Makeup Artist Explains The Origin Of Joker’s New Look

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Critics and audiences may be torn about the quality of Joker, but there’s no question that it has emerged as one of the year’s most successful—and attention-grabbing—films. As makeup artist Nicki Ledermann sees it, this is the product of the film’s extremely compatible creative team. “I truly believe that the reason this movie is so good and successful is because of the perfect collaboration all around between directing, acting, costume, hair, make-up, cinematography, and production design,” she told Dazed & Confused Magazine. “All of these departments worked extremely close and well together, always cross-referencing colour palettes, textures, tones, vibes, and mood. I was grateful and in awe of all the talent.”

As for the actual look she devised for Joker’s title character, Ledermann attributes this (at least partly) to Joaquin Phoenix’s restless nature. “It took an average of 15-20 minutes to apply the make-up, partly because it was hard for Joaquin,” she explained, adding that she came to see simplicity as a virtue. “I had to be able to manipulate the make-up, to take it off and redo it fast after every take, matching it perfectly to the prior take, or to smear it during the take, then fix it in between, or to make it appear to smear but actually stay put without smudging during the take. To achieve this, I used and mixed different products to match the texture and colours exactly, freehand the placement and not interrupt the speedy pace and incredible intensity of filming.”

Joker is in theatres now. Check out the trailer below.