It’s not uncommon for younger actors to play characters twice their age. All it takes is a little makeup! But Winona Ryder in Edward Scissorhands and Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 prove that not all makeup artists know what they are doing when it comes to old-age prosthetics and makeup.
Keep scrolling because readers might sprout grays after witnessing these old-age film makeup fails.
Dustin Hoffman: Little Big Man
Playing the role of a 121-year-old survivor of the battle of Little Big Horn, Dustin Hoffman’s makeup is questionable in Little Big Man. On one side of the coin, at 121, a man might very well look like a wrinkled walnut.
On the other side, they could have made it so the man could at least open his eyes a little bit.
Leonardo DiCaprio: J. Edgar
While Critics widely praised Leonardo DiCaprio’s performance as J. Edgar Hoover, the old-age makeup he sports during the frame narrative was not. One reviewer wrote, “Leonardo DiCaprio gives a predictable powerhouse performance, but J. Edgar stumbles in all other departments: cheesy makeup, poor lighting, confusing narrative, and humdrum storytelling.”
It looks like a powerhouse performance can’t deter people from pointing out the obvious!
Michael J. Fox: Back To The Future Part II
Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly was given a bad hand when he was put in the makeup chair to age into adulthood. In Back to the Future Part II, Marty, Doc Brown, and Jennifer travel from 1985 to 2015, encountering their future selves there.
Sadly, the old-age makeup for one Marty McFly is nothing short of creepy.
Adam Sandler: Click
Adam Sandler films are known to be on the funnier side. Even Click has its comedic moments. But when Michael Newman is in his far-off future, the graying hair and the bags under his eyes are all but invisible to the viewer.
It begs the question of why the makeup department even bothered with the transformation.
Guy Pearce: Prometheus
Guy Pearce was pretty young during the filming of the 2012 movie Prometheus, making his ancient-looking makeup even stranger.
Sitting six hours in a chair just to have a boatload of wrinkles affixed to his face makes viewers question why the casting director didn’t just choose an older actor for the role instead of having someone sport creepy-looking makeup.
Mel Gibson: Forever Young
Playing the role of a WW2 pilot who, during a cryogenics test, is frozen in 1939 and awoken in 1992, Mel Gibson’s character beings to age rapidly. Sadly, the old-age makeup on Captain Daniel McCormick isn’t great.
Instead of looking like an older gentleman, McCormick seems as though he got a bad dye job. And, at the age of 80, the character should definitely have more than a single wrinkle.
Linda Hamilton: Terminator 2: Judgement Day
At the end of the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Linda Hamilton’s character Sarah Connor finally sits down on a park bench after saving the world. What viewers aren’t ready for is when the camera finally pans to her face.
So long are Connor’s effortless good looks, and hello is some horrid old-age makeup that ultimately detracts from the scene.
Orson Welles: Citizen Kane
In 1941, watching Orson Welles’s character of Charles Foster Kane age onscreen must have been a real treat. Using nothing more than practical makeup and effects, the process was ahead of its time.
Looking at the makeup in the 21st century, though, the 25-year-old Welles looks pretty strange sporting his old-age makeup.
James Dean: Giant
The 1956 film Giant earned James Dean an Academy Award posthumous nomination for Best Actor, but his acting and his makeup are two entirely different conversations. Telling the story of an intense rivalry over a span of decades, Dean’s character Jett Rink’s makeup does him no favors.
In his later life, Rink winds up a silver fox. Sadly, it is very obvious the makeup artists did nothing more than spray Dean’s hair with a boatload of silver hair paint.
Bette Midler: For The Boys
Even though Bette Midler won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award, it doesn’t make the old-age makeup she wore in For The Boys okay. It is overdone and really takes away rom her character.
The makeup artist could have at least done without the light blue eyeshadow.
Robin Williams: Bicentennial Man
Having Robin Williams’s practical makeup shift from a robot to a human in Bicentennial Man was pretty astounding for the time. But the wonder stopped when Williams’s character, Andrew Martin, aged.
The old-age makeup put on Williams looked as if it was done with CGI. Apparently, the Academy didn’t care, nominating Greg Cannom for Best Makeup.
Eddie Murphy And Martin Lawrence: Life
The problem with the 1999 film Life is that there isn’t one but two actors who got dealt a bad old-age makeup hand, Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.
In the movie, the two look as though prosthetic wrinkles and hair were plastered on them in the hopes that no one notice they’re actually younger guys.
Al Pacino: The Godfather Part III
After the amazing makeup on Marlon Brando in The Godfather, the film’s third installment has old-age transformations that were a huge letdown, namely Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone.
Instead of utilizing the same technics as the first film, the “older Michael” looked like nothing more than an older Al Pacino with misplaced wrinkles and bags under his eyes.
Julianne Moore: The Hours
While The Hours was a beautiful movie that earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, it could have done a bit better in the makeup department. At least, the old-age makeup for Julianne Moore’s character of Laura Brown.
Even though her performance is marvelous, Moore’s old-age makeup doesn’t look natural next to Meryl Streep who is older than Moore in real life but younger in the film.
Winona Ryder: Edward Scissorhands
The thing about Winona Ryder’s old-age makeup in Edward Scissorhands is that she was no older than 19-years-old, at the time. The wrinkles and white hair made the entire scene a bit uncomfortable for some viewers.
Regardless of that matter, Stan Winston and Ve Neill were still nominated for an Academy Award for Best Makeup.
Tim Roth: Youth Without Youth
For someone who worked on films such as Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, it’s safe to assume they’d do a marvelous job on other projects. Well, Peter King and Jeremy Woodhead proved that comment wrong regarding Youth Without Youth.
The thinning white hair and overabundance of wrinkles are a far cry from their level of expertise in other films.
Javier Bardem: Love In The Time Of Cholera
The 2007 film Love in a Time of Cholera is a beautiful drama showcasing a love triangle spanning 50 years! Sadly, once the characters get older, the horrible makeup is difficult to ignore, especially Javier Bardem’s.
Unfortunately, Bardem gets rubbery-looking prosthetics and a horrible combover when his character gets older.
Russell Crowe: A Beautiful Mind
Russell Crowe looks amazing as John Nash in the Academy Award-winning film A Beautiful Mind. Well, that is until the film fast-forwards a few years to an older, gray Nash.
Even though the film also won an Academy Award for Best Makeup, a lot of viewers don’t agree. The horrible wig and overabundance of rubbery-looking wrinkles do nothing for the character and take away from the scene.
Robin Williams: Jack
The 1996 film Jack is all about the title character as he grows old at a startlingly fast rate and is an older man by the time of his high school graduation. Sadly, the old-age makeup really does nothing for Williams’s magnificent performance as Jack.
The receding white hairline and barely-there wrinkles do little for the character.
Jennifer Connelly: Aloft
As the middle-aged Nana in Aloft, Jennifer Connelly wears over eleven prosthetic appliances and a wig. She even wore dental prosthetics to bring together the entire look.
The thing is, the old-age makeup looked very out of place on a young Connelly and was nothing more than distracting and eyebrow-raising.