Akshay, Madhavan, Nawazuddin: Actors share prosthetic makeup videos, industry feels trend catching up faster
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Akshay, Madhavan, Nawazuddin: Actors share prosthetic makeup videos, industry feels trend catching up faster

Although the trend of using prosthetic makeup isn’t new in Bollywood, of late many actors and makers are sharing videos on social media giving a sneak peek into the process behind the scenes.

bollywood Updated: Feb 05, 2019 16:54 IST
Shreya Mukherjee
Shreya Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
Bollywood,Prosthetics Makeup,R Madhavan
Actor R Madhavan who is playing scientist S Nambi Narayanan in his next film, Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, recently instagramed this photo.

Getting into the skin of a character has gone beyond mere six-packs and other physical transformation. Prosthetic makeup is the way forward, as a clutch of recent films show — Akshay Kumar in last year’s 2.0, Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Thackeray and Anupam Kher in The Accidental Prime Minister.

Read| Madhavan reveals his look as scientist Nambi Narayanan and internet is impressed

While the trend isn’t new, of late many actors and makers are sharing videos on social media giving a sneak peek into the process behind the scenes. Recently, actor R Madhavan, portraying scientist S Nambi Narayanan in Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, took to social media to share how he went about getting the look correct. Fans are looking forward to clips from other upcoming films such as Chhichhore, Housefull 4, Romeo Akbar Walter, Bharat and Anurag Kashyap’s next film on octogenarian shooters, all of which are using prosthetics.

Apart from process, also interesting is how much time it’s required to get the look correct. “The look is definitely half the battle won, the other half was really tough. The age-group I’m playing right now is 75 and Nambi Narayan sir is a very good looking man and has his own charm and charisma… it wasn’t easy and probably one of the toughest look for me, and character to play,” says Madhavan adding that “the process took painfully long, about two days of sitting on a chair for fourteen hours”.

National Award-winning make-up, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh shares the time required depends on how much prosthetic makeup is used. She cites the example of Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Thackeray, where she had to make a nose and an appliance to hide the cleft in the actors chin to make him look similar to former Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray.

“Silicon blends with the skin properly. We first take measurements, create moulds, run them into silicon to get the appliances, which are then put on the skin before blending it with make-up. A full body prosthetic might require about eight hours, while the face might takes about five hours. While removing it, we need to make sure the skin does not get affected” says Preetisheel. She also shares videos of her work on social media and feels interest around the craft is growing.

Prosthetics is being done more aggressively now because actors and filmmakers are ready to go that extra mile, feels Shakun Batra, director of Kapoor & Sons. “With the advent of advanced techniques and equipments, the desired look is attainable. Earlier the bigger hindrance was how the makeup would not look real. And how much movie lovers enjoy watching the making of the look was evident from the reaction we received on the transformation video of Rishi Kapoor,” he explains.

Time Counts
  • R Madhavan (Rocketry: The Nambi Effect): 14 hours
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Thackeray): 2 hours
  • Anupam Kher (The Accidental Prime Minister): 2 hours
  • Akshay Kumar (2.0; 2018): 6 hours
  • Nawazuddin Siddiqui (MOM; 2017): 4 hours
  • Rishi Kapoor (Kapoor & Sons; 2016): 5 hours
  • Rajkummar Rao (Raabta; 2017): 6 hours
  • Shah Rukh Khan (Fan; 2016): 4-5 hours
  • Amitabh Bachchan (Paa; 2009): 5 hours

Trade analyst Atul Mohan feels that everyone is making the most of social media, however he is quick to add that one also runs the risk of getting it wrong, too. “When Vivek Oberoi’s look from PM Narendra Modi biopic was revealed, social media users reacted negatively and the makers had to reconsider it. That’s the reason why prosthetic makeup artists are often flown down from abroad, much like for VFX, where Hollywood experts would be specially brought in till popular studios opened up in India.”

Makeup artist Deepak Sawant, who has been working with Amitabh Bachchan for over four decades sounds a little upset talking about this trend of importing prosthetic makeup artists from abroad. “Some people just want to show that they’ve got artists from Hollywood but I feel even Indian makeup artists are capable of doing good prosthetics. And that too, in half the price,” he says.

Author tweets @Shreya_MJ

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First Published: Feb 05, 2019 16:51 IST