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See the on-screen transformations of Emmy-nominated actors

Malcolm Venable
Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump Saturday Night Live
1 of 25 Michael Loccisano/Getty Images, Will Heath/NBC

Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump Saturday Night Live

From his sneer to his pout to his huckster voice, Alec Baldwin's Trump has transcended impersonation to become a landmark moment in culture -- it's dissent as entertainment distilled into a meticulously crafted wig and pair of eyebrows.

2 of 25 Michael Loccisano/Getty Images, Take Five/Hulu

Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, The Handmaid's Tale

Few of this season's villains were as terrifying as Aunt Lydia, thanks to Ann Dowd's severe facial expressions, sharp diction and voluminous cloak.

3 of 25 Noam Galai/Getty Images, Michael Parmelee/USA Network

B.D. Wong as Whiterose, Mr. Robot

As one of the world's most dangerous hackers, Whiterose didn't spend much time on screen. But through B.D. Wong's forceful turn as the Chinese trans woman with a no-nonsense demeanor, Whiterose will loom large for seasons to come.

4 of 25 Mike Pont/Getty Images, Nicole Wilder/ABC

Cicely Tyson as Ophelia Harkness, How to Get Away with Murder

Like mother, like daughter. Ophelia has dark secrets underneath her facade, and Tyson's way of giving Ophelia a polished exterior and a sinister center shows why she's a living legend.

5 of 25 David Livingston/Getty Images, Robert Viglasky/Netflix

Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, The Crown

Embodying every bit of the grandeur, private vulnerability and stiff upper lip befitting the queen, Foy is sublime in her role.

6 of 25 Mike Marsland/Getty Images, George Kraychyk/Hulu

Elisabeth Moss as Offred, The Handmaid's Tale

Although Moss doesn't turn into an alien or wear some other face we don't recognize in Hulu's breakout series, her eyes and trembling lips convey an ocean of despair so intense that Gilead seems too real -- and way too close for comfort.

7 of 25 Amanda Edwards/Getty Images, Chris Large/FX

Ewan McGregor as Ray and Emmit Stussy, Fargo

McGregor became a pair of brothers that required strikingly different physical portrayals -- an aura of defeat for paunchy lowlife (Ray), and a state of perpetual panic for passive-aggressive businessman Emmit.

8 of 25 Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images, Dusan Martincek/National Geographic

Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein, Genius

Staggering in his resemblance to Einstein, Rush also uncovered a sexy side to the scientist that upended everything we thought we knew about the physicist and pop culture icon.

9 of 25 Mike Pont/Getty Images, Kurt Iswarienko/FX

Jackie Hoffman as Mamacita, Feud: Bette and Joan

Comic actress Jackie Hoffman was decidedly unfunny -- and fantastic -- as Joan Crawford's faithful servant, who doted with military discipline and nun-like authority.

10 of 25 Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images, Jennifer Clasen/Amazon Prime Video

Jeffrey Tambor as Maura Pfefferman, Transparent

In the role that helped kickstart a trans revolution on TV, Jeffrey Tambor brings dignity, lightness and a little clumsiness to Maura, a woman who transitioned late in life.

11 of 25 Jason LaVeris/Getty Images, Suzanne Tenner/FX

Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford, Feud: Bette and Joan

Banishing any possible doubt that she's one of the greats, Jessica Lange summoned Joan Crawford's many personalities -- from vulnerable, boozy mess to flamboyant doyenne to ferocious pit bull -- in seconds. Few of us can say we know what Joan Crawford was like in real life, but based on Lange's incredible performance, it's safe to assume her turn is a near-exact replication.

12 of 25 Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images, Alex Bailey/Netflix

John Lithgow as Winston Churchill, The Crown

Lithgow's acting chops are the stuff of legend on their own, but for his remarkable depiction of U.K. prime minister Winston Churchill, the 6-foot-4 actor put cotton in his nose (for a nasal sounding voice), used fillers in his cheeks and famously wore a fat suit.

13 of 25 Michael Loccisano/Getty Images, Jennifer Clasen/Amazon Prime Video

Judith Light as Shelly Pfefferman, Transparent

This season of Transparent belongs to Light, whose character Shelly came into her own in Season 3. It's the season finale where she soars most, rising from the ashes of a doomed relationship to sing Alanis Morrisette in a stunning one-woman show that let her resilient spirit shine.

14 of 25 Kevin Mazur/Getty Images, Will Heath/NBC

Kate McKinnon as Jeff Sessions, Saturday Night Live

Steadily earning her way towards the front of SNL's Best in Class, McKinnon disappears into her characters while still infusing them all with giddy joy, as her Hillary Clinton and Jeff Sessions show.

15 of 25 Jeff Spicer/Getty Images, Will Heath/NBC

Kristen Wiig as Furonica, Saturday Night Live

Is there no end to this woman's talent? Addictive kooks are her speciality, and her cat-loving Furonica is no exception.

16 of 25 C. Flanigan/Getty Images, Will Heath/NBC

Leslie Jones as Donald Trump, Saturday Night Live

The incredulousness of Leslie Jones' Donald Trump bit was just the top of the iceberg for the comic during this season. With each character she plays, audiences forget exactly who the real Leslie Jones is, although one thing's for sure: she's very funny.

17 of 25 Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images, Colleen Hayes/FX

Louie Anderson as Christine Baskets, Baskets

Whatever you do, don't call the garb that Louie Anderson rocks as Christine drag -- Anderson is the put-upon suburban California mom whose breezy separates and chunky necklaces say so very much without a word.

18 of 25 Neilson Barnard/Getty Images, Will Heath/NBC

Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer, Saturday Night Live

No other impersonation pierced through the zeitgeist or the haze in the White House like Melissa McCarthy's portrayal of 45's now-departed press secretary. Though her character -- a screeching, volatile short fuse who turned anything he could pick up into a weapon -- was an exaggeration, the suit and haircut are spot on. Her performance is one of 2017's most unforgettable.

19 of 25 Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images, Curtis Baker/Netflix

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Stranger Things

In real life, Millie is a bright, energetic and confident young woman who can spit rap verses with finesse. But as Stranger Things' Eleven, Brown became a trembling force of nature in a buzz cut, a kid whose otherworldly powers are contained by a dam of quiet fury.

20 of 25 Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images, VH1

RuPaul Charles as RuPaul, RuPauls' Drag Race

Still fierce after more than 30 years in the game, "Mama Ru" still slays every time she steps on the catwalk, inspiring countless people of all backgrounds with every snatched wig and beat face.

21 of 25 Frazer Harrison/Getty Images, Curtis Baker/Netflix

Shannon Purser as Barb, Stranger Things

Purser's Barbara Holland didn't even make it past Episode 3, but her sensitive demeanor, exquisite mom jeans and oversized glasses turned her into the cult hero who inspired 1,000 hipster costumes -- and a campaign for justice.

22 of 25 D. Dipasupil/Getty Images, Rosalind O'Connor/NBC

Vanessa Bayer as Janine from The Handmaid's Tale, Saturday Night Live

SNL picked the perfect cast member to play the somewhat dopey Janine from The Handmaid's Tale; Bayer has a special talent for becoming characters who slowly reveal a dark side underneath her knowing, mischievous smirk.

23 of 25 Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images, Nicole Wilder/ABC

Viola Davis as Annalise Keating, How to Get Away with Murder

So far from the glamorous and poised goddess we know from award shows, Viola Davis takes Annalise stunning places on HTGAWM, wearing everything from confidence to rock-bottom anguish on her face as easily as she does lipstick.

24 of 25 David Livingston/Getty Images, Chuck Hodes/SHOWTIME

William H. Macy as Frank Gallagher, Shameless

As consistently inappropriate and burdensome addict Frank, Macy embodies total conviction and fearlessness in portraying a wino with heart.

25 of 25 Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images, Colleen Hayes/FX

Zach Galifianakis as Chip and Dale Baskets, Baskets

One of Galifianakis' many master tricks throughout this weirdly genius series has been giving depressed clown Chip and his comparatively more successful Dale brother purpose and dignity. In both roles, Galifianakis mines deep for the real humanity beyond obvious one-note jokes and the result is gold.