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Movie Fact #122 - December 17th, 2020

 

Russell Crowe had a surprising amount of transformations for roles early in his career. Two of his finest, both Oscar-nominated, involved the same guy to help him achieve age progression and more resembling the real people he played. For his 2001 film A Beautiful Mind, Greg Cannom was chosen to create the makeup effects, specifically the age progression of the characters. Cannom had previously worked with Crowe on the 1999 film The Insider (And worked with director Ron Howard on his 1985 film Cocoon).


For A Beautiful Mind, each character's stages of makeup were broken down by the number of years that would pass between levels as the production team originally decided that the makeup department would age Russell Crowe throughout the film. Cannom stressed subtlety between the stages, but worked toward the ultimate stage of "Older Nash". At Crowe's request, the makeup was pushed further in usage to help Crowe resemble the facial features of John Nash. To do this, Cannom developed a new silicone-type makeup that could simulate skin and be used for overlapping applications which shortened make-up application time from eight to four hours. In addition, Crowe was also fitted with a number of dentures to give him a slight overbite in the film.

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