The amount of time and effort, sweat, and tears that go into making movies is impressive. Just take a look at the intricacies required in applying special effects makeup on Hollywood actors. Even characters who we think don’t need any professional makeup can take hours and hours to get ready for the set. Not to mention how much effort goes into making fantasy and sci-fi characters look believable.

To show you just how much work it takes to do Hollywood-tier makeup, we’ve collected some of the best before and after, as well as step-by-step pictures. For example, who knew that making Thorin Oakenshield look like, well, Thorin Oakenshield was a very involved process? And here we thought that putting on a wig was all it took!

Keep on scrolling, upvote your fave face transformation pics, and share them with your movie-loving friends. When you’re done, have a look at Bored Panda’s previous post about incredible pics of actors before and after applying special effects makeup.

#1

Naomi Grossman, American Horror Story Series

Naomi Grossman, American Horror Story Series

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#2

Robin Williams, Mrs Doubtfire

Robin Williams, Mrs Doubtfire

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#3

Eddie Murphy, Coming To America

Eddie Murphy, Coming To America

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The life of a Hollywood movie makeup artist is difficult and involved, even if it’s exciting and purposeful. But makeup artists aren’t one homogenous group of professionals.

You have 4 main movie makeup artist roles. Starting with key makeup artists who design the makeup looks worn by the lead actors. In other words, they take care of the famous actors.

They also come up with the more complicated and intricate makeup designs and oversee other employees to make sure that there’s visual continuity and consistency in how the makeup looks throughout shooting the entire movie.

#4

Richard Brake, Game Of Thrones

Richard Brake, Game Of Thrones

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Kaisu
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can't even imagine how long this must've taken!

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#5

Charlize Theron, Monster

Charlize Theron, Monster

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#6

Doug Jones, Crimson Peak

Doug Jones, Crimson Peak

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Then there are your run-of-the-mill makeup artists who are responsible for making non-lead and supporting actors look good. They’re under orders to turn the key makeup artists’ visions into reality.

Of course, not much would be done without makeup assistants who help organize makeup kits, do other small but necessary tasks, and lend a hand to the artists with whatever they might need. They’re the unsung heroes of every movie.

Lastly, there are special effects makeup artists who probably have some of the coolest jobs in the movie industry. They create special makeup effects, such as prosthetics and the like.

#7

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

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desert29rat
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Amazing transformation and a great movie.

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#8

Richard Armitage, The Hobbit

Richard Armitage, The Hobbit

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Mimi M
Community Member
3 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If you mouse over it shows the actor and the movie.

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#9

Danny DeVito, Batman Returns

Danny DeVito, Batman Returns

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#10

Karen Gillan, Avengers

Karen Gillan, Avengers

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Shireen
Community Member
3 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'll never forget the video of her taking her wig off a Comic Con and no one had any idea why she was bald! 😂

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#11

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terminator

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Shireen
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Stan Winston's team are still some of the best special effects makeup artists!

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#12

Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool 2

Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool 2

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Tee
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Captain Deadpool...naw just Deadpool!

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#13

Chris Hemsworth, Avengers Endgame

Chris Hemsworth, Avengers Endgame

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#14

Gary Oldman, Hannibal

Gary Oldman, Hannibal

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Chyppa Homer
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This dude can turn into anybody and he never ages. I call vampire ! In 1994, when he 'played' Dracula, I bet he wasn't even acting. They just filmed what he did on, like, a Wednesday, and that was the movie awesome !

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#15

John Rhys-Davies, Lord Of The Rings

John Rhys-Davies, Lord Of The Rings

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Panda Kicki
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And he was allergic to the glue, that is dedication!

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#16

Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

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Phoebe Bean
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Amazing actor and wonderful performance. A tragic loss.

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#18

Ian Mckellen, Lord Of The Rings

Ian Mckellen, Lord Of The Rings

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#19

Tim Curry, Legend

Tim Curry, Legend

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Iván Galarraga
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Hey, without the horns Darkness have subwoofers

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#20

Michael Keaton, Beetlejuice

Michael Keaton, Beetlejuice

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#21

Bill Skarsgård, It

Bill Skarsgård, It

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Panda Kicki
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

But the rolling eye thing was hos own preformance! I loved that BP post 😂

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#22

Emma Thompson, Nanny Mcphee

Emma Thompson, Nanny Mcphee

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#23

Jacob Tremblay, Wonder

Jacob Tremblay, Wonder

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Shireen
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Adults being in makeup is one thing but a child is a completely different level...

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See Also on Bored Panda
#24

Roddy Mcdowall, Planet Of The Apes

Roddy Mcdowall, Planet Of The Apes

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Shireen
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

RIP Roddy - John Chambers was a makeup effects master!

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#25

Jim Carrey, How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Jim Carrey, How The Grinch Stole Christmas

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#26

Tilda Swinton, Grand Budapest Hotel

Tilda Swinton, Grand Budapest Hotel

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#27

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory Of Everything

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory Of Everything

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#28

Josh Brolin, Deadpool 2

Josh Brolin, Deadpool 2

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FloC
Community Member
3 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think that he was much younger on the first picture. Which doesn't make the make-up job less amazing.

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#29

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

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#30

Angelina Jolie, Maleficent

Angelina Jolie, Maleficent

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Note: this post originally had 57 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.