Co-director Lana Wachowski enlisted computer specialists to re-imagine Sturgess as a South Korean man before he was cast in the upcoming sci-fi drama.
Sturgess tells New York Magazine, "I think Lana said, 'We did a few graphic tests, we took a photo of you, and we played around with your face to see what it might look like.' I think it works on some people and doesn't so much on others. I was pleased. I was up for having a go."
Once he landed the part, artists completed Sturgess' transformation by changing the shape of his eyelids and fitting him with a black wig.
He explains, "It was a very intricate thing getting the eyes just right. It took about two hours in the beginning... And I had a black wig. That was really it... We sort of did a whole lot of makeup tests to try and see what would work, and we tried everything. You know, changing my nose and my face, and it ended up being too much."
Sturgess ultimately got the perfect seal of approval from his Korean co-star Doona Bae's mum: "Doona's mum came on set and she said, 'Ah, you look like (a) very nice Asian man.' So I'll take it from her... That was the biggest sort of accolade I could have got."