The make-up artist who transformed Michael Sheen into Chris Tarrant has revealed the only prosthetic used in the makeover was a small mole on Sheen’s chin.
Sheen plays Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? host Tarrant in ITV’s three-part series Quiz, documenting the cheating scandal from 2001 involving Charles Ingram, dubbed the “Coughing Major”, and his wife Diana.
Make-up artist Julie Kendrick said the process took nearly two hours each day.
She told PA news agency: “This was a discussion very early on when I first met Michael (Sheen) about whether we did or didn’t (use prosthetics). In my mind, I was thinking we could do some form of prosthetics but Michael very much did not want to.
“He finds them quite restrictive and he also felt that it was his interpretation of Tarrant and so with that the only prosthetic we used was a small mole on his chin.”
She said they also ended up making other minor tweaks to Sheen’s physical features which included bleaching his eyebrows and the use of a wig.
Kendrick explained: “I did measure him (Sheen) for some teeth and we got some teeth made just in case. Because Chris Tarrant’s teeth are slightly off centre, when examining all photographs I had of him… that makes his smile very specific and I thought that might be a nice thing to give Michael to use and it’s all about giving actors things they can play with.
“So the teeth could have helped or hindered the performance and we tried them and he (Sheen) didn’t really want them, so we ended up with him just going with a small prosthetic mole on his chin, quite heavy shading and a tan.
“I bleached his eyebrows and we used a bald cap to completely get rid of his own dark curly hair and then a wig… it was quite a lengthy process, it was two hours pretty much, we managed to reduce it down to an hour and a half some days.”
Talking about Sheen’s eyebrow bleaching, she said: “He was very much up for that because Chris Tarrant is very fair and Michael is very dark so in order to make a dark person blonde we had to completely eradicate his dark hair. So it was getting rid of his dark eyebrows and getting rid of his dark hair.
“He’s got such a beautiful head of gorgeous, dark, curly hair and it’s very springy. I plastered it down every single day with some form of hair glue so it was very tight to his head and then we put on some plastic sealer on top and then a bald cap on top of that, so there were three layers before the wig actually went on.”
Quiz stars Matthew Macfadyen and Sian Clifford as the Ingrams and has been scripted by James Graham.
The last episode of Quiz airs on April 15 on ITV.