The Marvel cinematic universe has grown exponentially in the last couple of years, and sometimes it really felt like the only movies coming out in cinemas were Avengers and their sequels. But we’re not complaining, those movies were great, and we got so used to the characters in them we actually started caring about them even if their part wasn’t the biggest one. What’s interesting is that while the main cast of characters is easily recognizable and we can tell what actors play them, there are a lot of those who hide behind masks or spend hours in makeup and come out looking phenomenal yet almost unrecognizable. Today we thought we’d show you what some of the actors who play these fantastic characters look like.
1. Josh Brolin – Thanos
Everyone knows the biggest villain in Avengers – Thanos. Did you know that in 2012 Thanos was actually played by a stuntman, but later on, Josh Brolin took over the part and made it his own. And interestingly enough Josh doesn’t have to spend ages in makeup to look the part, in fact, it’s kind of the other way round. They used special editing software and obviously a lot of CGI to digitally make Thanos look a bit like Josh. That’s right, the appearance of Thanos is actually based on Josh’s facial features.
2. Zoe Saldana – Gamora
While Zoe kept most of her facial features as Gamora, she definitely doesn’t look like that in real life. And unlike the guy who played Thanos, Zoe actually has to spend around 5 hours in a makeup chair every day, while makeup artists color her green and make her look the alien part that she plays. Can you imagine her wakeup time on set? It must be exhausting, and that’s before you even get to do any acting.
3. Karen Gillan – Nebula
You might actually know Karen Gillan outside of the Marvel Universe. She did spend years playing Amy Pond, the Doctor’s companion on BBC’s hit show Doctor Who. And while she’s known for her Scottish accent and naturally ginger hair, she’s had to give up both for the role of Nebula. Karen has had to shave her head, speak in an American accent and spend 4 hours in makeup every day to look like Nebula. Oh and taking off that body makeup also took a crew of people and about half an hour.
4. Pom Klementieff – Mantis
We bet you didn’t know that the actress who played Mantis was actually French. She’s had to undergo quite a transformation for the role. And we’re not just talking costume and prosthetics, she had to wear these massive black lenses in her eyes every time she was on camera. That’s gotta be uncomfortable. But hey, she got to be in a Marvel movie, which seems like it’s worth it.
5. Michael Rooker – Yondu Udonta
You might know Michael Rooker from The Walking Dead, but he sure looks different in the Marvel movies. In order to look like the alien from planet Centauri-IV he not only had to wear red contact lenses and fake teeth that are pretty freaking uncomfortable, he also had to put on literally 5 layers of makeup and wait in between applications for the layers to dry. That must’ve taken hours.
6. Paul Bettany – Vision
Paul plays vision in the Marvel movies, and as you can see he looks nothing like Vision in real life. That’s a red mask, some makeup and quite a lot of prosthetics that had to be applied every day that he was on set. If you didn’t know, Paul also used to voice Tony Stark’s computer called Jarvis in Iron Man movies, we bet that was easier, considering no one cares what you look like when you’re just voicing a character.
7. Ben Mendelsohn – Talos
Ben is the Aussie actor who played Talos in Avengers. As you can see it took quite a lot of work to make him look the part. There are contact lenses to change the color and shape of his eyes, so many prosthetics all over his head, and obviously, those ears are also fake too. How does one even manage to act through all of that is a mystery to us.
8. Dave Bautista – Drax the Destroyer
Drax was played by Dave Bautista and that body is 100% what he actually looks like. You see Dave is a former MMA fighter, bodybuilder and he used to be a wrestler. So those muscles are all his, baby. But the intricate scars all over his body – that’s a whole other story. Dave has tattoos of his own, so he had to be sprayed with airbrush paint to cover those and paint him the greenish color of Drax, and then the intricate red scars made of silicone had to be painstakingly glued on top of him, one by one, every day.
9. Lee Pace – Ronan
It’s honestly hard to believe that Lee Pace and Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy is the same person. But the costume and makeup department clearly did an amazing job and Lee was literally unrecognizable as Ronan. Who knew that painting your face blue and wearing purple contacts can change one’s look this much?
10. Chris Sullivan – Taserface
Chris looked nothing like himself in Guardians of the Galaxy. That purple skin, all those veins and the teeth, have you seen the teeth? All of that was achieved with contact lenses, prosthetics and a lot of makeup applied by talented makeup artists.