Nominated for an Achievement in Makeup Oscar on January 24 were J. Roy Helland, an Emmy award winning makeup artist/hairstylist for Angels in America and prosthetic designer Mark Coulier, who won Emmy Awards for Arabian Nights and the 1998 Merlin.
It required an old age makeup to 86 years. To do so as perfectly as Mark’s team did, they used PlatSil gel 10 silicone prosthetic pieces made with Smith’s theatrical deadener at 170% softener.
The neck appliance had to be soft enough to get a good stretch but compressed without buckling, which is all about putting the edges in the right place and painting into the skin in the right way, getting the right softness of silicone.
The makeup also included a gelatin nose piece, which was also used in the younger Thatcher scenes, since gelatin is slightly firmer and would be more appropriate for that part of the brow. Silicone moves and wrinkles.
The forehead was free of prosthetic and stipple but instead did a lot of painting in Skin Illustrator. Bondo appliances were used to age underneath the eyes, wig roots are dyed slightly grayer, and old age stipple was used on the hands.
The process took 2 hours and 20 minute applied 46 times: the old age makeup 23 times, young 23 times.
Smith began his long career in 1945 as NBC’s first make-up artist and left his imprint on major motion pictures. He is also known for pioneering make-up techniques and educating make-up artists.
On November 12, he became the first make-up artist to receive an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement. Smith received the award at the Academy’s Third Annual Governors Awards, held at the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Grand Ballroom.
“When I watched the wonderful film they just showed, I kept thinking, gosh, that fellow had a great career.”