From Beetlejuice to Dark Shadows, the faces of Burton's characters are creepily charismatic. Scroll down to check them out!
The classic television character, vampire Barnabas Collins, reawakens this weekend in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. Starring as Barnabas is, of course, Burton's right-hand man, the versatile Johnny Depp. Depp's Barnabas resembles the original on a basic level-he has jagged bangs, large ears, and fangs-but makeup department head Joel Harlow says there are marked differences between the two. Besides giving Depp a more modern hairstyle, pointy ear extensions, and a prosthetic nose bridge, Harlow added a Burton-esque pallor. "Johnny's Barnabas is quite a bit more pale than Jonathan Frid's," he says. "Another huge addition to Johnny is the finger extensions. His hands became their own character within his performance-I recall Tim saying that he wanted Barnabas to be very 'tactile,' with his hands leading the way."
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Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland
Harlow also designed Depp's makeup as Mad Hatter in Burton's Alice in Wonderland. To complement Alice's troubled yet fun-loving friend, vivid colors were layered over Burton's usual whitened palette. "In my experience as a makeup artist working with Tim, it is clear that his approach to makeup is to enhance not only the narrative but also the individual character," says Harlow. "He isn't afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to the look of a character, but only if that direction helps to convey the character's emotional center, giving his actors more to work with. It's almost as if the look of the character is, in itself, direction to his actors."
Thanks to advancements in special effects, the Red Queen's (played by Helena Bonham Carter) Red Queen cranium was larger than ever. For a realistic appearance (or at least as realistic as a ridiculously swollen head can look), Bonham Carter's visage got its very own camera for close-ups. In post-production, composite artistry was employed to enlarge her head and shrink her body. The final result-a freakishly high forehead, turquoise-topped eyes, heart-shaped lips, and miniature waist-is a sight to behold.
As Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice, Winona Ryder demonstrated the persona and facial features that many have come to associate with Burton's characters. Runway makeup guru Lucia Pieroni calls the Burton girl "tough, moody, slightly Goth, but beautiful," listing "big, hollowed out eyes with huge lashes" as signifiers.
Harlow says these traits go beyond mere aesthetics: "I think they come from Tim's attempt to emphasize the feelings and emotions of his characters. Bringing out the strongest and most expressive feature on the face is nothing new to makeup artists-the eyes are, after all, the window to the soul." The other creations from Beetlejuice-think green beauty queens and explorers with shrunken heads-earned the film an Academy Award for makeup.
Ryder went blond and preppy for her second film with Burton, Edward Scissorhands. Depp, on the other hand, eschewed his heartthrob status for the title role, adopting scarred skin, crazy hair, and gardening shears for hands. With his moving portrayal of the kindhearted Edward, Depp won over audiences-and Burton: the film was their first collaboration, and definitely not their last.
Mars Attacks! featured alien Lisa Marie. And, while her flawless makeup and hourglass figure were tantalizing, it was her oversized head of hair that made jaws drop. The look still resonates with fans today: at the Rochas show last September, models wore clothes inspired by Lisa Marie's 1950s style-with mile-high updos to match.
Batman Returns proved that, though heroes are more likeable, the bad guys are way more interesting. While we'll never understand exactly what went on in the demented minds of Catwoman and Penguin, one thing is for certain: despite the presence of a cat suit and flippers, we couldn't stop staring at the characters' shadowy eyes and bolded lips, intrigued by what clues they might betray.
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