On March 1, a crowd gathered at Hollywood’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater to honor the Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar nominees. Leonard Engelman, governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch, hosted sessions with Stephen Prouty for Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny for The Lone Ranger and Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews for Dallas Buyers Club.
“The nominated films this year are a wonderful example of the very vast range that is the art of make-up,” said Engelman, as he welcomed a packed house that included co-branch governors Kathryn Blondell and Bill Corso, and make-up artists Michele Burke, Dan Striepeke, David Anderson, Steven Anderson, Bart Mixon, Robin Beauchesne, Mike Smithson, Jamie Kelman, Sue Cabral-Ebert, Melanie Deforrest and Tommy Cole, among others.
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa kicked off the event as nominee Prouty brought the film’s star, Johnny Knoxville, onstage to join the discussion.
Using 11 separate prosthetic pieces for the head and one for each hand, Prouty estimated it took approximately an hour and 15 minutes each day for just the glue-down process. And that was before the painting.
“The painting amazed me,” continued Knoxville, who added that nobody he was pranking realized he was wearing make-up.
“I would sit there for three hours every morning and listen to Bart Mixon, Jamie Kelman, Will Huff and Stephen Prouty tell the filthiest jokes,” he said. “By the time I got done, I was completely in character as a dirty old man. Some of the lines they would throw out ended up in the film. So they also contributed to the writing of the film.” (continued below)
Harlow (left) revealed how the look of The Lone Ranger’s Tonto emerged during the filming of The Rum Diary. “I was pulling images for this carnival sequence that was coming up, and one of these images I pulled was this Kirby Sattler painting entitled I Am Crow,” remembers Harlow. “And it was basically this make-up.”
Pasqua-Casny (left) explained her challenge was making sure Tonto’s long hair stayed in place even when star Johnny Depp was hanging upside down or running on the top of a train. “There was a lot of sewing. I employed my second-grade potholder skills of weaving,” she said.
Dallas Buyers Club rounded out the event, with Mathews recounting the film’s $250 make-up budget and how she devised a combination of cornmeal and grits to create the AIDS-related rash seen on Matthew McConaughey’s character’s face.
As the film wasn’t shot in sequence, Mathews relied on meticulous script notes to know exactly how sick she had to make McConaughey and Jared Leto look for each scene. The task was especially challenging because both actors each lost between 40 and 50 pounds for the roles. (continued below)
“I had to study skeletons. I had skeletons and skull pictures right next to them to figure out where those bones needed to be that I couldn’t see,” explained Mathews (below) about creating the later stages of the illness. “Then highlighting and contouring veins on top of that, which really made them look emaciated.”
Lee described how she came up with the brown wig for Leto’s Rayon character. Director Jean-Marc Vallée wanted a look that showed how down-and-out the character was. But no matter how ratty a wig Lee pulled out of her stash, Vallée thought it looked too good.
“And I said, ‘OK, I’m going to fix that,”’ remembered Lee. “So by this time, I was just frustrated. I didn’t tell anyone until the movie was over. But I just took it out in the parking lot of base camp, in the gravel, and drove over it. A few times. Got it, shook it off. Took it back in the trailer and when Jared came in, I said, ‘Here, I want you to try this one on.’ We put it on and called Jean-Marc and he said, ‘Oh, that’s great, great.”’
Follow the link for video clips of the nominees’ work, and click the link for complete coverage of the 2014 Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar. The complete video of “Oscar Celebrates: Makeup and Hairstyling” is below.