The Secrets Behind Angelina Jolie's Maleficent Transformation
Unlike their princess counterparts, fairytale villainesses have always held a special sort of intrigue—partly due to their mysterious, rarely explained pasts. That’s exactly why we’re more than a little excited for Maleficent, Disney’s remake on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale with a focus on the dark, spindle-loving fairy herself, played and produced by none other than Angelina Jolie. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll know that Jolie’s Maleficent is the epitome of beauty in its most terrifying form: razor-sharp cheekbones, sinister green eyes, and blood-red lips bring to life an ominous look that’s much darker than the cartoon fairytale we grew up watching.
We got the chance to speak with the show’s main prosthetics and makeup man, Arjen Tuiten, and asked him to share his secrets. From the biggest challenge on set, to how he really created those sky-high cheekbones, he spilled everything that went into transforming Jolie into the great and terrible Maleficent.
Click through the slideshow to learn the secrets behind Jolie’s fairytale transformation!
“Looking at the original [film], we didn’t want to turn Maleficent into a caricature,” Tuiten explains. “We didn’t want a Halloween-looking costume, but we also didn’t want to cover her up or bury her.” The solution? Combining both makeup and prosthetics. “We tested so many different foundations to find one that would give a similar look to her skin and blend with the prosthetics,” Tuiten says.
Tuiten says that at first, Disney was nervous about getting prosthetics involved at all—and that it was Jolie who convinced them otherwise. “Angie convinced them with the first makeup test,” he says. “It showed them that it’s still her, but a fantasy version of her—they were sold! She fought really hard for it.”
As for the process itself, Tuiten explains the three main prosthetic pieces used: pointy ears, cheekbones, and a nosepiece (which he describes as “almost a little Egyptian, with a barely-noticeable bump on the top.”) He says that they had to make new versions everyday, because of the silicon, which can’t be re-used.
For 70 days, Jolie underwent a daily three-hour long transformation. “We started at 4 a.m. every day, and sometimes [the makeup and prosthetics] wouldn’t be removed until 17 hours later,” Tuiten says. To prep and protect her skin, he and Jolie’s makeup artist Toni G would first prep the actress' skin with the skin barrier Derma Shield, work on her hair while allowing it to set, then come back with the prosthetics and glue adhesive.
“Angie didn’t want too much on her face,” Tuiten explains. “[Tony G], Rick Baker and I tried over 30 different foundations on her before we found the right one that [worked with the prosthetics] and didn’t react.” The star product? MAC’s Select Cover Up ($18).
Removing a face full of makeup and prosthetics without damaging your skin is no small feat. Tuiten chose an all-natural option to remove Jolie’s makeup after long hours of filming: coconut oil. “We would use coconut oil and treat her skin with a steamer before she applied her own skin products,” he explains. “Her skin held up really well because of that.”
Tuiten says there were two main challenges on set: Maleficent’s horns and finding a makeup look that was both natural and ethereal. “The horns were a big issue,” he says. “The thing is—how are you going to attach horns like that when [Jolie’s] in cables and doing stunts? They were always getting caught on things like doorways, which could really hurt her neck.” Finally, he explains that Baker came up with the idea to have magnets installed so that the horns could “pop off” and be detached easily. As for makeup, he says the biggest challenge was creating a light and clean makeup look, while still incorporating prosthetics. “It took about two months of moulding and sculpting to find the right products—it was one of the most difficult things Rick, Tony and I had ever done!”