ByRicky Derisz, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!" Twitter: @RDerisz.
Ricky Derisz

Although the ability to conjure up almost anything with CGI is admirable, there is something special about seeing your favorite actor covered head-to-toe in prosthetics.

But the process isn't easy. Below are a list of actors who have had to endure rigorous transformations, lasting hour after hour, time and time again, just for our viewing pleasure.

One even required CIA torture endurance techniques just to make it through filming! Aren't they great.

Without further ado, let's take a look:

1. Ralph Fiennes - 'Harry Potter' Film Series (2005 - 2011)

Character: Voldemort

Time spent in make-up: 2.5 hours

Harry Potter's nemesis is arguably one of the most thoroughly evil fictional creations of all time, and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was brought to life with heavy makeup, with CGI taking over to remove Fiennes's nose post-filming.

The physical transformation helped Fiennes channel Voldemort's nefarious side. In an interview with MTV News, he said:

“A certain look that you have helps you locate who you’re being. You look at yourself in the mirror, you see this face, and you say, ’I know who I am.’ ”

2. Michael Chiklis - 'Fantastic Four' (2005)

Character: The Thing

Time spent in make-up: 3 hours

As an avid fan of the comics, Chilkis battled to make sure his character wasn't computer generated. The only downside was the suit; it weighed 60 pounds, took three hours to put on and was stifling hot.

3. Robert Englund - 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' (1984)

Character: Freddy Kreuger

Time spent in make-up: 3 hours

The contorted scar tissue, crooked teeth, fedora hat and bladed gloves are all trademarks of one of the most iconic movie villains of all time, the perfect visual representation of the man who will haunt your nightmares.

Robert Englund donned the makeup across eight different installments in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise.

4. Ron Perlman - 'Hellboy' (2004)

Character: Hellboy

Time spent in make-up: 4 hours

Perlman's transformation into Hellboy was so accurate to the comics, you'd think at least some CGI was involved. But that wasn't the case. The 65-year-old actor selected his own makeup artist, Jake Garber.

In an interview with HowStuffWorks, Garber gave some insight into the unique challenges with the process of covering Perlman in foam prosthetics. He said:

"Ron's makeup was difficult because of the duration. I did his makeup 86 times. [Prior to Hellboy] the most times I'd ever made up a character was maybe a dozen times."

5. Dave Bautista - 'Guardians of the Galaxy' (2014)

Character: Drax the Destroyer

Time spent in make-up: 5 hours

Former Wrestler Bautista has made the successful transition from athlete to movie star, helped in part by his admirable performance in the Marvel superhero hit. He has since graced the screen as a bond villain in Spectre, and amongst other projects will return for Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Speaking of the makeup process in an interview with Slash Film, he said:

"I was really born to play this part. I love putting on the makeup and everything – especially the eyes, I don’t really get to see the contacts. The contacts are really the icing on the cake. Really cool."

6. Ryan Reynolds - 'Deadpool' (2016)

Character: Wade Wilson/Deadpool

Time spent in make-up: 7 hours

Deadpool's record breaking R-rated antihero flick brought Wade Wilson to the big screen in style.

Although Reynolds incorporated pretty much everything there is to the Merc with a Mouth, he required a thick layer of makeup to resemble the "testicle with teeth".

The head prosthetics alone took the makeup team hours to apply, but the infamous nude fight scene provided the biggest challenge. Talking of the process with Make-Up Artist Magazine, makeup artist Bill Corso said:

“It looked amazing, and you literally could not tell it was on raw skin. It easily took three or four hours off the application time, because everything was prepped in advance, so Ryan just slipped the shirt and pants off, we applied the arms and head and blended everything off, so it was pretty awesome.”

7. Rebecca Romijn - 'X-Men' (2000)

Character: Mystique

Time spent in make-up: 9 hours

Romijn portrayed Mystique in X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). The entire makeup process took an incredible 9 hours to get sorted!

Talking to Digital Spy after Jennifer Lawrence had taken over the role, the 43-year-old actress said:

"It sounds like [she had an easier time] - although my theory is that going through nine hours of make-up, you're in such a rotten mood, you can't be anything but evil - it turns you into the villain that you need to be to play Mystique properly!"

8. Jim Carrey - 'How The Grinch Stole Christmas' (2000)

Character: The Grinch

Time spent in make-up: 9 hours

Perhaps one of Carrey's finest performances is even more admirable when taken into consideration the painstaking makeup transformation he had to go through. In an interview on the Graham Norton Show, Carrey compared the suit to "being buried alive every day."

The actor was so disillusioned by the transformation, he told director Ron Howard he didn't want to make the movie, but producers had an interesting way around the problem. He said:

"[They] hired a gentlemen who is trained to teach CIA operatives how to endure torture. I did the makeup 100 times."

Can you think of more incredible, long winded makeup transformations?


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