Stephan Lee
April 27, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Wilde (1997)
Writer Oscar Wilde
Actor Stephen Fry
Was the writer an alcoholic? To put it mildly.
A drug user? Does absinthe count?
A tortured soul? He was exiled and sentenced to hard labor for his homosexuality — but kept writing.
Really as hot as the actor? Not sure if hot is the word, but Fry is a dead ringer for Wilde.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Writer William Shakespeare
Actor Joseph Fiennes
Was the writer an alcoholic? No.
A drug user? No.
A tortured soul? In this rosy, Oscar-winning depiction, the Bard’s only real affliction is lovesickness.
Really as hot as the actor? Probably not, though Will’s pulchritude has been debated.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Writer Raoul Duke, a thinly veiled Hunter S. Thompson
Actor Johnny Depp
Was the writer an alcoholic? Yes.
A drug user? Whenever possible.
A tortured soul? Yes, Thompson shot himself at age 67.
Really as hot as the actor? As hot as Johnny Depp? Yeah, right.

Quills (2000)
Writer Marquis de Sade
Actor Geoffrey Rush
Was the writer an alcoholic? No.
A drug user? Aphrodisiacs, maybe.
A tortured soul? Funny you should mention torture. He spent years in prison for writing about S&M.
Really as hot as the actor? De Sade sat for only one portrait, so it’s hard to tell. Let’s call it a draw.

The Hours (2002)
Writer Virginia Woolf
Actor Nicole Kidman
Was the writer an alcoholic? No.
A drug user? No.
A tortured soul? Clearly. She killed herself by filling her pockets with stones and walking into a river.
Really as hot as the actor? No, Kidman needed a fake nose to play the stately-looking Woolf.

Sylvia (2003)
Writer Sylvia Plath
Actor Gwyneth Paltrow
Was the writer an alcoholic? No.
A drug user? Disputed.
A tortured soul? She battled insecurity and a philandering poet husband, then committed suicide.
Really as hot as the actor? Plath was waifishly pretty but didn’t have Paltrow’s golden glamour.

Capote (2005)
Writer Truman Capote
Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman
Was the writer an alcoholic? Yes.
A drug user? Not in the movie, but later, yes.
A tortured soul? The movie suggests that guilt over writing In Cold Blood ruined his life.
Really as hot as the actor? The diminutive Capote actually looked nothing like Hoffman.

Miss Potter (2006)
Writer Beatrix Potter
Actor Renée Zellweger
Was the writer an alcoholic? No.
A drug user? In the movie she talks to watercolor bunnies — without the help of hallucinogens.
A tortured soul? Nope, she died rich and happy.
Really as hot as the actor? The few existing photos of Potter show a woman plainer than Zellweger.

Howl (2010)
Writer Allen Ginsberg
Actor James Franco
Was the writer an alcoholic? No, but his friends were.
A drug user? Yes, it got his creative juices flowing.
A tortured soul? He suffered some serious psychic scars from seeing his mother institutionalized.
Really as hot as the actor? Not by a long shot. Ginsberg wasn’t known for his sculpted cheekbones.

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