Though we would like to believe that everything in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was simply magic, the truth of the matter is that a ton of the fantastic transformations that we saw in the film franchise were born of the hands of acclaimed makeup artist, Mark Coulier. Coulier worked on all eight of the Harry Potter films, and is responsible for everything from blowing up Aunt Marge to Harry’s gillyweed gills. Here are 10 magical Harry Potter makeup facts that you never knew.
1. Lord Voldemort’s makeup took just 2 hours and 3 people.
Considering how extensive that makeup was, we’re really shocked! However, 2 hours was also Ralph Fiennes chair limit, so obviously Couiler and his team got it down to a science.
2. Lord Voldemort’s makeup was applied just 70 times throughout the entire franchise.
However, 50 of those 70 times were in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 & 2. Voldy’s makeup included a body paint job, fake fingernails and teeth, eyebrow blockers, temporary tattoos and eye darkening contacts.
3. The creepy nose job he sported was all thanks to CGI.
How else were they supposed to get a nose that looked snake-like. Apparently, Ralph Fiennes delighted in making kids cry on set while in costume.
4. Aunt Marge’s inflatable fat suit in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban took four months to build.
20 people were involved in the process, and it included three stages of prosthetics. Pumps, de-gassing chambers, and a large inflatable bladders. Not much CGI was involved at all.
5. Harry’s gillyweed scene was insanity.
Apparently it took 20 divers in the tank with Daniel Radcliffe just to get one shot.
6. The gills themselves took an hour and a half to apply.
The were made out of silicone and silk so that they flowed and billowed underwater like real gills.
7. Aragog’s body weighed one ton.
It also took 20 people 6 months to make it. Once it was completed, a crane was used to shift it around the set because it was so freaking heavy.
8. Some extensive work went behind actor Ciarán Hinds transforming into Aberforth Dumbledore.
Though Aberforth was Albus Dumbledore’s brother, actors Ciarán Hinds and Michael Gambon look nothing alike. To remedy that, Coulier and his team sculpted Gambon’s nose, forehead piece and exact prosthetic replicas of Gambon’s eye bags for Hinds to wear.
9. The makeup artists also replicated Gambon’s eyebrows exactly!
Coulier punched every single eyebrow hair into place.
10. Professor Snape nearly had a different nose.
Initially, Coulier created some prosthetic noses for the late Alan Rickman to wear as Severus Snape. However, considering the amount of screen time Rickman had in the Harry Potter saga, the makeup team decided to spare him the headache of the nose.