To make sure the aliens we see in TV shows and movies are genuinely terrifying, a lot of work has to be done behind the scenes. These seemingly terrifying creatures are often played by real-life artists who have mastered the art of melting into any character they are presented with. For instance, think of The Predator or Wookie. In a minute, we will take a visual tour of what the actors look like behind all that make-up, CGI, and prosthetics. We tip our hats to the adroit make-up artists and special-effects creators of Hollywood who spend days, often months coming up with the perfect ensemble for these creatures. You’ll soon see how they really are in real life. Hollywood producers have a special talent for transforming normal actors into terrifying, life-like aliens. Seriously, it’s difficult to recognize them!
Bolaji Badejo in Alien
In 1979, Bolaji Badejo landed his first and sole movie role. In fact, the Nigerian actor was scouted. Rumors say that he was found by the film’s producers one night in a London pub. With his towering 6’10” body that the producers described as “insect-like, thin,” he was perfect for the part of the alien.
Given how bulky the suit was, we are not surprised that Badejo was not overjoyed to wear this for prolonged periods. He especially disliked the giant headpiece. Badejo wore the cellulose slime-lathered monster suit in 15-minute intervals to not overheat his body. He was approached for the role when more installments were planned for the movie franchise. But he turned it down and moved back to Lagos, Nigeria.
Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff, was an insect-humanoid alien in the sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy. Metro magazine shared that Klementieff had to don prosthetics at the tip of her forehead. However, the rest of her character was CGI. Compared to most protagonists and antagonists of sci-fi movies, the actress did not have to spend as much time getting her make-up done for the job.
The make-up artists experimented with various looks to create the perfect design for Mantis. According to Klementieff, they tried multiple wigs, and at one point, they drew veins on her face. After that, they deviated toward a more human design.
When he was approached for the role of the infamous villain Thanos, John Brolin was hesitant. He would become a part of the popular Avenger series. Still, he was reluctant for one big reason: he did not want to stand in front of a huge green screen and do “practically nothing.” However, Brolin was convinced after watching “The Hobbit,” a CGI-filled movie. After all, Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance was nothing short of stunning.
Brolin’s Thanos was entirely CGI, so he only had to endure an overwhelming amount of iridescent paint over his body and face. Brolin terms it as “different but fun.”
The Real-Life Predator
Jean-Claude Van Damme was the original choice for the protagonist in the 1987 action and sci-fi film, Predator. After he tapped out, the officials hired Kevin Peter Ball, a musical actor standing at an impressive 7’4″ height. Suffice to say, he was perfect for the role of the aggressive alien that terrorizes people.
Hall only used his voice to yell or growl, so he refers to this part as a “grunt role.” Despite the difficulty of wearing the gigantic suit, Hall thoroughly enjoyed playing the extraterrestrial warrior. He said his role was bigger than life, technically making him a part of the sci-fi/fantasy/horror genre.
Jamie Foxx as Electro
Jamie Foxx’s superb looks in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” were veiled even before his terrible day at the electrical eel tank transformed him blue from toe to head. As Max Dillon, an electrical engineer with a grizzled, buck-toothed, and mousy appearance who exudes defeat, we see nothing of Jamie Foxx’s natural personality or otherwise attractive characteristics until later in the film.
When he becomes Electro, it’s almost impossible to tell who he is because of his glowing eyes and skin. The actor, who won an Oscar for the role, underwent a makeover that included prosthetics, colored makeup, and computer effects. Foxx said the transformation influenced his performance. According to Foxx, his voice altered as he was immersed in the blue.
Little Orange Oscar Winner
Before Black Panther (2018) and Us (2019), Lupita Nyong’o received her claim to fame through Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In that movie, the Kenyan-Mexican actress played a small pirate alien named Maz Kanata. Later on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she shared that she had no idea what she was auditioning for. She surely was in for a surprise, if that’s the case; Star Wars is one of the most popular movie franchises in the world.
Nyong’o had to dress up in Maz’s signature goggles and motion-capture dots to bring to life the character of Maz. In talks with the Insider, the actress said the movie’s script was kept completely hidden. She couldn’t even share it with her mother.
Behind All of That Makeup
Eric Bana’s career took a turn for the better when he picked up the part of Nero in Star Trek (2009). At the start of the day, Bana had to patiently sit in a chair for 3 hours while the make-up artists worked their magic with colors and prosthetics. It was so good that when Bana’s agent arrived on the film set, he was unable to recognize his client behind the thick layers of make-up.
Despite the inherent difficulties associated with playing negative characters, especially ones that rely on CGI or make-up, Bana loved being Nero. He commented that opportunities like this are rare to come by in Hollywood.
Bill Skarsgård in IT
Bill Skarsgard was not selected for the role of Pennywise, aka Dancing Clown, in the 2017 remake of Stephen king’s I.T. because he’s a model, nor because of his attractive appearance. The Swedish actor elevated the ferocity of this famous character to a new level, which set his Pennywise portrayal apart from Tim Curry’s. Skarsgard had a tough time getting into character for the job, and it was much more difficult to shrug it off even when the film was over.
According to Skarsgard, he immediately jumped into character as soon as director Andy Muschietti called out “Action!” But later, he would share that he had nightmares about pennywise for a long time.
Korg: Actor and Director
In Thor: Ragnarok, director Taika Waititi was the voice of Korg, the favorite fan extraterrestrial. Waititi told The Last Leg that Korg’s voice resembled the gentle, gorgeous Polynesian bouncers the director had encountered during his childhood in New Zealand.
The filmmaker ended up inventing several of Korg’s words when he went on camera. The special effects crew assisted in transforming him into a huge 7’6″ rock guy. Waititi’s Korg returned for the 2022 addition to the franchise titled “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Now the actor-filmmaker says he would be happy to direct the fifth movie in the lineup only if the protagonist, Chris Hemsworth, returned.
The CGI Monarch
Andy Serkis is undoubtedly the king of CGI. The actor has a ton of CGI roles under his belt, including Gollum from The Lord of the Rings, Supreme Leader Snoke in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Caesar in Planet of the Apes. It seems like his forte is “visual make-up.”
In talks with The Independent, the English actor explained how CGI films let actors showcase their true potential – play characters fully. He also said there is no line between conventional acting and performance-capture technology. The Star Wars franchise has a long, rather rich history with the prestigious Academy Awards. They have received nominations in the Visual Effects category for all but one film in the nine-film series.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Dormammu
Not often does the MCU’s main hero square up against himself, but that is exactly what occurred in Doctor Strange. The time-bending magician as well as the Dark Dimensional supervillain “Dormammu” were both played by Benedict Cumberbatch, while the latter was portrayed entirely by Cumberbatch’s voice (however, he did perform some face capture job for the part). According to Benedict, he came up with the idea to have himself play the film’s antagonist.
Although they share a similar height, the similarities between Cumberbatch & Dormammu’s features stop there. However, he did not need too big of a transformation to play Doctor Strange. Aside from the greyish streaks in his hair and his deliciously strange clothing, he was still easily identifiable throughout the film’s middle section. It became clear that he was battling against himself only in the last scene.
One Sweaty Costume
For someone who has always been a dedicated fan of Star Wars, we can imagine how thrilled Simon Pegg was when he was offered a role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He accepted the part of Unkar Plutt. However, if someone didn’t know who was behind the make-up, audiences would never be able to recognize Pegg. His face was brilliantly buried under prosthetics, make-up, and CGI layers.
While the suit looked awesome in the final cut, Pegg faced challenges upon wearing it. The actor said that the suit was at least 50 degrees Celsius. He had to wear huge silicon rubber gauntlets that would collect sweat like a well. When he took them off, he could pour the perspiration out.
Gamora and Neytiri
This is one actress whose real face people barely know over the characters she has played. Zoe Saldaña is a staple in the world of science fiction movies. The actress has portrayed Neytiri in Avatar and Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers. Concept artist and sculptor Jordu Schell brought the Na’Vi to life, Avatar’s gorgeous blue aliens. He has done conceptual and sculptural creature designs for films like Dawn of the Dead, The Mist, Hellboy, and Galaxy Quest.
According to Saldaña’s interview with The Daily Telegraph’s Stellar Magazine, the New Jersey actress finds playing CGI characters empowering. She thinks that sci-fi allows her to be gender-blind and colorblind when playing roles, bringing her A-game to the performance.
Comedy to Alien
Jemaine Clement rose to fame with his role in the comedy film The Flight of the Conchords. He became the time-traveling, bike-riding extraterrestrial Boris in the 2012 Will Smith starring movie Men in Black III. The actor shared what it was like putting on make-up for the first time – it took eight hours! On a regular day, it would take about half that time to get the make-up done. Still, sitting in a chair for four hours and getting make-up done is difficult.
However, Clement didn’t mind. He admitted that thanks to these four hours, he was given time to chat with the celebrated special make-up effects creator Rick Baker every day.
Peter Mayhew was a large man, making him ideal for the role of Wookie, a beloved character of the Star Wars franchise. At 7’4″, Mayhew had to wear a fursuit made from a blend of real rabbit and yak skins. Moreover, the suit came equipped with a water-cooling system to keep Mayhew cool while he delivered his lines in front of the camera. Somehow, he could keep his role as a deputy head porter despite the long hours of filming.
The movie’s make-up artist shared the biggest problem they faced while working on Mayhew: his eyes. They would often be separated from the suit. Unfortunately, Mayhew breathed his last at the age of 74 in 2019.
Red Head to Blue Head
Beautiful redheaded actress Karen Gillian scooped up the role of Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. The 2014 film earned the Scottish actress international stardom. And despite playing a seemingly minor role in the film, Nebula became so popular that she was invited once more to act alongside a beloved Marvel character: Iron Man, in Avengers: Endgame.
Gillian later explained that the costume was fully real, with no CGI, making her quite claustrophobic. When she sat for an interview with Variety, she said that the suit would be glued to her body, creating problems for her to talk. She reprised her role in the 2022 release Thor: Love and Thunder.
One Actor, Fifty Villains
Gizmodo’s interview with director Neill Blompkamp was filled with juicy insights and exciting revelations. There, the director shared one of the most surprising secrets of science fiction films: one actor pulled off the roles of all the extraterrestrials in District 9. The actor behind the genius, Jason Cope, had to jump from one set to another to successfully play numerous parts in a film. Fun fact: the eviction scene was completely improvised by Cope and Sharlto Copely.
When asked how many aliens he had to portray in the movie, Cope answered that he had no clear idea, but it should be close to the fifty mark. It takes a special kind of talent to do that so seamlessly.
Sofia To Jaylah
Jaylah is Star Trek Beyond’s tech-savvy and staff-wielding alien played perfectly by French-Algerian actress Sofia Boutella. Initially created to increase the female quotient in the movie, Jaylah gained popularity for her conduct and disposition, with many people sympathizing with her characteristics on a personal level. Boutella had to undergo rigorous makeup sessions every day to play the role.
She would spend up to four hours in a makeup chair! A group of skilled, Oscar-nominated special effects and makeup crew would transform her into Altamid’s intriguing resident! One of the artists stated that almost every part of Boutella was makeup, apart from her chin, mouth, and nose. Despite the challenges, Boutella loved playing Jayla. She appreciated the character like a second skin.
Full Body Makeup
Former professional wrestler Dave Bautista perhaps never thought he would have to spend five hours seated on a makeup chair, preparing to play a part in the MCU film, Guardians of the Galaxy. Bautista played a character right up his alley: Drax the Destroyer. Drax is a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy known for his massive body and immense strength. Apart from his engaging backstory, Drax has pretty cool makeup to appeal to the viewers.
Drax has numerous scarring lines on his body, replacing the basic tattoos he has in the comics, each with a specific story. Furthermore, the movie changes his original skin tone – muddy gray from a bright green to avoid visual resemblance with another famed character, the Hulk.
Ryan Reynolds as Juggernaut
With serious burn wounds and black and red head-to-toe costumery, Ryan Reynolds’ sleekly attractive features were disguised a great deal for his part as “Wade Wilson” in “Deadpool.” Still, he was practically indistinguishable also as the villain “Juggernaut.”
In contrast to voicing “Juggernaut,” Reynolds used “mocap gear” to play out parts of the subject’s facial emotions in his sequences. The character was graphically produced using computer-generated imagery. The filmmaker said that Reynolds’ double role was a question of mere convenience for all parties involved. Some of the talks were captured via performance capture by Ryan. Afterward, he gave the voice, which they then tweaked to enable us to use it for Deadpool alternates while they were in post.
Paul Wasn’t on Set
Usually, alien movies are serious, with a lot of action and thrill involved. But Seth Rogen, starring Paul, applied a fun twist to the science fiction franchise and created a movie based on a hysterical little alien. Throughout his part as Paul, Rogen acted on sets of The Green Hornet. Thus, he had to contribute to the movie without literally being on set often.
During that time, co-star Joe Lo Truglio, famous for his role as Charles Boyle in the NBC TV show, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, took Rogen’s place. He used to do all the voice acting and motion capture post-production. In talks with Collider, Nick Frost commented that he used to forget that Rogen was the real comedic alien, not Truglio.
Morning Till Night in Makeup
Tall, dark, and handsome actor-musician Idris Elba played the role of Krall in Star Trek Beyond. To play the part, Elba spent many hours every day being transformed into the role. He said that normally, his day would start at 4:15 am, and he would have to be on the makeup chair till 7:30 am. The shoot would begin at 8.30 am and last for around 12 hours. Rinse and repeat!
Elba has claustrophobia, so having all those prosthetics attached to his face was no party for him. The lizard-like, aquatic design would take hours to perfect, and it was far from comfortable.
Marriage Troubles on Set
At first, Maïwenn Le Besco was uninterested in the role of Diva Plavalaguna, an operatic performer in the movie, The Fifth Element. The blue-skinned alien’s story did not appeal to her. Moreover, she didn’t want to jeopardize her marriage by working on a project directed by her husband, Luc Besson. After all, working and living together can take a toll on any couple.
Sadly, Le Besco’s nightmare came true when she discovered that her husband was romantically involved with the film’s leading actress, Milla Jovovich. Heartbroken, Maïwenn returned to France and started working as a director, screenwriter, and stand-up comedian.
Thor: Ragnarok introduced a powerful female villain in the Marvel universe: Hela, otherwise known as the Asgardian Goddess of Death. Hela serves as the ruler of Niflheim and Hel, and her character was inspired by the Norse goddess, Hel. The role is played by Cate Blanchett, a fabulous performer through and through. The terrifying Hela was characterized by her large antlers and short temper. Even though it was her first time playing something like this, Blanchett delivered pure brilliance.
About portraying Hela, Blanchett said that she only tries to look good at whatever age she is. The actress believes that people are the most attractive when they are comfortable in their own skin, being unapologetically themselves.
Unrecognizable Lee Pace
Most Lee Pace fanatics would not be able to recognize him when he was dressed as Ronan the Accuser. For his role in Guardians of the Galaxy, Pace wore heavy makeup that covered him from head to toe, concealing most of his recognizable features. In addition, he was painted in a layer of blue and black from head to toe. Naturally, fans were impressed by the makeup artist’s immaculate work.
On top of that, Lee Pace sported a fitted hoot covering the lion’s share of his face. It’s noteworthy that this wasn’t his first time camouflaged. The actor played the role of a woman in the 2003 movie Soldier’s Girl.
Mads Mikkelsen Becoming Kaecilius
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen is an acting virtuoso; he can pull off almost any role, be it a Bond Villain or Hannibal Lecter. Staying true to his nature, Mikkelsen was a visual treat as Kaecilius in Doctor Strange. Credits go to the makeup team as well. They altered him beyond borders, turning him into the despicable antagonist that shook Dr. Strange’s world.
Mikkelsen got a full face of makeup for the job, including thick layers of black eyeliner drawn around his eyes. To be honest, that gave him a raccoon vibe. Luckily, he didn’t need prosthetics to achieve the perfect look because his prominent bone structure had already laid the foundation.
From Lost to Thor
People initially learned about Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje from his role in the hit TV series, Lost. Eventually, however, he was caught by the smoke monster. We bet most didn’t know that he also performed the part of Algrim, the character who finally turns into the monster Kurse, wreaking havoc in Thor: Dark World.
Under layers of plastic bones and horns, Adewale was perfectly hidden. Few people could narrow down who is playing the role. Aside from the great makeup, his bright blue contacts and bleach wig helped the Lost actor to disguise himself. Apparently, the costume itself weighed 40 pounds. The part-lava, the part-bull creature was not to be played around with.
The Man in Black
Vincent D’Onofrio is a diverse man. He is an actor, singer, director, and producer, most known for his supporting roles in movies and television. The actor got his big break through the movie Full Metal Jacket, but we can all agree that Men in Black brought him under the limelight. There, he portrayed the role of Edgar the Bug. Anyone who has seen that movie would agree that the makeup is unforgettable.
The movie starts with Edgar as a normal farmer possessed by a vicious Bug. D’Onofrio’s character swiftly becomes a violent force to be reckoned with. His performance fetched him a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Terence Stamp in Alien Nation
Before being launched into Hollywood, Terrence Stamp studied acting in London at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Perhaps that is what prepared him to be such a skilled actor. Over his successful acting career, Stamp has starred in more than 60 films and received numerous accolades for his performances. There is no doubt that Stamp was born to be on the silver screen.
In the 1988 movie Alien Nation, he takes on the role of William Harcourt, the movie’s primary antagonist. Harcourt is a member of a unique alien species by the name of Tenctonese. After their ship arbitrarily crashes on Earth, the aliens are released into nature, designated to clash with this world’s prominent species: humans.
Ziggy Stardust in Labyrinth
Although David Bowie has his fair share of recognition in the music industry, he also has a few successful acting roles in his bag. For one, he played the role of Jareth the Goblin King in the 1986 fantasy/musical film Labyrinth. The actor’s unique sense of style and look convinced the casting team that he would be ideal for the character.
In Labyrinth, Jareth gives 13 hours of time to his older Sarah to recover the baby in the middle of a huge labyrinth. His fabulous performance earned him tons of praise from both critics and fans. For its impressive special effects, the film received multiple nominations in that criterion across different award shows.
Canadian model and actress Natasha Henstridge became prominent with her roles in the science-fiction thriller series, Species, Species II, and Species III. And to think Species was her debut film! In 1995, the actress gained mass praise for her portrayal of the eerie extraterrestrial and her role was reprised for two subsequent films. Her role was that of Sil, a genetically engineered human/alien hybrid.
The movie’s plot revolves around Sil breaking free from the laboratory where she was contained. She breaks into a rampage to look for a mate. As the film raked in $133 million at the box office, it gained a cult following, many of which still enjoy the movie.
Zachary Quinto as Spock
“Live long and prosper” – this line from the Star Trek series is associated with an iconic character of the franchise: Spock. Zachary Quinto can proudly proclaim this to be one of his bigger and more successful projects. Quinto plays Spock in three movies: Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, and Star Trek Beyond.
For those who are not acquainted with Spock (but should be), he is the first officer, science officer, and commanding officer in the Starship Enterprise. Even if someone hasn’t watched Star Trek, they have probably heard of Spock. Spock’s long, pointy ears are quintessential elements of his character. Quinto also appeared in several TV series, including American Horror Story, 24, and Six Feet Under.
Known for playing Astrid Leong-Teo in the 2018 rom-com Crazy Rich Asians, English actress Gemma Chan deserves equal recognition for her work in an MCU film. That’s right; Chan starred as Minn-Erva in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Captain Marvel in 2019.
In the movie, her character is a member of the Starforce unit and a Kree tactical sniper. She has dark blue skin paired with deep-toned lips. Although the stunts weren’t an issue. Chan stated that the makeup and suit posed challenges. In a recent interview, she admitted to feeling slightly intimidated by the entry of Danvers into the team. Before that, she was the “star of the Starforce.” Given how talented Danvers is, we don’t blame her.
Queen of Dragons
Daenerys Targaryen is such a well-known character right now that even people who haven’t watched Game of Thrones are familiar with the “Mother of Dragons.” Her silver-blonde Targaryen hair is one of the recognizable factors of the character. Daenerys is played by Emilia Clarke, who had to undergo a ton of changes on set. She goes from rugged and dirty to spick-and-span in the blink of an eye many times in an episode.
An open secret about the series is that Clarke sits on a machine, similar to a mechanical bull, in front of a green screen as she delivers her lines from on top of a “dragon.” Despite that aspect, Clarke claimed to have a special bond with the fake beasts.
Sofia Boutella in The Mummy
The Mummy was meant to be the beginning of a whole new cinematic world, but things went wrong very soon. Despite the promising start provided by Sofia Boutella’s Princess Ahmanet, this remake just didn’t have the same appeal as the 1999 movie with the same title. SyFy claims that the role of Sofia Boutella was downplayed to make Tom Cruise better. Even if the movie is dubbed “The Mummy,” this rising star in the film world is never given the opportunity to excel in the titular role.
The Mummy’s dismal domestic box office performance and unfavorable critical reception cast doubt on the sustainability of this Dark Universe. Still, despite this, Boutella’s commitment to the film was never really in question.
Ken Kirzinger in Friday the 13th
After sustaining a serious knee injury while playing collegiate football for the said University of British Columbia, Ken Kirzinger chose to pursue a career in entertainment. In an interview, Kirzinger said that he secretly wished that his stunt work would result in him being noticed, but he had no clue that his “very tiny” role in the Friday the 13th series would generate such a stir.
According to Kirzinger, Jason [Voorhees] is definitely his favorite role. Later he realizes how fortunate he was to be given the opportunity to portray such a famous figure. In 1989’s Jason Takes Manhattan, he debuted as a stunt double and then as one of Jason’s targets. It wasn’t until Kirzinger received an opportunity to portray the part that he remembered that his stuntman checks began to arrive.
Takako Fuji in The Grudge
The Grudge, released in 2004 and supposed to be at least as excellent as the Japanese original, ended up being nothing more than another uninspired Hollywood remake of a beloved J-horror classic. Takashi Shimizu, who directed the original Japanese film Ju-on, chose to direct the American version, and Takako Fuji, the actress who played the terrifying ghost Kayako, accompanied him.
I.G.N. was told by Fuji that there was a huge discrepancy in their budgets. Fuji repeated Kayako for the sixth time in 2006’s The Grudge 2, which was critically derided but nonetheless made an impression on American horror audiences.
Bonnie Morgan in Rings
As part of the process of adapting Hideo Nakata’s Ringu for the American market, Hollywood replaced Japan with the United States and renamed Sadako, the film’s essential creepy corpse girl, Samara. Samara in The Ring (2002) and The Ring 2 (2005) was portrayed by a youthful Daveigh Chase, who later grew up to be a gorgeous actress, but contortionist Bonnie Morgan performed the truly frightening stuff inside the sequel. A stunt coordinator had been a friend of Morgan’s and recommended that the company employ her rather than using special effects for several important Samara sequences.
It was because of her efforts on The Ring 2 that she received a full-time role in an unlikely sequel years later. Morgan had all but given up on the idea of resuming her Samara character after a decade; however, in 2017’s Rings, she was back to her bendy best.
Paul T. Taylor in Hellraiser: Judgement
Paul T. Taylor was overjoyed to make his film debut in Robert Rodriguez’s 2005 neo-noir masterpiece Sin City, despite having no lines. After being afflicted with Hepatitis C, Robert was made to keep his life and career on pause. Taylor succumbed to despair when the sickness grew too much to bear.
He said in an interview that he had lost interest in the business. He becomes somewhat of a recluse at home. He started to spend much of my time eating pizza & watching movies. When Taylor’s suicidal thoughts started to creep into his consciousness, a brand-new Hepatitis C medicine intervened and saved his life. One day, he got a screenplay titled “Judgment” in the subject line. And everything changed.
Sheri Moon Zombie in Lords of Salem
One of the very first horror films Sheri Moon Zombie & her rocker/filmmaker partner Rob Zombie worked on was the film “House of 1000 Corpses” in 2003. Baby Firefly actress Sheri Moon stole the stage in this blatant homage to the 1970s exploitative cinema, but Rainn Wilson playing Fishboy was genuinely scary. There’s not much of a physical makeover required in 2005’s The Devil’s Rejects since the actress was basically portraying a crazed, homicidal version of herself. Still, it was not the case when the couple worked together on “The Lords of Salem” in 2012.
Sheri Moon plays an addict in recovery who joins forces with the devil after encountering a group of witches. As part of her preparation for the role, she consented to have her hair styled in dreadlocks and then have multiple fake tattoos done to her body, in addition to the elaborate face paint.
Jonathan Breck in Jeepers Creepers
Speaking of unexpected sequels, Jeepers Creepers 3 was released in 2017, while the first and second one was released around 2001 and 2003. In the initial Jeepers Creepers, the titular Creeper piqued the interest of horror aficionados, and the film immediately became a cult favorite. The guy in the makeup says it takes 3 to 5 hours to transform into the character.
Because he’s already someone else at that point, Jonathan Breck says that he has an easier time slipping into the role. Even though Breck can only see his eyes when he stares in the mirror, he feels safe in the Creeper costume.
Bonnie Aarons in The Nun
According to Taissa Farmiga, the title role in The Nun was terrifying enough, despite the film’s poor Rotten Tomatoes rating of only 27 percent — the lowest of any Conjuring franchise movie to date – despite a lot of excitement around the film. The actress who portrays the demon Valak, Bonnie Aarons, went out of her way to frighten Taissa between takes, frequently coming up behind her wearing the horrific nun get-up donned by her character.
People were surprised how quickly Aarons, who calls herself “glamorous” and “gory,” could be transformed into such a frightful figure. The makeup only took an hour and a half!
Djimon Hounsou as Korath
At this point in his career, Djimon Hounsou is most recognized for his roles in “Amistad” & “Gladiator.” He has also appeared in In “America” and “Blood Diamond,” 2 films for which he was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category at the Academy Awards. He was spotted in Paris by the fashion brand “Thierry Mugler” as a model before becoming a well-known actor. Having made a name for himself on the catwalk, the Benin, Africa native, relocated to the United States, where he quickly found work on the big screen.
Contact lenses, a prosthetic helmet, and even some armored costumery shifted much of the attention away from his gorgeous face for his debut as “Korath the Pursuer” in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” This was done in order to make him seem a lot less likable.
Alexis Denisof as The Other
Alexis Denisof, who played “The Other” in “The Avengers” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” is another character whose role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been entirely obscured. As part of Thanos’s cult, Denisof was subjected to a purple and blue makeup routine, a prickly face mask, as well as a hooded robe that wrapped his face and neck. Since there is so much concealing, it is hard to tell what the actor looks like.
Denisof, on the other hand, has a good-looking physique in real life as well. If he hadn’t been nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the comedy “I Love Bekka & Lucy,” the latest Emmy candidate might have been mistaken for either Captain America’s long-lost brother. When it comes to his wife and fellow “Buffy” and “How I Met Your Mother” actor Alyson Hannigan, we can say that she’s a very fortunate woman.
Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha
Actress Elizabeth Debicki had quite a learning curve when it came to portraying “Ayesha: the Golden High Priest” of the Slave Lord in the Marvel Studios sequel “Guardians of the Galaxy” Vol 2. In order to get the appearance of being total “gold,” the actress had to undergo a cosmetic routine that was quite uncommon.
Although she seems to be a living trophy in the film due to this extreme metamorphosis, the actor looks more like a fashion supermodel in reality. A newcomer to the business, she has previously appeared in movies including “The Great Gatsby,” “The Man from U. N.C.L.E.” In her position as The Night Manager’s leading character, she was able to show off her slender figure and strikingly gorgeous face in a number of red-carpet-ready outfits, which enthralled viewers.
Michael James Shaw as Corvus Glaive
Michael James Shaw, the actor who portrays Corvus Glaive in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, is incredibly handsome, even though we wouldn’t know it from glancing at the character’s appearance in the film. His powerful features and sensual emotions will surely warm the hearts of fans even when he isn’t playing the Black Order’s regular grim reaper wearing grey paint & digitally animated using motion capture technologies.
In the years leading up to the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Shaw had small roles on programs like Constantine, Roots, and Limitless. But even while being cast in the MCU is a huge coup for many actors, it’s unlikely that fans would know him as the glaive-wielding supervillain on a daily basis. To be fair to him, Shaw is adept at capturing attention on the tiny screen without the need for those bothersome villain cloaks.
Jason Flemyng as Azazel
There is little doubt that Jason Flemyng, a British actor who portrays Azazel in the X-Men: First Class film, does not possess the same flaming red complexion and greasy black hair as the on-screen persona. This time around, the actor had blonde hair, caucasian skin, and blue eyes. Because his eyebrows aren’t that high, and he does not have the facial scars as the role, he had to put a lot of work into his daily makeup routine.
His only consolation was the knowledge that he would not have to go through the grueling makeover process once more for the part of Magneto in “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” This upset him initially until he realized that he had to wake up at 2 a.m., get painted red, be a little blurred and move a lot for the shoot. That was no longer necessary for him.
Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as Ebony Maw
We did not realize it was Tom Vaughan-Lawlor behind the prosthetics who played the Black Order’s superpowered baddie “Ebony Maw,” A broad, long expanse replaced his nose as Maw. His complexion was mottled grey with thin white hair & wrinkles that were almost reptile in appearance.
While this may be the case in the movie, Vaughan-Lawlor really does have brown hair and a pale complexion. Love/Hate, The Secret Agent, and Peaky Blinders are just a handful of the television programs in which the actor has appeared. In contrast, none of his other jobs resembled this one. When auditioning for the job, the actor, who says to have worn a CGI costume, told The Independent that his son thinks he looks funny since he’s so ugly there.
Evan Jonigkeit as Toad
In the X-Men: First Class movie, Evan Jonigkeit was cast as Toad, a character that was given a makeover after the relaunch of the X-Men series. He donned a pair of binocular-style glasses, a pointed haircut, and a scowl with scales & warts spread throughout his skin rather than all-green attire. His typical appearance comprises a full head of brown hair, dazzling blue-green eyes, as well as a smooth-skinned smile. However, the actor’s new look was much different.
He said in an interview with Philly Magazine about his daily transformation for the film. A series of molds of his skull was sculpted by the experts. He had to put on the mold early in the morning. They would then be able to use the rest of the prosthetics. Makeup took roughly three-and-a-half hours. Even though that seems exhausting, Jonigkeit described the experience as “pleasant” in the end.
Christopher Eccleston as Malekith
Malekith the Accursed couldn’t grab much attention in Thor: The Dark World. Even the on-screen actor portraying him, Christopher Eccleston, couldn’t either. Since then, he has stated that he only accepted the part for the money and that the hours he spent within the makeup chair rendered him unfit for the part. Seven or eight hours were spent [doing makeup] on the first several days. Apparently, Marvel didn’t inform him before that there will be so much makeup involved.
Aside from the freakishly blue eyes, the pallid elfin prosthetics, steel armor, and helmet would make it difficult to distinguish the famous T.V. actor. In real life, he has considerably more subdued blue eyes & salt-and-pepper locks, that is, assuming he does not get his hair buzzed short to seem like a moto-dad cool man.
Nick Castle as Halloween’s Michael Myers
Nick Castle’s legacy in Hollywood is a rather unique one. Despite boasting a successful directing career with films like “The Last Starfighter” and “Major Payne,” Castle is primarily recognized for his portrayal of the masked terror, Michael Myers, in the original “Halloween” film. He found himself in this now-iconic role through his long-standing friendship with John Carpenter, the movie’s director. The pair had previously collaborated on projects, even co-writing the script for “Escape from New York.”
In the context of today’s filmmaking budgets, “Halloween” was a low-budget production, and Castle’s daily pay of $25 epitomizes this. Nevertheless, the camaraderie between Castle and Carpenter kept the filming experience enjoyable. One amusing anecdote encapsulating this dynamic involves Castle asking Carpenter about Michael Myers’ motivation in a particular scene. Carpenter responded that Castle should move from one set marker to another without overthinking. Looking back, the actor-director duo might agree that the $25 per day wasn’t all that bad.
The NFL Star Behind Goonies’ Sloth
John Matuszak, the man beneath the grotesque makeup of Sloth from “The Goonies,” enjoyed a varied career that included a stint as a defensive end in the NFL before his foray into acting. He managed to secure several acting roles before his untimely death in 1989. Despite his monstrous appearance as Sloth, his character is essentially the good guy of the story, which somewhat contrasts with his unnerving physical transformation.
Achieving the frightening look of a Sloth was no easy feat. The makeup crew spent five grueling hours daily on Matuszak’s transformation. One of the more challenging aspects involved Matuszak’s eye, which was mechanically operated, requiring off-screen synchronization with his blinks. A fun behind-the-scenes tidbit pertains to the Oakland Raiders shirt that Sloth wears in some scenes. This was a nod to Matuszak’s days as an NFL player for the Raiders, cementing a link between his sports and acting careers.
Godzilla’s Iconic Persona: Haruo Nakajima
Haruo Nakajima isn’t just one of many actors who wore the Godzilla suit; he is synonymous with the character. For 12 consecutive Godzilla movies, from 1954 to 1972, Nakajima assumed the role of the infamous monster, often donning another monster (Kaiju) suit during his tenure. This impressive run etched his name into the annals of film history, forever linking him to the iconic Godzilla persona.
The production of Japanese Kaiju films offered some unique challenges and interesting behind-the-scenes stories. For instance, the scale models and meticulous attention to detail resulted in truly captivating behind-the-scenes shots. Due to the heat generated inside the Godzilla suit, Nakajima often filmed scenes without the headpiece, especially when only the monster’s feet and legs were to be shown. This peculiar circumstance resulted in amusing photographs that gave the impression of a casual break when they were filming.
John Rosengrant as Raptor
John Rosengrant, part of the special effects team for “Jurassic Park,” ended up in an unexpectedly performative role in the film. He was chosen to bring to life the raptors, some of the film’s most fearsome creatures. A keen enthusiast of suit performance, Rosengrant was eager to seize this unique opportunity. He felt that to excel in such roles, one had to possess acting skills, despite the limited emotional range of his characters.
However, the experience wasn’t as glamorous as it initially seemed. There were many challenges Rosengrant hadn’t anticipated, including the significant downtime between shots. This often resulted in him staying in the raptor suit for prolonged periods, sometimes hours. The unnatural bending required to fit the suit would cause his back to give out after roughly 30 minutes. He was often propped up on a frame during breaks to alleviate the pressure and discomfort.
Tom Woodruff Jr. as Mortal Kombat’s Goro
The Goro suit from “Mortal Kombat” is a marvel of film production, even by today’s standards. Crafted with a budget of $1 million, the suit was intricate and challenging to manage, but it paid off in the end, providing an endearing dose of retro charm. Director Paul W.S Anderson hailed Goro as a significant creation that required a team to operate. Still, the suit needed an individual to bring it to life, and that responsibility fell to the person who created it, Tom Woodruff Jr.
Despite having someone inside, Goro’s suit was remarkably complex to operate, as production designer Jonathan A. Carlson outlined. He noted that around 13 to 16 puppeteers were required, each responsible for different components. This included someone manipulating the eyeballs, another for the eyebrows, etc. A memorable character was brought to life through a collective effort and expert craftsmanship.
Roberto Campanella as Silent Hill’s Pyramid Head
Pyramid Head is a character that has rapidly become synonymous with the “Silent Hill” franchise. Roberto Campanella, a former ballet dancer with The National Ballet of Canada, is behind the towering figure with a pyramid-like helmet. In addition to portraying Pyramid Head, Campanella played “The Janitor” in the franchise, but the former has become the more significant character.
Campanella’s background in ballet and his work as a movement choreographer make him an ideal choice for masked villains whose performances rely heavily on their movements. His dance training allows him to provide his characters an added layer of expressiveness, bringing a unique intensity and menace to Pyramid Head’s silent presence.
The Unseen Performer Behind Scream’s Ghostface
For those familiar with the “Scream” franchise, Ghostface’s identity always varies, with multiple killers adopting the outfit and mask. However, the true constant behind Ghostface is Dane Farwell. The actors are replaced with Farwell, the franchise’s resident stuntman, whenever the suit is on. He portrayed Ghostface in the first, second, and fourth installments, lending a sense of continuity to the character.
Farwell’s influence on Ghostface extends beyond his physical portrayal. He has shaped the character’s mannerisms, including the head tilt and the signature bloody knife wipe. Wes Craven, the director, liked Farwell’s improvisations so much that he decided to incorporate them as character traits, thereby solidifying Farwell’s contributions to Ghostface. Beyond “Scream,” Farwell has an impressive portfolio of stunt work in major action films such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, “300,” and several comic book adaptations.
The Physical Actor Behind Pan’s Labyrinth’s Creepy Creatures
Doug Jones, a former contortionist, has carved out a niche in Hollywood through his unusual roles that often involve hiding his face behind makeup or a mask. He portrayed both the disturbing Pale Man and the ominous faun, Pan, in “Pan’s Labyrinth.” His tall, slender build and flexibility made him an ideal choice for these creatures that have since become iconic in film monsters.
Jones’s contributions go beyond physical performances; he’s also a talented actor. His interpretation of Pan involved giving the character an air of ambiguity, keeping the audience guessing about his true intentions. As for The Pale Man, Jones’ eerie performance has embedded the character into the psyche of anyone who has watched the film. Jones’s work in “Pan’s Labyrinth” is a testament to his craft and ability to breathe life into the strange, scary, and otherworldly.
Bolaji Badejo as Alien
Bolaji Badejo, a Nigerian graphic artist, was discovered by the casting directors of “Alien” purely by chance in a pub in London. His tall, slender frame was perfect for the role of the alien creature that would terrify audiences around the globe. While Badejo’s time in Hollywood was brief, he left a lasting impression; his performance is still celebrated as one of the most chilling in cinema history.
Badejo’s transformation into the Alien was a feat of makeup and costuming, with the team working tirelessly to create the iconic image we now associate with the franchise. Working inside the suit was physically demanding and restrictive, with Badejo often unable to sit or lie down during breaks. However, his dedication to the role ensured the creation of a cinematic monster that continues to inspire awe and terror.
Warrington Gillette as Jason Voorhees
Warrington Gillette had a brief but memorable stint as Jason Voorhees in “Friday the 13th Part II.” The film was a significant shift in the “Friday the 13th” series, where Jason took on the mantle of the main antagonist from his mother, the killer in the first movie. Gillette’s portrayal helped establish the character of Jason, who would become one of the most iconic villains in the horror genre.
Gillette’s contribution was especially evident in the memorable unmasked scene, which would become a staple in future “Friday the 13th” movies. His expressiveness and intensity breathed life into the character and set the tone for Jason’s subsequent portrayals. Despite playing a role in just one film, Gillette’s interpretation of Jason Voorhees left a lasting legacy and helped shape the direction of one of horror’s most enduring franchises.