an interview with the Daily Mail.
Mega fan Kitty Jay took her devotion to The Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence to another level in 2014, when she spent over £19,000 ($25,000) on a total of six cosmetic procedures—including liposuction to her face and body, a breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and grafts to her cheeks and buttocks. The entire procedure spanned six hours and Jay’s recovery took several weeks, according to ABC News.
“The more I’ve looked at her, the more I’ve realised that her features are sort of my features but more refined,” she told the publication. Erm, I’ll let you decide how similar Jay looks to the Academy Award-winning actress:
Arizona-based twins Matt and Mike Schlepp first stepped into the spotlight in 2017, when they appeared on MTV’s original reality series I Want A Famous Face with the goal of becoming Brad Pitt look-alikes. Aged 21 at the time, their entire £15,000 ($19,000) worth transformation process—including nose, cheek, jaw and chin implants as well as 41 porcelain veneers—was documented for the world to see.
Although the pair endured several months of agonising treatments that left them unable to eat proper meals, they admitted that it was “more than worth it.”
“I would do it ten times over. It has definitely helped me get more girls. I’ll walk and get that double-take from girls and hear the whispering that follows,” Matt said on the show. “I’ve had such a dramatic change that girlfriends I hadn’t seen in a while couldn’t stop staring, and said they wanted to cry! If that doesn’t make you feel good, then what would?”
In 2017, 19-year-old Sahar Tabar first claimed that she had undergone “50 surgeries” to look like her favourite Hollywood actress, Angelina Jolie. Amassing 500,000 followers on Instagram, the Iranian teenager quickly shot to fame—as several media outlets dubbed Tabar the “Zombie Angelina Jolie” and equated her appearance to Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.
However, fans suspected that Tabar’s new look was the result of extensive makeup, prosthetics and digital doctoring. The 19-year-old later confirmed their claims in an Instagram post that read: “People are probably living in the 18th century and they haven’t seen or heard of technology or make-up and they are really surprised.” In July 2019, Tabar went on to admit that she had, in fact, undergone a few surgeries like a nose job, lip fillers and liposuction but insisted that most of her appearance was hinged on makeup and editing.
In 2020, Tabar was sentenced to ten years in prison for charges including blasphemy, inciting violence, gaining income through inappropriate means and encouraging youth to corruption.
Francisco Mariano Javier Ibanez’s desire to look like Ricky Martin started a long time ago, when people remarked that there was a resemblance between him and the Puerto Rican singer. “I got a photo of him [Martin], I realised that I liked him and, like everything in life, when I like something, I go for it,” the enthusiast recalled on a TV show.
After spending seven years and around £6,595 ($8,254) on 30 cosmetic procedures, Mariano Javier Ibanez said, “I did my nose, chin, lips… I wanted to look like Ricky Martin, but the truth is, I ended up prettier than him.” After the drastic transformation, however, Mariano Javier Ibanez discovered that it is best to “just be yourself” and said it took him a long time to realise it. “I thought about who everyone likes and, yes it’s true, people told me that I kind of resembled him. So I believed them,” he said. “Now, I am able to realise that the ideal thing is to be yourself, not someone else.”
Jordan James Parke has one goal: to be the “Male Kim Kardashian.” Spending £110,000 ($137,580) on countless procedures, including two nose jobs, a chin implant, 50 lip-filling operations, eyebrow tattoos, vampire facials, neck lipo-suction, microdermabrasion, a chemical peel, Botox injections in several areas and laser hair removal, the superfan now looks completely unrecognisable in his pre-surgery photos.
“I don’t want to look exactly like her. I just love her features,” James Parke told Cosmopolitan, clarifying that despite all of the treatments, he’s not “crazy.” “A lot of people say ‘He must have problems, he must have something wrong with him’, but—as a lot of people know, when you have surgery—you have to see a psychiatrist beforehand. I’ve seen one, so I’m not crazy,” he laughed. “Well, I am a bit, but I’m not like mentally insane.”
Dubbing himself as Britain’s “Lip King,” the superfan now lives a lifestyle filled with its own perks. “I get all my treatments for free now, I don’t pay for any of my Botox or my fillers,” he told Cosmopolitan. “I get companies contacting me every day asking, ‘Will you promote this on Instagram? Will you do this?’ I’m getting invited to different parties, you know what I mean, it’s just crazy. I just think to myself sometimes, imagine what Kim’s life is like. Imagine how many companies ask her to do things.”
Germany-born aspiring songwriter, Toby Sheldon, had spent five years and over £80,000 ($100,000) on numerous procedures including face fillers, hair transplants, eye lifts, a controversial smile surgery and a chin reduction in an attempt to look like Canadian singer Justin Bieber. Appearing on Botched and TLC’s My Strange Addiction, Sheldon said, “When Justin Bieber got famous, I was so jealous of his good looks! He had this baby face that I just really liked. Some people buy fancy cars or fancy mansions. What I do with my money is I get surgery to look more like Justin Bieber.”
In 2015, however, 35-year-old Sheldon was found dead in a motel room in the San Fernando Valley. At the time, the Los Angeles County coroner listed the cause of his death as “multiple drug intoxication.”
Los Angeles-based Bryan Ray has dedicated his life to resembling his favourite idol, Britney Spears—spending roughly £64,000 ($80,000) on over 90 surgeries including veneers, regular Botox treatments, fat injections in his cheeks, laser hair removal, lip fillers, a nose job, as well as an intensive skin care regimen designed to make him look “eternally youthful.”
“Ever since I was young, there was something about Britney Spears and the qualities she had that I thought was the perfect package. I was obsessed, I watched all her interviews, learned all her choreography and then paid to have the same perfect smile as I felt that, during that time, we were very similar,” Ray told the Daily Mail. “In the beginning, I was trying to look like Britney Spears, my surgeons who designed my veneers asked me which celebrity smile I wanted to base mine on and it was hers. Now, with my looks, I want to get into modelling. I love impersonating Britney Spears, so I want to continue doing that and see where it takes me.”
Bryan has allegedly met his idol three times, including during her infamous meltdown of 2007.
Nicknamed ‘Scouse Pammie’, Liverpool-based Carolyn Anderson is now a professional lookalike of Playboy playmate and Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson. When I started modelling, I needed an angle to make me stand out from everyone else,” Anderson (Carolyn, not Pamela) told Liverpool Echo. “If I do something, I want to be the best at it, so because I had always been told I looked like Pamela Anderson I decided I should be her. I already had the hair, I’ve been dyeing mine since I was 12, and I’ve naturally got full lips so I just worked on the rest.”
The “rest,” according to the Daily Mail, includes “Botox, lip fillers, teeth whitening and false eyelashes.” Anderson also injects herself with Melanotan II, which the publication described as an “unregulated tanning drug.” In an interview with The Mirror, the superfan added, “I’ll admit it—I’m hooked. I’m what they call a tanorexic. But I couldn’t live without a tan, it’s a part of who I am. And I wouldn’t leave the house without one.”
Lastly, we have Oli London, the controversial public figure who “identifies” as a Korean person with they/them pronouns and “kor/ean” neopronouns. Rising to notoriety after being featured on Hooked on the Look and Botched, the British influencer has undergone $150,000 worth of cosmetic surgeries over the course of six years to look like Park Jimin from the Korean boyband, BTS.
“I’m not actually changing my race,” London said in the 2019 interview with Barcroft TV. “I have a deep respect for Korean culture. It’s cultural appreciation, not cultural appropriation.” To date, however, the internet figure has come under fire for altering most of their features to appear “more Korean”—including their nipples to match Jimin’s.
“If you look at the pictures of me and Jimin, we’re identical,” London said in the interview. “When I was in Korea everyone [called] me Jimin [when I was] walking down the street. Everyone, they think I’m Jimin.” As of today, it is unclear what the vocalist from BTS means to London, as they have mentioned the desire to both resemble and marry the Kpop star. A cardboard cutout doesn’t count, by the way. Mister London.