Saturday, November 19, 2005

Lon Chaney, Jr.

The Wolf Man makeup must have been miserable for Lon Chaney!
According to A Pictorial History of Horror Movies by Denis Gifford (Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, New York, 1974, page 136):
(Jack Pierce, who created the Wolf Man makeup and applied it to Lon Chaney, Jr.)
The day we did the transformations I came in at two a.m. When I hit that position they would take little nails and drive them through the skin at the edge of my fingers, on both hands, so that I wouldn't move them anymore. While I was in this position they would build a plaster cast of the back of my head. Then they would take drapes from behind me and starch them, and while they were drying them, they would take the camera and weigh it down with one ton, so that it wouldn't quiver when people walked. They had targets for my eyes up there. Then, while I'm still in this position, they would shoot five or ten frames of film in the camera. They'd take that film out and send it to the lab. While it was there the makeup man [Jack P. Pierce] would come and the whole thing off my face, and put on a new one, only less. I'm still immobile. When the film came back from the lab they'd check me. They'd say, "Your eyes have moved a little bit, movie them to the right . . . now your shoulder is up. . . ." Then they'd roll it again and shoot another ten frames. Well, we did twenty-one changes of makeup and it took twenty-two hours. I won't discuss about the bathroom!
(Pierce and Chaney in a publicity still)
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