Actor changes into Churchill

Kazuhiro Tsuji, the artist behind Gary Oldman’s jaw-dropping transformation into Winston Churchill for the Oscar-nominated film “Darkest Hour,” lives and works in a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles.

His hyper-realistic sculptures have taken over the space. Big heads of historical figures (most prominently, an enormous bust of Andy Warhol perched on a silver plinth) are a testament to his decades-long career as an artist and master of special effects.

Kazuhiro Tsuji in his studio.

Kazuhiro Tsuji in his studio.

“I needed not only a makeup artist, but I needed an artist for this,” said Oldman, who coaxed the Tokyo-born sculptor out of retirement from the film industry. “There’s only one man — Kazuhiro Tsuji — and my playing Winston was contingent on Kazu.”

Tsuji served as a special effects makeup artist for 25 years, working on blockbuster after blockbuster. But in 2012 he quit the film industry and became fully dedicated to his three-dimensional portraits.

Kazuhiro Tsuji in his studio.

Kazuhiro Tsuji in his studio.

When Oldman emailed Tsuji in 2016 about returning for a final stint, the artist’s love for high-profile effigies spoke louder. He had never had the opportunity to create a historical figure for a film.

The mutation from Oldman, a slender 59-year-old, to Winston Churchill, a heavily built 66 year-old, required a number of skillful maneuvers. “Gary looks like a greyhound but Churchill is like a bulldog,” Tsuji said.

“We had a number of makeup tests,” Oldman said in an interview with Vanity Fair, “and I think I wore the makeup in total 61 times — over 200 hours in the makeup chair. There’s something very special when you’re in the makeup chair, and about two hours and 45 minutes in, you start to look in the mirror and you see the spirit of the man. It’s remarkable.”

Tsuji’s greatest achievement was creating not a rubber mask, but a nearly invisible layer of makeup and prosthetics — the most present, yet inconspicuous element on screen — that helped Oldman win a BAFTA award and an Oscar nomination.

“The great thing about Gary is he just disappears,” said Tsuji. “After 10 minutes, I start to forget about the makeup and start to forget about Gary because he becomes Churchill, and that’s really rare.”

Watch the film above to discover more about Gary Oldman’s transformation for “Darkest Hour.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *