The 10 worst moments in old-age make-up history

The 10 worst moments in old-age make-up history. By Simon Miraudo.

Last week we saw our first glimpse of Leonardo DiCaprio in J. Edgar, Clint Eastwood‘s upcoming biopic of legendary FBI agent Hoover. Although we have faith in the always-solid Leo (and figure this is his best chance at scoring a Best Actor Oscar yet), he’ll definitely be fighting an uphill battle with the old-age make-up he’s forced to wear during Edgar’s later years. In honour of his valiant efforts, we’re taking a look back at some of the worst moments in old-age make-up history.

1. Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

Yes, yes, greatest film ever and all that, but not even wunderkind Orson Welles (who wrote, directed and starred in the film at age 26) could keep us from thinking ‘school musical’ while made up as a haggard, elderly Charles Foster Kane.

2. Robin Williams in Bicentennial Man

This film is creepy in so many ways. So very creepy.

3. Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Pitt’s Benjamin Button is undeniably a technical marvel, beginning life as an old-man baby, then “ageing” into a handsome young buck, and finally back into a baby. Sadly, they just got a regular, non-‘Brad Pitt’-looking baby to play the dying BB. Talk about lacking commitment in the final stretch.

4. Eddie Murphy in Norbit

The old age make-up is bad, and the less said about the Chinese make-up, the better.

5. Everyone in Back to the Future 2

Even Flea.

6. Michelle Pfeiffer in Stardust

Not as frightening as the bit with Robert De Niro in drag though!

7. Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain

Undeniably a great performance (perhaps the best in Ledger’s short career), but that haunting ending is almost undone by the grey spray-paint speckled in his hair.

8. Javier Bardem in Love in the Time of Cholera

He almost gets a pass on this list for that epic moustache.

9. Adam Sandler in Click

When an Adam Sandler performance is subtler than the make-up he’s wearing, the crew needs to take a long hard look at what their understanding of the craft really is.

10. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in X3: The Last Stand

OK, we’re cheating here, because Professor X and Magneto are actually “de-aged” in Brett Ratner’s take on the X-Men saga. Still, their CG airbrushing-into-oblivion cannot go unnoticed. Apparently, their mutant powers are extreme-botoxing.

Discuss: Your suggestions?

6 Responses to “The 10 worst moments in old-age make-up history”

  1. Oh man it looks like he is wearing one of those rubber Halloween masks bank robbers use! Poor Leo!

  2. Where’s Dustin Hoffman in ‘Little Big Man’? 120-odd is pretty old!

  3. Everyone in The Shawshank Redemption. Bet you’d forgotten that they all age 20 years…

  4. Robert De Niro at the end of 1900?

  5. You have no idea what your talking about.

  6. Omg, you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. Some of those make-ups really are amazingly done! Like the curious case of Benjamin Button… fantastic make-up! I should say : try it yourself first instead of saying this crap. Those make-up artists really did an amazing job!

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