In Focus: Turning Benedict Cumberbatch into Julian Assange
Working on The Fifth Estate and trying to make Benedict Cumberbatch look like Julian Assange was a really interesting makeup [project] because you had to make him look like somebody completely different but no-one was supposed to know he was in full makeup.
The hair was a wig. He was already tied into doing the next Sherlock so he wasn’t allowed to die his hair. Every morning I had to slick his hair down, put a bald cap on him – a latex scull cap, colour that in, stick it all down, put a wig on top, get that secured. Then I’d bleach his eyebrows so they weren’t too dark and put contact lenses in to deaden his eyes a little bit.
Because he had an Australian accent we wanted to change his profile a bit so we had some fake teeth made for him so he had double thick gums. It’s a very little thing and no-one’s meant to know except us but it just helps him with his accent.
There was a little bit of foundation. Julian Assange has quite a bit of sun damage so we had to paint on freckles. It was pretty full-on makeup considering that it doesn’t really look like makeup.