Maleficent is a beloved movie for many reasons, such as the fond memories it brings back from childhood and the delightful presence of Elle Fanning. However, the ultimate attraction of the film is Angelina Jolie’s impeccable portrayal of the titular villain. Jolie’s ability to embody evil is unparalleled, yet she manages to make Maleficent likable. This special talent of hers is truly remarkable. Nonetheless, becoming Maleficent was not as simple as merely laughing menacingly and wielding a scepter.
Transforming into Maleficent was a collaborative effort that involved a team of skilled costume designers, makeup artists, and a milliner. It was a true community effort that made the character come alive on screen. The director of the movie, Robert Stromberg shared that Angelina Jolie had a deep interest in how the character should look. Together, they worked hard to create a unique and identifiable version of Maleficent that didn’t match the typical image but still had enough similarities for viewers to recognize her instantly.
Jolie donned the iconic cape outfit of her character in the movie, but the eerie factor was kicked up a notch with the addition of incredibly realistic horns and wings, as well as a silicone nose, cheeks, and ears. The makeup effects designer, Rick Baker, oversaw the creation of Jolie’s fake face and surprisingly found it to be the easiest part of the process. According to him, the horns were a major issue because no one wanted to wear huge horns on their head all day long. Eventually, the team decided on magnetic horns that could be removed easily between scenes, allowing Jolie to spend time with her children on set. Baker sculpted the horns from molds of Jolie’s head, and milliner Justin Smith created six different looks to match the various seasons and events in the movie. Python and fish skin were used to create the eerie and malevolent look of the character.
To complete the makeover, Maleficent received some final touches on her nails, makeup, and accessories. Her shoes were crafted from a unique combination of animal skin, feathers, and bones, which perfectly complemented her non-human persona. Additionally, she adorned herself with various animal-based trinkets such as collars, rings, brooches, bracelets, and shoulder pieces, which added to the overall aesthetic of her look.
Baker, the makeup team of Jolie, decided to deviate from the original Sleeping Beauty animation by not giving Maleficent her signature green skin. As per Baker, they wanted to maintain Angelina’s beauty and attractiveness and did not want her to look too much like a creature. Instead, they used hand-painted contact lenses and bright red lips. Her personal makeup artist also created black nails with a pearlescent-like polish for the movie. In the christening scene where Maleficent’s true transition into evil is revealed, Angie’s nails were painted blood red underneath.
The whole production went smoothly and was a huge hit, with many people possibly having nightmares about Maleficent after watching the movie. Once the filming was over, Angelina seemed to enjoy going back to her usual simple appearance. After all, sometimes it’s easier to embrace the dark side.