Music ae Amor

The Impeccable Music

These 21 Actors Became Completely Unrecognizable After Over 5 Hours Of Makeup

These 21 Actors Became Completely Unrecognizable After Over 5 Hours Of Makeup

Table of Contents

Getting makeup and prosthetics applied can be a tedious process, but when it pays off it can lead to incredibly memorable characters. These are some of the longest times actors had to sit in the makeup chair.

Netflix / giphy.com

1.8–9 hours, Rebecca Romijn as Mystique in X-Men

These 21 Actors Became Completely Unrecognizable After Over 5 Hours Of Makeup

“I guess it was the makeup application. It was no joke! My call time was at midnight to be ready at 9 a.m. It was a nine-hour makeup process. We did, over the course of three movies, manage to get it down to seven hours, but that was still… It was a big deal. And I realized pretty early on that was the job. I was getting paid to be a part of that makeup application. The acting was free. The job was getting all that makeup put on!” —Rebecca Romijn, Looper

20th Century Fox / youtube.com, Steve Eichner / Getty Images

2.8-9 hours, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men: First Class

Jennifer Lawrence as the scaley Mystique

In First Class, the filmmakers stayed true to the original costume worn by Rebecca Romijn. But for Jennifer Lawrence, the body paint caused skin irritations so bad a doctor had to be called to set. For the following film, X-Men: Days of Future Past, they switched to a body suit. This also helped save all that time on set.

“I’m so excited because I’m going to wear a body suit. It will be from neck down so it will cut out time and the blisters.” —Jennifer Lawrence, E! News

20th Century Fox / youtube.com, Axelle / FilmMagic

3.8.5 hours, Jim Carrey as The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Universal / giphy.com, Kevin Winter / Getty Images

The process of putting on the makeup and suit took so long that a movie producer brought in a CIA operative whose job is to help people endure torture.

4.8 hours, Halle Berry as Jocasta Ayrs (and five other characters) in Cloud Atlas

Halle Berry looking unrecognizable in Cloud Atlas

In addition to playing Jocasta Ayrs, Berry is also credited as:

-Luisa Rey



-Native Woman

-Indian Party Guest

Warner Bros / youtube.com, Angela Weiss / AFP via Getty Images

5.8 hours, Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in Vice

<div><p>"In the old days, when we sculpted foam appliances, you would oversculpt a little bit on the jowl area and chin, jawline, because it would shrink a bit, so you’d lose some of that. But now, in silicone, with the weight of it pulling down, you have to undersculpt the jowls on the chin and jawline because the weight of it pulls it down and you’ll add too much to it. So it’s really complicated. You really have to know what you’re doing." —Makeup artist Greg Cannom, <a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74679X1524629&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.buzzfeed.com%2Fwilliambarrios%2Fcharacter-transformations-that-took-over-5-hours&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vox.com%2Fthe-goods%2F2019%2F2%2F22%2F18233588%2Fvice-makeup-dick-cheney-christian-bale-greg-cannom&xcust=6271395%7CBF-VERIZON&xs=1" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Vox" class="link "><i>Vox</i></a></p></div><span> Gary Sanchez Productions, Samir Hussein / WireImage</span>

“In the old days, when we sculpted foam appliances, you would oversculpt a little bit on the jowl area and chin, jawline, because it would shrink a bit, so you’d lose some of that. But now, in silicone, with the weight of it pulling down, you have to undersculpt the jowls on the chin and jawline because the weight of it pulls it down and you’ll add too much to it. So it’s really complicated. You really have to know what you’re doing.” —Makeup artist Greg Cannom, Vox

Gary Sanchez Productions, Samir Hussein / WireImage

6.7-8 hours, John Hurt as John Merrick in The Elephant Man

John Hurt as The Elephant Man

The makeup for John Hurt to resemble real-life John Merrick was created using molds of Merrick’s body that are at the Royal London Hospital.

Paramount / youtube.com, Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

7.7 hours, Jamie Campbell Bower as Vecna in Stranger Things 4

Jamie Campbell Bower in full makeup as the demonic Vecna in Stranger Things

Check out a behind-the-scenes look below for a closer look inside the process.

Netflix / youtube.com, Valerie Macon / AFP via Getty Images

Becoming Vecna: A Behind the Scenes Look

8.7 hours, Michael Dorn as Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation

Paramount / giphy.com, Frank Trapper / Corbis via Getty Images

According to Michael Dorn, the makeup process has gotten easier with time:

“It’s really not all that weird now, because it used to pretty tough, because they used a large amount of glue and makeup. It just was a real process.”

9.7 hours, Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson in Deadpool

20th Century Fox / giphy.com, Steven Ferdman / Getty Images

Seven hours is a very long time, and the makeup artists were clearly not having it when Ryan Reynolds once pranked them by ripping it all off after they were done.

Deadpool Makeup Prank:

10.6 hours, Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze in Batman and Robin

Warner Bros / giphy.com, David Hume Kennerly / Getty Images

An LED had to be put in Arnold’s mouth for certain close-up shots, and at one point it got pretty dangerous:

“When you put it in Arnold’s mouth, Arnold’s saliva would creep into the seams of this thing and attack the batteries. The batteries would immediately start disintegrating and start putting out battery acid into Arnold’s mouth.” —Makeup artist Jeff Dawn, THR

11.6 hours, Gary Oldman as Mason Verger in Hannibal

Gary Oldman as Mason Verger in Hannibal

Greg Cannom, who worked with Christian Bale on Vice, was the makeup artist for Hannibal:

“I knew we could get away with more with [Oldman] than some other actor. The first thing he said was, ‘Can we stretch my eye open?’ It’s really disgusting. I’ve been showing people pictures [of Oldman as Verger], and they all just say, ‘Oh my God,’ and walk away, which makes me very happy.” —Cannom, The Guardian

MGM / youtube.com, Tom Stoddart Archive / Getty Images

12.5-6 hours, Doug Bradley as Hellraiser in Hellraiser

Entertainment Film Distributors / giphy.com, Bobby Bank / WireImage

“The process started off with Clive sketching out his ideas that we would work through together, and then we would kick other ideas around based on those sketches. Originally, Pinhead wasn’t like he is now at all. He was much more like the character Shuna Sassi in Nightbreed, where it was all quills coming out of the top of his head. I was looking at this and going, ‘Clive [Barker, director], we can’t do this on this budget.’ I knew that this makeup would go on for six days and I just knew that we couldn’t do that on this micro-budget. He said, ‘Okay, well, let’s have a think about it.’ That’s when we came up with this drawing of a grid on a lifecast, just to work out where we were going to put in what was originally going to be six-inch nails. Clive looked at the grid and decided he really liked the symmetry of it, so we left it in.” —Makeup artist Bob Keen, Daily Dead

13.5 hours, Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Warner Bros / giphy.com, Dan Macmedan / WireImage

Greg Cannom (Vice, Hannibal) is back at it again:

“I had the time to do it right, which I usually don’t on a film. We did very intense tests for two weeks before shooting and started off with every age, and just did makeup after makeup. The makeup had to work or the film wouldn’t work.” —Cannom, Variety

14.5 hours, John Matuszak as Sloth in The Goonies

Warner Bros / giphy.com, The Sporting News / Sporting News via Getty Images

Back in 2019, 34 years after The Goonies came out, the test footage for Sloth’s makeup was finally found.

15.5 hours, Dave Bautista as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel / giphy.com, George Pimentel / WireImage

“Drax started as a five-hour makeup, and slowly the time began to fall away, as expected. A makeup that extensive is a real slog for the team as it’s so complex.

“Every day, a Vac forma [plastic mold] of David’s exact body shape with perforated holes in it to indicate exactly where the prosthetics start and finish was offered up. This had rice paper skin illustrator airbrushed through it showing the map.

“The crew all had different tasks in the sequence. Some move[d] onto the paint system while some finished off the prosthetic blending offs. We added thin layers of browns, reds, and greens within the base grey to break up the tone and make it come alive before the final color sweep.

“Then the whole body is sealed with a fixative so that it can withstand the day’s shoot.” —Makeup artist David White, Business Insider

16.5 hours, Zoe Saldana as Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel / giphy.com, Axelle / FilmMagic

“This one [time] I got picked up at three in the morning — and my dog wasn’t even happy about that. I had to sit for five hours for five months. It was crazy, but it paid off. The movie is fantastic.” —Zoe Saldana, US Weekly

17.5 hours, Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle in The Fly

20th Century Fox / giphy.com, Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

“Chris Walas won the Oscar for that, yes. And Stephan Dupuis, for five hours, put me in a dentist’s chair and applied that thing. And then another hour after we were done… ya know, rub rub rub… took it off. Kinda squeezed on this suit… rubbery suit… so I look all boily… misshapen. And then prosthetics.” —Jeff Goldblum, Yahoo

18.5 hours, Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator in Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Tri-Star Pictures / giphy.com, Art Zelin / Getty Images

“Maria would come out to the set when we were in the middle of shooting Terminator 2. And so she saw me when half of the face was gone and the eye was lighting up and all that. All this kind of weird makeup, so she started screaming and crying on the set because she didn’t understand why daddy looked like that.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger, Yahoo

19.5 hours, Marion Cotillard as Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose

Canal+ / giphy.com, Mike Marsland / Mike Marsland / WireImage

Marion Cotillard was alright going through five hours of makeup because she’s such a big fan of Édith Piaf and wanted to do her justice:

“This was very intense, but she was a very intense person. I love tragedy. Not in my life. But I love to play tragedy. It gives me the opportunity to express so many things. At the same time I feel empty and full of emotion; I feel alive.” — Marion Cotillard, Under the Radar

20.5 hours, Tim Curry as Darkness in Legend

Tim Curry as Satan in Legend

“We had terrible negotiations about which bits of me would be visible. I fought and fought and begged to have my own eyes… My eyes were these total contact lenses, like a sort of wolves eyes or cats eyes, which was very painful to be fitted because basically they took a mold of your eye and stuck it in your eye and if it hurt they scraped at it a bit until it stopped hurting.” —Tim Curry, Legend commentary

Universal / youtube.com, Central Press / Getty Images

21.5 hours, John Travolta as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray

John Travolta as Edna in Hairspray

When Broadway World asked John Travolta what he thought when he first looked at himself in full makeup, he said:

“I will tell you what, I had seen it on a screen test, which I was very excited about, because when I came out I didn’t recognize or see me in it. I tested it on other people and said now look, take a look at it. This broad we are looking at, see if she is good for the movie, and I let them watch for five minutes. I said, so what do you think of her? They said she’s fun, bubbly, and kind of cute. I said, yeah, that’s me.” — John Travolta, Broadway World

New Line Cinema / youtube.com, Christopher Polk

Which other roles took 5+ hours in the makeup chair? Let me know in the comments!