updated: 15/02/2002

obese makeups: Gormenghast

Gertrude countess of Groan (Celia Imrie) is described:

As the candles guttered or flared so the shadows moved form side to side, or up and down the wall, and with those movements behind the bed there swayed the shadows of four birds. Between them vacillated an enormous head. This umbrage was cast by her ladyship, the 76th Countess of Groan. She was propped against several pillows and a black shawl was draped around her shoulders. Her hair, a very dark red color of great luster, appeared to have been left suddenly while being woven into a knotted structure on the top of her head. Thick coils still fell about her shoulder or clustered on the pillows like burning snakes. Her eyes were of the pale green that is common among cats. They were large eyes, yet seemed, in proportion to the pale area of her face, to be small. The nose was big enough to appear so in spite of the expanse that surrounded it. The effect which she produced was one of bulk.

Iwas disappointed by Gormenghast but I did like the Gertrude makeup – a ‘being of huge clay’.

Estelle Daniel, the producer said:

Early every morning, as she sat in makeup as still as stone for two hours, he [David White] stuck the giant neck and face onto Celia with glue, working the edges onto her skin with a sort of elastic paint which would survive for about five hours before the heat worked its way in … And whenever the camera was turning on her, David was close by with his glue and his paint, ready to make running repairs.

CarterWhiteFX (now Altered States FX) were responsible for the design and application of the one-piece foam-latex prosthetic. The makeup also involves contact lenses and dentures with plumpers from Fangs FX.