August 20th, 2014
We had a great time coming up with our favourite bad gal looks in Twisted Sistas, and thought it was a shame to leave out some of the incredible villain make-ups carried off by men. Warpaint turn to the dark side once more.
The Da Vinci Code
Paul Bettany is naturally pale, but seeing him made-up as the vindictive albino Silas took things to a whole new level. Veronia Brebner worked hard to diminish the natural redness in Bettany’s skintone, using a layer of green to counteract the red before layering on the pale, pale flesh colour. The natural features masked by the make-up were then added back in – veins were drawn, scars were added – and so was a wig, after the dye they’d used on his natural hair burned holes into his scalp! The two and a half-hour long process was finished with a layer of airbrush make-up and contact lenses.
A Clockwork Orange
Subverted expectations of the norm is pretty much what this film is all about – so when Stanley Kubrick recruited top fashion and beauty MUA Barbara Daly to create the look for Malcolm McDowell, you can expect something different to a traditional film make-up look. Daly talked through the creation of the look recently with Lisa Eldridge on her blog: “It had to be something strangely extraordinary but something that this character would do. Something that he would really put on and that’s where the eyelashes came from. I was thinking… ‘you know, he’s not going to do an awful lot of face makeup but he’s going to do something weirdly dramatic and what is that?’
“So I said to Stanley, what about trying false eyelashes and he said, ‘Let’s look and see, it sounds good.’ So I put them on and with a bit of costume we knew, we thought, ‘Thats it!’ It’s sinister, it’s strange, and it’s possible.”
You can read the full interview with Barbara Daly on Lisa’s blog here.
X Men First Class
Jason Flemyng underwent a four hour transformation every day to become the devilish Azazel. Much like his fellow mutant Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence, Flemyng had to undergo full body painting and prosthetic applications. His scarring, vivid red skin and menacing contact lenses all added to the barely contained, vicious energy which Flemyng brought to the role. Frances Hannon headed up the huge team behind the film, with only his whip-like tail added in after by the VFX team to complete the look.
Colm Feore underwent a similar transformation to Flemyng to play the Frost Giant King Laufey – a chilling, villainous creature who wages war against Thor and the Asgardians. The look required prosthetic pieces, moulded to Colm’s body, to be applied all over for four and half hours every morning. Ve Neill and Arjen Tuiten, who sculpted and designed the applications, were on hand to help create this icy monster.
Colm has spoken about how the process helped him get into character every morning – “It’s a little mad. But I kind of enjoy it, because it gives me a good four-and-a-half hours here at three in the morning when no one else is here, it gives me a chance to get into what the character is going to be. I start to assume the physicality and all the stuff that Ken Brannagh and I have talked about in terms of where this character sits and how he’s evolved. And, four-and-a-half hours later, this appears.” [Full interview here]
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
To create fearsome werewolf Fenrir Greyback, Nick Dudman and his team had to go back to the drawing board to create a new look for the familiar werewolf figure, with ten people working on the one character alone. The team spent seven months creating and stockpiling multi-piece silicone appliances for Dave Legeno’s head and chest – each with individual goat hairs hand-punched into them. “You can’t use wig lace, because it will show,” Dudman expained. “It has to be done by hand.” Each set of silicone pieces would take nearly six days to create, all for one day of shooting.
The flexibility of the pieces allowed for Legeno’s subtle ferociousness shine through – he didn’t need to roar and holler through a three inch-thick mask. Dave was a much loved member of the Potter family and we were so sad to hear of his recent passing, a terrible, tragic accident whilst hiking in California.
The Red Skull is a character which has ‘villain’ written all over him. Hugo Weaving did a great job of bringing such a prosthetic-heavy, masking piece to life. The look consisted of seven silicone appliances and three and a half hours of application to ensure they were fitted perfectly. A set of bottom dentures created the jutting, grimly set underbite, protruding from the wafer-thin mouth piece. David White and his team of prosthetics experts then added shading to the luminous red pieces, creating the effect of the skull’s crevices.
The Dark Knight
No list of film villains would be complete without Heath Ledger’s infamous Joker, regardless of whether the make-up was a factor to consider. But as it is, we think the clumsily applied clown make-up adds an element of realism to a character that can easily tip into panto-esque villainy. “We gave a Francis Bacon spin to [his face]. The corruption and decay in the texture of the look itself was grubby. You can almost imagine what he smells like,” director Christopher Nolan commented. Ledger wore three pieces of stamped silicone to help create his iconic scarred grin, which were so light he could barely feel them, and took less than an hour to apply by John Caglione, Jr. and his team.
It’s also said that Ledger came up with the crude clown make-up himself, applying cheap greasepaint and a store-bought clown kit to show the make-up team his vision of the character, reasoning that the Joker would have applied the make-up himself, so Ledger should too. It was also his idea to leave traces of the white make-up on his hands, again suggesting that the character applied it himself.
Guardians of the Galaxy
With the wealth of comics to inspire them, Lizzie Giorgiou and Dave White, as MU and prosthetic Heads of Department, had plenty of material to help inspire their characters. But as for actually bringing a drawing to life, the processes were much more complex. Lee Pace’s Ronan the Accuser, with his blue and black-dashed paintwork, was incredibly intimidating. Layers of periwinkle blue base, veins and the tar-like black combine with the arresting violet stare, creating an unusual and otherworldly villain.
You can read more about Lizzie’s experience on Guardians of the Galaxy here.
Star Wars Episode I
For the character of Darth Maul, being tasked to create “a figure from your worst nightmare” by director George Lucas was no mean feat. Designer Iain McCraig was inspired by the intricate lines on a circuit board, and worked on several designs, combining elements of flayed flesh (the vivid red), the Rorschach test (the mirrored effect and the vivid black) and African face-painting traditions and styles. Nick Dudman was the one to add the horns to the martial artist and stunt man Ray Park, who portrayed Maul physically, so contributing to the devilish aspect of the character.
The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring
Hulking Uruk-hai leader Lurtz is intimidating to say the least. Brought to life by serial villain-player of the film series, Lawrence Makoare, this monster required the talents of Gino Acevedo and Jason Docherty from Weta Workshop. A gruelling process for both actor and artists, the full body applications and make-up took 11 hours to apply – often starting at 9pm the night before, ready for shooting the next morning. The head piece alone comprised of five pieces, while the heavy body elements were made of thick silicone, which was undoubtedly very difficult (and hot!) to fight in.