“Guardians of the Galaxy” has been in theatres for two weeks and has already made more than $US313 million worldwide.
Before the film’s release, we asked special makeup-effects designer David White to take Business Insider through the process of transforming some of the stars from Zoe Saldana to Karen Gillan into their onscreen characters.
Out of all the actors, wrestler David Bautista was among the cast members who spent the most time on set.
In order to transform Bautista into his character Drax the Destroyer it took a team of five makeup artists five hours each day to apply 18 prosthetic pieces to the wrestler, according to Marvel Studios.
“Drax started as a five-hour makeup, and slowly the time began to fall away, as expected,” White tells Business Insider. “A makeup that extensive is a real slog for the team as it’s so complex.”
“Every day, a Vac forma [plastic mould] of David’s exact body shape with perforated holes in it to indicate exactly where the prosthetics start and finish was offered up,” says White. “This had rice paper skin illustrator airbrushed through it showing the map.”
White says Bautista was then brush sealed with a chemical and medical adhesive mix. Afterward, makeup artists started applying the 18 pieces onto the actor’s shoulders and the rest of his body.
“The crew all had different tasks in the sequence. Some move[d] onto the paint system while some finished off the prosthetic blending offs,” says White.
Elaborate tattoos and markings cover Bautista’s entire body. As you can see, they’re incredibly detailed.
Since Drax isn’t predominantly blue or grey or red there were different paint layers the artists then had to apply.
“We added thin layers of browns, reds and greens within the base grey to break up the tone and make it come alive before the final colour sweep,” White tells us. “Then the whole body is sealed with a fixative so that it can withstand the day’s shoot.”
In addition to all of that, Bautista also had to wear dentures to “dirty down his real teeth” along with contacts that gave him “ice blue eyes with a red circling the eye iris.”
Co-star Chris Pratt revealed to Buzzfeed that Bautista stood the entire time while his makeup was applied.
“Bautista had to stand like this with his arms out rested on posts … stands that had tennis balls on them,” said Pratt. “He had to stand for hours like that every single day. Never complained about it.”
Eventually, White says Drax’s makeup took an average of three hours to do. Bautista recently told /Film the makeup team was able to get it down to2 hours and 47 minutes one day. However, it takes about another hour and a half to get off.
Here’s a side-by-side of Bautista’s transformation:
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.