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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.
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1.8–9 hours, Rebecca Romijn as Mystique in X-Men
2.8-9 hours, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men: First Class
3.8.5 hours, Jim Carrey as The Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas
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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
5.8 hours, Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in Vice
6.7-8 hours, John Hurt as John Merrick in The Elephant Man
7.7 hours, Jamie Campbell Bower as Vecna in Stranger Things 4
Becoming Vecna: A Behind the Scenes Look
8.7 hours, Michael Dorn as Worf in Star Trek: The Next Generation
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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
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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
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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
12.5-6 hours, Doug Bradley as Hellraiser in Hellraiser
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“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
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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
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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
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“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
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“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
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“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
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“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
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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