Edna Turnblad – Hairspray (2007)
You can choose to see the remake in bright colours and big smiles or John Waters’s darker version. But there is no doubt that Hairspray’s main character Tracy Turnblad, the mother of teen star Tracy Turnblad, is portrayed by a man dressed in drag.
Divine’s role was originally played, but John Travolta certainly put his smooth dancing moves to good use as he danced his way through the remake.
Ed Wood – Ed Wood (1994)
“I need transvestites!” Although he was a terrible director of films, he loved pencil skirts and angora sweaters.
Johnny Depp, the cross-dressing film-maker, is in fine form.
Dr. Alex Hesse – Junior (1994)
It was weird enough to see a film where man-Hulk Arnieschwarzenegger becomes Virgin Mary and has a child. But things get even more bizarre when he goes undercover wearing lady clothes to protect himself.
This is our favourite outfit choice among all cross-dressers. We have never seen a former bodybuilder look so elegant in a pastel pink smock gown. We love the fact that he can look exactly like Arnie with a sloppy wig.
Albert – The Birdcage (1996)
This American remake of La Cage aux Folles, a campy American version of Meet The Parents, is a great success. But they find themselves in trouble when their son invites his ultra-conservative family to dinner.
Albert cannot play the role straight, so he drags it up and takes on the role of the matronly Mrs Coleman. It was also praised for “going beyond the stereotypes and seeing the character’s humanity and depth” thanks to Lane’s undeniable chemistry with Williams.
Yentl Mendel – Yentl (1983)
We apologise if we interrupt this song with a lively rendition of “Papa, Can You Listen to Me?” Barbra Streisand cuts her hair, pulls out some men’s threads, and heads to a yeshiva, where she can learn Jewish scriptures and live in secret as Anshel.
The adaptation seemed to veer off the original story’s ending, giving Babs a Hollywood ending, love interest, and ignoring the gender identity issues Yentl faces in the book.
ngel – Bad Educaction (2004)
Almodovar’s multi-layered masterpiece had Gael Garcia Bernal, a young heartthrob, staring as a femme fatale. He used his cold cunning to manipulate his brother, a former schoolmate. Although he puts on a compelling performance, we cannot shake the striking resemblance between Juliette Lewis and his blonde-wigged Angel.
Dave, Adam & Doofer – Sorority Boys (2002)
How are three young frat boys falsely accused of taking money from their brothers and being booted out supposed to act? Grab your mini-dresses, make-up, and join the fray as ladies!
Someone was probably trying to prove something about objectifying women, but that was lost under the barrage for jokes and objectifying women. They have good legs, though.
Divine – Pink Flamingos (1972)
Ah, John Waters. This notoriously gross film made Divine a star.
We won’t even get into the perverse things that happen as we follow the filthiest people worldwide fighting for their titles, but we must agree that Divine earned that title thanks to the now-famous, stomach-turning ending.
Albert – Albert Nobbs (2011)
Glenn Close’s powerful performance led Albert Nobbs to the top, and Close was the title character. She felt strongly about the part and campaigned for years for it to be made into a movie. It’s obvious in her moving portrayal of the hotel waitress, who disguised his true gender to keep his job.
Albert’s story draws you in the right from the beginning, focusing more on the guilt and shame that comes with living a lie for a lifetime than any comical hijinks or jokes.