The Batman movie series is known for its weird and wonderful characters; especially its villains. From the Joker and Penguin to Bane and Scarecrow, many iconic foes have graced the big screen, all boasting fearsome designs.
One of the most memorable villains was Mr. Freeze, who dominated the screen throughout director, Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin (1997). Played by action star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Freeze boasted an icy demeanour which certainly left an impression.
But how was Mr. Freeze’s unique design achieved?
With a great deal of skill, a lot of patience and a bald cap!
Creating Mr. Freeze’s look in Batman & Robin
The team that brought Mr. Freeze’s look to life comprised make-up artist Jeff Dawn, assistant Jim Kail, and hair stylist, Peter Tothpal. Working together the team were able to create a unique design to transform Schwarzenegger into Batman’s coolest nemesis.
The process began with the actor’s hair – or rather, it began by covering up the actor’s hair. As Freeze is known for sporting a bald look, Schwarzenegger had to follow suit.
But the actor wasn’t keen on shaving off his hair, so Tothpal had to work around this, by covering the actor’s head with a cap.
To begin, he would use a water-based resin to slick Schwarzenegger’s hair back. This was then dried with a hair dryer, to keep the hair in place.
From here, Dawn and Kail would cover Schwarzenegger’s face with a special product, which would protect it from glue, before Tothpal attached the foam latex bald cap. This was carefully glued to the actor’s head, then using putty around the sides, the edges were smoothed out.
Arnold’s eyebrows were then flattened and covered with appliances, before paint was added to his skin. The paint comprised a metallic silver base coat, followed by a mix of blue and white acrylic, splattered over the top to create texture.
To complete the transformation, additional touches of colour were added around his eyes and lips, before blue contact lens were used to cover his irises. Once the make-up was complete, Schwarzenegger would then head to wardrobe, to be fitted for his costume – a bulky 45lb Freeze Suit.
The process took multiple hours to complete, and had to be repeated on a daily basis. Had Schwarzenegger agreed to shave his head, it would have trimmed at least an hour off the process.
But despite the additional time, the finished look was not compromised by the hidden hair. Arguably it worked just as well as if he had shaved – possibly even better.
Prior to Batman and Robin, make-up artist, Jeff Dawn had worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger on a number of movies, including The Terminator (1984), and Predator (1987), so he has helped create some interesting looks for the star. Speaking in the book, Batman: The Making of the Movie by Michael Singer, Dawn said: “I’m glad we didn’t (shave his hair), because he looks so good with the bald cap.”
What may have taken a while to complete, and would have proved laborious day-in, day-out, certainly looked fantastic on the big screen. Schwarzenegger’s Freeze is remembered by all – even fans that did not care for Batman & Robin – and it was in large part because of his striking make-up.
Thanks for stopping by I’ll Get Drive-Thru to read this post about Mr. Freeze. For more Batman movie related posts, check out one of the recommended reads below.