Owen Wilson wondered how the heck they would pull it off when he read the script. Director Stephen Chbosky, meanwhile, was adamant about not leaning on visual effects.
Designing the look of Auggie Pullman’s facial abnormality would prove to be one of the biggest challenges for the men and women behind Wonder, the big summer movie about a 10-year-old boy (played by Room actor Jacob Tremblay) suffering from a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins syndrome.
“I was never gonna do it if it was gonna become CGI animation, because it wouldn’t feel like a real kid,” Chbosky says in a clip from the film’s Blu-ray and Digital HD bonus features (watch exclusively above) that gives a behind-the-scenes look at Tremblay’s transformation process. “It had to be a real kid. It’s a cornerstone to it.”
Makeup artist Arjen Tuiten, who last week earned an Oscar nomination for his work on the film, faced another hefty challenge in that he was working with a 9-year-old, and labor laws prohibit lengthy workdays for underage actors. “Makeup normally of this type takes close to three hours, at least,” he said. “And that couldn’t happen, because then we wouldn’t have time to shoot. So I knew from the beginning that this had to be designed and come together in such a way it could be applied in maybe one and a half hours.”
Color producer Todd Lieberman was impressed. “He constructed this makeup and got the time down to an hour and a half, which is astonishing in itself,” he said. “But it [was] just a beautiful application that really transforms this young boy into Auggie.”
Wonder is now available on Digital HD and hits DVD and Blu-ray Jan. 30.
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