Daniel Becomes Niki: Prosthetics and Makeup
The portrayal of Niki Lauda's post-Nurburgring
disfigurement required much time in makeup with
Academy Award-winning prosthetic makeup designer
MARK COULIER. "Of course, we needed prosthetics
and that made me nervous at first," Bruhl says.
"The funny thing was that after the first test, Mark's
assistants said he might get nominated in a half hour
for an Oscar for The Iron Lady. Mark started making
the prosthetics while some other guys got bottles of
champagne. We sat there following it through the
Internet while I was half-burnt. He got the Oscar and I knew I was in good hands." The actor extends his
good words to DP Mantle. "It's incredible that Anthony
comes in so close with his cameras to the prosthetics
and you still can't see it. You still believe my face is
totally burnt. Amazing work."
As with every detail of the film, Howard strove
for authenticity on Lauda's disfigurement. "There's a
section of Niki's scarring within the hospital that the
general public didn't see," says Emmy Award-winning
makeup and hair designer FAE HAMMOND. "Ron
really wanted to make a very big point of those. So
there are a couple of scenes when we really feel the
pain, the agony and the horror that went on. Mark was
very clever. We probably had about eight stages of the
makeup. It was very important to get it as correct and
accurate as possible."
The makeup and prosthetics team was also tasked
with the more subtle challenge of making the actor
look like the young, unscarred championship driver
whose distinct image was well-known. "We added
some false teeth for Daniel to give him that sort of
'ratty' shape," Hammond explains. "Daniel sports a
rather fine set of teeth, which we had some fun with.
There are physical elements of Daniel that are so
strongly there in the real Lauda but Daniel's head has
a slightly different shape,
so you can't just put Lauda
hair on Daniel. You have to
find a space that balances
the rest of his face and
body shape. I think it
worked really well."
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