The makeup and hair team behind Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” faced an awe-inspiring challenge. According to Variety, the film has set a new world record for the highest number of prosthetics used in a single movie, with an astounding 22,500 pieces. This record-breaking achievement surpasses the previous milestone set by “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Creating Unique Looks for the Galaxy’s Inhabitants
Makeup head Alexei Dmitriew and hair department head Cassie Russek worked together on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to design unique and captivating looks for the diverse range of creatures featured in the movie. Whether it was creating the otherworldly appearance of Will Poulter’s Adam Warlock or the sinister look of the villainous High Evolutionary, Dmitriew, and Russek’s prosthetic creations were nothing short of breathtaking.
In addition to these characters, the makeup team of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was tasked with designing a variety of hybrid humanoid animals, including kangaroos, turtles, vampire bats, and rabbits. The intricate designs required the daily participation of around 30 people on set, each sporting a distinctive mask and makeup to bring these creatures to life. The end result was a visual feast for the eyes, showcasing the incredible talent and creativity of the makeup and hair departments.
A Village of Makeup Artists
Transforming actors into fantastical creatures is no easy feat, and the team behind the scenes of this production went to great lengths to make it happen. It took an army of makeup artists—75 strong on most days, and even reaching up to 90 at times—to bring the otherworldly characters to life. To speed things up, they worked in pairs, with two artists assigned to each prosthetic.
The results were truly stunning: a whopping 22,542 prosthetics, 117 pairs of eye-catching contact lenses, and 500 carefully crafted wigs were used to create the final looks. From start to finish, this was a massive undertaking that required skill, precision, and an unyielding commitment to bringing the James Gunn vision to life.
The High Evolutionary
Chukwudi Iwuji brought an electrifying performance to his role as The High Evolutionary, a mad scientist responsible for the transformation of Bradley Cooper’s character, Rocket. In an intriguing flashback sequence, the film depicts Rocket’s origins as part of The High Evolutionary’s experiment to create an advanced species.
However, Rocket witnesses his close friends being killed by the villain, which prompts him to seek revenge by clawing at The High Evolutionary’s face and causing damage, ultimately leading to the character wearing a mask.
To bring The High Evolutionary to life, Iwuji underwent an impressive transformation process that involved two prosthetic pieces and a headpiece. These pieces were blended into his skin to create a seamless appearance, with the prosthetic being pulled back into the helmet to give the impression of his skin being pulled. While the initial transformation process took under two hours, Iwuji and the team were able to streamline it to a swift 70-75 minutes after a few sessions.
Classes for the Actors
In conclusion, the makeup and hair team behind MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 pushed the boundaries of prosthetics and makeup design, achieving a world record for the highest number of prosthetics used in a single film. Their meticulous work and unwavering dedication resulted in a visual spectacle that showcases the extraordinary creativity and talent of the makeup and hair departments.
The actors were fully prepared for their roles through specialized classes conducted by the department, delivering electrifying performances. With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, cinema once again proves its value to innovation and creative storytelling, in Guardians’ case, promising to take audiences on a thrilling journey through the galaxy.