With Anushka Sharma's Pari garnering rave reviews from film critics and fans alike, and the actress being lauded for her acting skills, scary looks and bold decision to take up a film that not many mainstream stars would have the courage to do at the peak of their career, it seems like all the hard work that has gone into the film's making and putting together Anushka's never-seen-before look, is paying off.
Even before the film's release, it was Anushka's bloodshot eyes, bruises and dowdy look that had people intrigued. And soon after the film's release, everyone was going ga-ga about how believable and true-to-character Anushka looked in the film. But, as we all know, there's a lot of research and understanding of the character that goes behind putting together a look for a character that an actor enacts on screen. Similarly, for Rukhsana (Anushka's character), there was a lot that went into achieving the 'vulnerable yet demonic feel' to it.
So, to get a better understanding of what all went into achieving Anushka's impressive yet scary transformation for the role, we spoke to British prosthetic designer Clover Wootton, who was spearheading team Pari's make-up and prosthetic design.
"I'm thrilled that everyone is talking about her look in the film. Make-up often goes unnoticed but it has a huge role to play in creating the characters on screen that we love and hate," said Clover Wootton in an email-exchange with News18.com.
Talking about the brief given to her to create the desired look for Anushka's character Rukhsana, Wootton said, "Pari blends several genres, and is ultimately a chilling love story. Prosit (the director) was clear that he wanted her to be very human, but also in a way that is a little unnerving, someone you can't relate to or really trust. We had to get that balance right between the vulnerable, innocent side of her character and the demonic."
While speaking about the techniques and products that helped her in achieving the look, Wootton revealed, "Anushka has a flawless skin which made my job so much easier. I kept her face foundation-free and didn't powder it, keeping the natural translucency and shine that was a crucial part of creating the rawness and innocence of Rukhsana." "The freckles and lenses were simple touches that really created a departure from how Anushka normally looks, which is what we wanted for the audience to believe her in this role. For the more complicated looks I used 12 different types of blood, mixed and matched for different effects and made silicone prosthetic appliances for the climax scenes where she is at her most beaten."
Admitting that from a design point of view, while creating Anushka's look has been one of the most challenging jobs till date, the many aspects of the character that needed to be carefully balanced along with quick changes between looks and maintaining the make-up in very uncomfortable outdoor shooting locations, made it even more difficult.
Wootton said, "There were many aspects of the character that needed to be carefully balanced. Rukhsana is both vulnerable yet inhumanly strong, innocent but at times malevolent, unkempt and dirty but with a raw natural beauty. Working with an actress of Anushka's caliber adds another element and you have to understand that she has a huge fan base and bear in mind that you have a responsibility to them. Once we started shoot however, the challenge was in the quick changes between looks and maintaining the make-up in very uncomfortable outdoor shooting locations."
When asked if Anushka ever gave inputs to get the perfect look for her character Rukhsana, Wootton said, "As an actress she had clear ideas on how she would embody the character of Rukhsana, but for the physical transformation she was open-minded and completely trusted me to bring my own ideas to the table. She deserves credit not just for her performance, but for the huge amount of patience she had to have to spend entire days with a full face of prosthetics, covered in sticky blood, long sharp nails and with a heavy damp wig."
Lastly, giving us an insight into the work she has done for two upcoming films Sui Dhaaga and the Dutt biopic, Wootton revealed that actor Ranbir Kapoor has around '6 or 7 looks in the film' that a large team from her end has worked on.
For Sui Dhaaga, Wootton said, "Some of the looks have been released and you can see that every department has worked to make the aesthetic as real and textured as possible. With Anushka we are going almost makeup free and working with her hair and brows to change up her look."