10+ Makeup Jobs That Completely Changed the Features of Our Favorite Celebrities

year ago

Oftentimes, when an actor is chosen to play a particular role or character, it’s necessary to change their looks, sometimes drastically. In addition to prosthetics, wigs, and digital retouching, makeup experts are largely responsible for bringing fantastic beings or personalities from popular culture to life.

1. Jared Leto in House of Gucci

Jared Leto is one of those actors who gets into the skin of the characters he plays. To bring Maurizio’s chubby, bald cousin Paolo Gucci to life, the actor had to rely on the prosthetic design skills of makeup artist Göran Lundström.

2. Tilda Swinton in Snow Piercer

To personify the villain of this post-apocalyptic drama, Tilda was inspired by a person from her childhood who was not to her liking. To do so, she wore false teeth and huge glasses. This, along with her hairstyle and wardrobe, gave her the somewhat unpleasant look she needed to play the sinister Minister Mason.

3. Michael Dorn in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Michael Dorn played Worf, a Klingon raised by humans. To do this, the actor spent 2 and a half hours in the makeup chair so that the prosthetic forehead would be joined to his own. This is how he achieved the look he needed for the character.

4. Lily James in Pam & Tommy

Actress Lily James surprised us with her transformation to play the iconic Pamela Anderson. While it is clear that naturally there is no great physical resemblance between the two actresses, Lily managed to embody Pamela by spending four hours a day in the makeup chair. She used wigs, fake teeth, contact lenses, facial and body prosthetics, spray tanner, and more to look like Anderson.

5. Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire

Mrs. Doubtfire is one of the most remembered roles of the late Robin Williams. Although in the movie we got to see Williams’ character Daniel become the hilarious nanny, in real life, the process was a bit more exhaustive. In order for the actor to look like the lovely old lady, he had to spend 4 hours in the makeup chair.

6. Elizabeth Banks in Power Rangers

For the return of the popular franchise, Elizabeth put aside her beautiful features to bring to the screen the new version of Rita Repulsa, the dangerous enemy of the Power Rangers. In addition to wearing an incredible costume, the actress needed more than four hours of preparation to look like the villain we saw in the movie.

7. Johnny Depp in Black Mass

In order to become Whitey Bulger, the leader of a criminal group, the actor worked with his trusted makeup artist, Joel Harlow. To make this movie, the makeup team focused on giving Johnny Depp cool, piercing blue eyes, lighter skin, and stained teeth. In addition, the multifaceted actor used silicone prosthetics in the middle of his face, into which they inserted each hair by hand, obtaining a more realistic look.

8. Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots

Margot is one of the most distinguished actresses for her beauty, but to impersonate Queen Elizabeth I, she had to undergo a transformation that left her unrecognizable. The movie shows a progressive change in Margot’s image to the iconic Elizabeth I look, which was achieved using pasty white makeup, thin eyebrows, wigs, and a fake nose.

9. Michael Chiklis in Fantastic Four

Ben Grimm, better known as The Thing, is one of Michael Chiklis’s most memorable characters. However, it was also one that brought him the most discomfort since to become this superhero, he had to carry around 27 kilos of latex and spend hours in the makeup chair. In addition, the actor said he was very hot under the armor of The Thing.

10. Meryl Streep in Angels in America

© Angels in America / HBO Films, Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection/East News

For this 2003 miniseries, Maryl Streep transformed into a male rabbi thanks to an incredible makeup job. To become the aged man, the actress had a long white beard and a fully transformed set of teeth. For this role, Streep received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.

11. Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

© Foxcatcher / Annapurna Pictures, imago/Manfred Segerer/EAST NEWS

The crew of the biographical film, Foxcatcher, spent 3 hours changing Steve Carell’s appearance to resemble the character he played. This was done because not many people know what John du Pont actually looks like, and they wanted audiences to “forget” Steve Carell, who we know as a comedic actor. “I guess there is a perception of me as funny, nice Steve,” he said.

12. Halle Berry in Cloud Atlas

Halle Berry may be one of the most beautiful women in the world, but she’s also a superb actor who can play a variety of excellent roles. This was the situation with the film, Cloud Atlas, in which she portrayed 6 distinct personalities. Among them were Dr. Ovid and Meronym, which required her to sport entirely transformed appearances.

13. Christian Bale in Vice

Christian Bale is magnificent in every role he plays, but in Vice, he had to completely alter his appearance. Bale spent 4 to 8 hours a day in the makeup chair, shaving his scalp and bleaching his brows so that the wigs and prosthetics would stick to his face. “It was helpful to have a bullish neck,” Bale claimed. “They added a number of inches of prosthetics around my neck.”

Bonus: Actors who changed from head to toe thanks to technology

Rebel Wilson in Cats

To bring this well-known Broadway musical to the big screen, the actors wore green costumes that allowed them to become humanoid cats in post-production. In this way, Rebel Wilson was transformed into Jennyanydots without losing the details of her performance on the set.

Eiza González in Battle Angel

For this action movie, Eiza became Nyssiana, an evil and sadistic cyborg who wants to take down Alita. In order to look like a robot, the actress was made up by experts in the field, which was combined with the use of technology.

Please note: This article was updated in March 2023 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.


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