The ability to convincingly assume multiple roles is a performer’s bread and butter, but actors don’t do this on their own. The work of makeup artists is more noticeable with some characters than with others, but there’s a reason this responsibility has its own category at the Academy Awards; it’s an essential element of the process of making the audience forget the real person behind the role and pay attention only to the character being created.
There is true artistry involved in helping actors become the individuals (or, in some cases, creatures) they play onscreen. There is also a science to producing the illusion of alien limbs, monstrous visages, mechanical endoskeletons, or even features as seemingly simple as fake tattoos – and making it all look unquestionably real.
Makeup artists must often work with a team of assistants to plan their approach to creating a character’s look. This can involve designing sketches of various stages in the makeup application process, making molds of prosthetic features, or researching a character’s identity in order to plan physical features that are both authentic, and consistent with the character’s actions and words in the film.
While many moviegoers may give little thought to the processes that enable actors to be transformed into characters that are frightening, quirky, menacing, or otherworldly, the show could not go on without the work of talented and enterprising makeup artists.
Read the Temptu Pro infographic below for more information on how Hollywood created some of the movies’ most iconic and memorable personae.