1. Ralph Fiennes in Harry Potter
Image Source/ Giant Freaking Robot
Possibly one of the most well known villains in the movie industry. Ralph Fiennes is the actor who brought Lord Voldemort to life, and with great success. His make up took hours and consisted of detailed white face make up, eyebrow blockers and fake teeth. His nose was digitally removed during the editing process. Fiennes hated the lengthy process so much he said he would never accept another role like it!
2. Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
Image Source/ IGN
An actor that will be remembered forever for a variety of roles, but perhaps most famously playing the Joker in 2008’s The Dark Knight. Health Ledger’s interpretation of the Joker was legendary. Although the make up looks ‘messy’ it was a process that took at least two hours every day. It consisted of blotchy white face paint, black eyeshadow around his eyes and smudged red lipstick painted over fake silicone scars.
3. Rebecca Romijn in X Men
Image Source/ People
In the 2000 X-Men reboot, it was Rebecca Romijn that played Mystique aka Raven, the shape-shifter villain. Although, she was in blue for a lot of the movie so you can imagine how much movie make up this required! Her look was an all-blue illusion and took about eight or nine hours to create – crazy!
4. Zoe Saldana Guardians of the Galaxy
Image Source/ E! Online
Zoe Saldana plays the emerald green alien, Gamora, in the Guardian’s of the Galaxy franchise. A firm fan favourite and known as the deadliest woman in the whole galaxy, she would have to spend two to three hours in make up and putting on prosthetics every day. She was covered head to toe in green paint!
5. Johnny Depp in Alice in Wonderland
Image Source/ NME
Johnny Depp is not averse to some heavy movie make up! He has a long list of movies in his past, but his role as the Mad Hatter in Alice Through the Looking Glass was iconic. His face was blanched in white make up with dramatic pink under eye circles. He had crazy eyelashes and a wig, and they even managed to create a gap between his front teeth.
6. Robert Englund in Nightmare on Elm Street
Image Source/ Chron
Everyone knows the name Freddy Krueger and it was Robert Englund that brought him to life. With a little help from the make up team… The iconic horror character has a recognisable face, created with a bald cap, many latex pieces and make up. He would also have to wear fake teeth and contact lenses.
7. Eric Bana in Star Trek
Image Source/ That Moment In
In 2009, the first instalment of the Star Trek franchise’s reboot hit movie theatres. Eric Bana was playing Romulan Nero and his alien-like look took around three hours a day to complete. He was wearing a bald cap, prosthetics, pointy ears and heavy make up. He said it was so heavy he could barely move his face!
8. Ron Perlman in Hellboy
Image Source/ Skin Illustrator
Another superhero transformation, and one that doesn’t get enough recognition! Ron Perlman was transformed in to the demon superhero Hellboy in 2004 for a starring role. You can only image how long he spent in the make up chair to become this red villain. Endless prosthetics, make up and hours went into this character.
9. Michael Keaton in Beetlejuice
Image Source/ Variety
Make Up Artists, Ve Neill, was the mastermind behind Michael Keaton’s transformation in Beetlejuice. She is a well known name in the movie industry now and this film won her her first Oscar! Beetlejuice was made to have a scary, undead quality, like he had just crawled out from underneath a rock.
10. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator
Image Source/ Golden Globes
We all know who The Terminator is also the actor who plays him. The cyborg character is historical and legendary and the movies are quoted all of the world. Recognition must be given to the appearance of the cyborg, as a half electronic man is no easy feat. In the second film, after some practice, the aesthetics were arguably better than the first.
11. Robin Williams in Mrs Doubtfire
Image Source/ SF Gate
A iconic movie that is known all over the world and is even a major West End play now. The adored Robin Williams had one of the most talked about transformations as he played Mrs Doubtfire. The actor portrayed a recently divorced man as he secretly transformed into a housekeeper to be able to spend more time with his children.
12. Helena Bonham Carter in Planet of the Apes
Image Source/ IMDb
Helena Bonham Carter is a household name. She has had some iconic roles over the years, but her biggest transformation has to be when she played ‘Ari’ in Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake. The actual film was not well received, but you have to give credit to the make up artists for this one. It was a five hour process that involved everything from fake teeth to fake ears.
13. Idris Elba in Star Trek Beyond
Image Source/ The Telegraph
You probably didn’t even realise it was Idris Elba! That is how extreme this movie make over was. The British actor plays the main villain, Krall, in Star Trek Beyond. The make up process took around three hours EVERY DAY to transform him into the blue scaly creature, sometimes starting at 4am.
14. Boris Karloff in Frankenstein
Image Source/ The Wall Street Journal
Frankenstein was the OG monster movie that came out of Hollywood in 1931. The classic story follows a scientist who makes a monster out of different body parts. The prosthetics and technicals may have been different back then, but everyone can recognise the iconic character and that’s all down to the movie make up creation of the time.
15. Danny DeVito in Batman Returns
Image Source/ Cinema Blend
The role you could argue he was born to play! Danny DeVito played the villainous Oswald Cobblepot, otherwise known as The Penguin, in the 1992 Batman Returns. His identifiable long, crooked nose was a feature created with prosthetics that DeVito had to wear all the time.
16. Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands
Image Source/ Variety
Another nod to Tim Burton and Johnny Depp! He literally has scissors for hands, so we can only imagine how hard the team behind this movie worked to make this dream become a reality. It’s an iconic look that everyone can recognise and is a great choice for a fancy dress party.
17. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Image Source/ ThoughtCo.
Jim Carey is very well known for playing the Grinch in this Christmas classic. His transformation into this green, furry beast is legendary. The costume plus make up must have taken a lot of work. In addition to this, every other character from Whoville all had crazy hair and make up too! I wonder how long it took them all to get ready in a morning…
18. Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Image Source/ The Sunday Post
In 1992, Dracula was released and changed history as one of the greatest gothic horror films ever to be made. For its time, the theatrics and costumes that were used had never been seen before. It won Academy Awards for best costume design and best make up! The story has also been retold many times since, but never quite to the same effect.
19. Margot Robbie in Mary Queen of Scots
Image Source/ Yahoo
The story of Queen Elizabeth I has been told countless times in movie and TV form. Margot Robbie had the priviledge of playing the part in the 2018 film Mary Queen of Scots. Her characteristic appearance was achieved with a bright red wig, nose prosthetics and some carefully done lipstick.
20. Jim Carey in A Series of Unfortunate Events
Image Source/ Vanity Fair
Count Olaf is the well known bad guy from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Jim Carey is the man behind the role but he is barely recognisable! With a completely different hairstyle which involved a bald cap and some fake hair and some wildly overgrown eyebrows, Count Olaf has quite the signature look.
21. Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club
Image Source/ NPR
A highly talked about and sensitive role was presented to Jared Leto when he played Rayon in Dallas Buyer’s Club. His character was a trans woman with HIV. His commitment to the role meant he lost a huge 30 pounds in weight, shaved his eyebrows and waxed his entire body to bring the character to life. I bet this made the make up team’s job a little easier!
22. Eddie Murphy in The Nutty Professor
Image Source/ Netflix Life
Eddie Murphy was great in all the comedy films he was involved in, but his role as the Nutty Professor is absolutely iconic for its costumes. He was characteristically fat in these films, so a fat suit was required and no one can say he didn’t pull it off! We bet he was hot wearing that all day!
23. Planet of the Apes
Image Source/ Variety
The sci-fi classic follows a group of astronauts that end up stranded on a planet completely run by apes. Since the majority of the cast are apes, you can only imagine the team that was needed behind the scenes to make their characters come alive. The costumes are just as impressive now, over 50 years later. Each ape is individual and you can really appreciate the variety between the make up and costumes.
24. Linda Blair in The Exorcist
Image Source/ Time Out
A classic horror masterpiece where a young girl becomes possessed by a demonic being. Linda Blair played the young girl, Regan MacNeil, and the make up tells as much of the story as she does. The ever-changing appearance plays such a major part in this movie as she becomes more and more unrecognisable as the film goes on, creating a fearful tension to all those watching.
25. Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean
Image Source/ Daily Star
It’s only right that Johnny Depp gets another mention. He is definitely not an actor that would be put off a role because it needed a big costume. His role in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise saw him transformed into a dishevelled pirate. The make up and hair are recognisable anywhere down to every last detail.
26. The Lord of the Rings
Image Source/ Digital Spy
Peter Jackson’s iconic trilogy has been around for years now, but we must not forget the work that went into making these characters come to life. Frodo Baggins, played by Elijah Wood, is just one example of the work put in. There was a great amount of attention to detail that came into play to make the hobbit appear small. While a lot of it was done with camera tricks, the hairstyles and beards of all the characters make the fantasy come to life.
27. David Naughton in An American Werewolf in London
Image Source/ Bloody Disgusting
After being attacked by a werewolf while travelling in England, David ends up becoming a werewolf himself and this film follows his story. An American Werewolf in London is still a cult horror comedy classic, and it was well ahead of its times when it was made. The make up and practical effects that were used here were better than anything seen before it.
28. John Hurt in The Elephant Man
Image Source/ The Guardian
A poignant film that is well known across the ages, but credit has to be given to the make up team. The story follows a severely deformed man, Joseph Merrick played by John Hurt, so extensive prosthetics and make up had to be used to create this appearance. Another film at the forefront of movie make up history.
29. Doug Jones in Pan’s Labyrinth
Image Source/ Literary Hub
Another great Guillermo del Toro film. Pan’s Labyrinth follows the journey of a young girl and the creatures she meets along the way. Faun and the Pale Man were both portrayed by Doug Jones. The Pale Man in particular, was like nothing that had been seen before this time, and this iconic make up paved the way for the future of movie making,
30. Jeff Goldblum in The Fly
Image Source/ Slash Film
The Fly is a classic sci-fi horror, with a questionable story line… Jeff Goldblum plays the main character, and although he starts out as human with little make up needed, he ends up being combined with a housefly. The team must have worked hard on this one to create the effect of a part human, part fly with make up and prosthetics.
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