Film Make-up: 10 of the most impressive transformations

Edited by: Laliste / Credits: Wikipedia ; Movie Protector, Youtube

Film make up is becoming more impressive than ever before.  Here are some before and after images that should leave you speechless. Film make-up artists have a real skill! 

Make-up is really important in cinema just as it is in photography and cinema.  Nowadays, thanks to computer generated imaging technology, actor transformations are easier and more impressive to achieve than ever before  However nothing beats good old makeup which the original type of disguise!  Here are 10 of the most impressive make-up transformations in cinema.

1/ John Hurt in the Elephant Man

The make up for the film Elephant Man has an unusual backstory.  The actor John Hurt had to wear a latex prosthetic so that he could become the character of John Merrick.  It took several hours each day to fit the prosthetic.  The main character John Merrick was in fact a real person so the film recounts a true story.  After his death, John Merrick’s organs as well as molds for some of his body parts were conserved.  During the war, German air raids destroyed his organs however the molds miraculously stayed intact.  As a result the make-up team managed to use parts of the real face of John Merrick so as to accurately reconstruct his face and create a highly realistic transformation.  This make up  transformations clearly deserves to be on the list of the most impressive film makeup!

John Hurt Elephant Man
Edited Laliste / Credits : Wikipedia ; Movie Protector, Youtube

2/ Robert Englund in A Nightmare on Elm Street

Again Freddy Kruegar’s make up was created with a latex prosthetic.  Robert England had to sit for around 3 to 4 hours every day for his make up.  His make up artist David Miller said that Robert was one of the nicest people he had worked with in his career as he was very patient and never complained.  This is certainly one of the most impressive and scary makeup transformations!

Robert Englund Les griffes de la Nuit
Montage Laliste / Crédits : Wikipedia ; WatchMojo, Youtube

3/ Johnny Depp din Edward Scissor Hands

On paper, scars, a pale complexion and messy hair doesn’t sound that impressive.  However these details are enough to make Johnny Depp look unrecogniseable!  As well as the makeup, Johnny Depp had to wear a really tight costume which was also exceedingly warm.  Scenes were often interrupted as the actor started to feel faint…

Johnny Depp Edward aux mains d'argent
Edited Laliste / Credits: Gothic Kitty, Youtube ; nicogenin, Wikipedia

4/ Heath Ledger in the The Dark Night

A rather standard makeup that turned out to be very effective!  Heath Ledger actually came up with the make up himself. You could well believe it was done by an amateur as the white make up cracks under the actor’s expression.  Many layers were needed to create this roughly applied effect while black circles had to be added around Ledger’s eyes to create a more severe look. Together these details create a convincing result.  In fact, behind this make up, you hardly recognise the now deceased actor.

Heath Ledger Joker
Edited by Laliste / Credits: Howie, Wikipedia; WhatCulture, Youtube

5/ Robin William in Mrs Doubtfire

Initially the film’s director, Chris Colombus, decided to put very little make on Robin William’s face, just a little lipstick and some light makeup. However the actor was immediately recognisable. Even with a false nose, you could still see recognise the man hidden behind. In the end they then decided to recreate the whole face by analyzing the portrait of more than 500 women! Eventually an elderly English woman’s portrait caught the film team’s attention and won the vote. William’s new face was then reproduced in latex. In fact the actor actually removes his mask in one of the scenes. In 1994 the film won the Oscar for Best Makeup.

Robin Williams Mrs Doubtfire
Edited Laliste / Credits: Global Panorama, Flickr ; Séquences Films Séries Musiques, Youtube