To take you behind-the-scenes of Oscar Winner “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, and nominees “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Foxcatcher”, we captured the highlights from the Makeup and Hairstyling Nominee Panel at The Academy in Los Angeles last weekend.
1. “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Tony Revolori (aka The Lobby Boy in “The Grand Budapest Hotel”) talked about his mustache in the Oscar winning film for Makeup and Hairstyling. While the mustache was not in the script, Oscar Winner Frances Hannon explained, “It was sort of based on the fact that he wanted to emulate Gustav (Ralph Fiennes).” Tony then added, “And the fact that I couldn’t grow one.” Tony expanded that he always has a mustache when he is with Gustav, and then not when The Lobby Boy is with Agatha (Saoirse Ronan) alone.
By far the most difficult makeup in this movie was Madame D, played by Tilda Swinton. The challenge was to make her look like she was 83, when she’s only 50. Oscar Winner Mark Coulier expanded, “Anyone’s who’s a makeup artist knows that working on someone with a great bone structure and a really fine look is the perfect person to age, the hollow cheeks, it was just perfect.”
2. “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Switching to “Guardians of the Galaxy”, which was my Oscar poll pick, there was a huge number of characters who had tremendous changes made in their facial hair, body structure and makeup for this blockbuster film.
Michael Rooker (“The Walking Dead”) shared his experience as a cast member, “I was asleep most of the time. The makeup took about 4 ½ hours. We started with the prosthetic head… I had a Mohawk…I got used to it so I kept it, and they accommodated it, they hollowed out the whole deal (prosthetic piece) and made me very proud.”
Oscar nominee David White described Zoe Saldana’s character as, “She’s out there, but you can still relate to her…” Fellow nominee Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou added that Zoe’s character had a two-tone hair color so young people could relate to her, and it gave her an edge.
David White then explained that the Drax character took a team of five people, almost 3 hours of work daily. David White expanded, “When David (David Michael Bautista Jr. “WWF Raw”) was cast, what a fantastic physique he’s got…. So I devised a way of using kind of a flat mold in there, and also you don’t remember that the colors and layers are needed within that makeup so what I did was I devised a way we injected the layers in, which are two layers, the red and then the gray on top and then supplied to him in 18 pieces.”
In “Foxcatcher” (based on a true story), the makeup artist challenges were to turn Steve Carell into John Dupont, and Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo into Olympic and World Champion Wrestler brothers Mark and David Schultz. The other challenge was to make it look consistent every day for forty days of filming.
Oscar nominee Bill Corso described his first reaction, “You hear on every movie as a makeup artist, whatever you do, don’t loose the actor… This was one of those amazing rare opportunities when I had a conversation with the director, and I said to him, I can’t picture Steve Carrell in this movie…, and he said, ‘he can’t be,…I hired Steve because I thought as an actor, he would bring something interesting to this role, but he cannot be Steve Carrell at all’.” While it made Bill very nervous, they “faked the audience” into thinking Steve Carrell was John Dupont.
For the Schultz brothers, Oscar nominee Dennis Liddiard shared their approach, “I started to look up a lot of pictures of wrestlers and guys who are fighters…, and one thing really jumped out to us…, and that’s the cartilage in their nose is sprayed down, their nose is flattened out, their chins start to really protrude, and their foreheads protrude so they get this really flat profile so we decided to go after that look.” Their challenge was to get rid of Channum Tatum’s pretty nose, and apply makeup that would stay one while wrestling.
One of the great challenges of all makeup artists is to apply makeup that will stay on during filming in all kinds of temperatures and weather. In “Guardians of the Galaxy”, Michael Rooker did a sweat test for the makeup since they were filming during the summer, and it passed.
Big congratulations to all the Oscar Makeup and HairStyling winners and nominees. We were most impressed by “Guardians of the Galaxy,” although it was pretty amazing how they aged Tilda Swinton in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Who did you select in your Oscar poll?
© Liz H Kelly @LizHKelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist