Fascinating Facts About Movie Makeup
When a movie audience is unable to even recognize the famous actor behind a character like The Joker in The Dark Night or Mystique from X-Men, a team of makeup artists is responsible – and while few ever see their work process directly, the creation of these films would be impossible without them.
Because the procedure for applying makeup happens exclusively behind the scenes, there is a great deal the average person doesn’t know about the work that goes into the creation of the larger-than-life characters that appear on screen. To create the appearance of a cyborg in the Terminator series of films, artists had to work with engineers to design both animatronic parts, and a makeup strategy that would blend the animatronics seamlessly with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face and body so that it looked as if they were one and the same.
Applying makeup isn’t always solely the makeup artists’ responsibility. Sometimes, an actor has to take an active role in the process. To give The Joker’s face a weathered look, the artists behind the character asked Heath Ledger to contort and relax his face repeatedly as his makeup was applied. This created creases and cracks that helped to contribute to the character’s deranged appearance.
While the movie comes to an end within a couple of relatively short hours, a character’s influence on popular culture can be far-reaching. For example, Elizabeth Taylor’s cat-like makeup as Cleopatra inspired a generation of women to alter their approach to applying eyeliner in order to imitate her look.
Read the infographic below for more details on how other iconic characters were created through magnificent movie makeup.