updated: 11/07/2009

Planet of the Apes makeups: Lola

Tim Burton’s reworking of Planet of the Apes was brilliantly done but suffered from two flaws: the actors did not stand comparison to the cast of the original movie; the requirement for a human to find Ari (Helena Bonham Carter) sexually attractive which resulted in a flawed design for the female apes .

Tiffany Smith, one of Cinnovation’s staff, donned the ape prosthetics for a very minor role as Thade’s sister – so minor the character was not even named, although the makeup artists called her Lola; she appeared in only one scene where she brought her daughter to choose a human pet. I’m grateful to Tiffany Smith (now Tiffany Collins) for sending me the before image.

Geneva Nash Morgan informs me:

Barney [Burman] and I also did Thade’s sister, Lola (Tiffiany Smith-Collins). We had to give her two looks. Barney and I did the makeup and I did the hair in two different styles.

The makeup for the male apes of the various species was superb: that for the females while technically as brilliant was marred by design compromises (eyebrows? hairstyles? lips?): they do not look as if they belong in the same movie. In one interview Rick Baker, speaking of Ari, admitted the risk:

Tim said he wanted her to be attractive to a human male. I told him, that’s going to be tough, because if you’re just looking at a chimp’s face, it’s really hard to tell a female from a male, and some of them are hideously ugly … Trying to humanize her would only make matters worse – it would make her even more grotesque, like a freak human.

Planet of the Apes was a makeup epic: Rick Baker was the makeup designer: Kazuhiro Tsuji was key makeup artist and makeup designer for Thade; Alex Proctor was key prosthetic makeup supervisor; Toni G and John Blake were makeup supervisors; Bill Sturgeon was makeup production supervisor; plus a large team of talented makeup artists. I believe Barney Burman worked on this makeup.