For a week in cinemas, we can watch “Bombshell” – a drama describing the scandal that erupted a few years ago, when the leading stars of American television accused Roger Ailes, the creator of FOX News of sexual harassment. Three big stars of today’s cinema – Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie starred in the roles of women opposing sexual violence, which also initiated the #MeToo movement. The first played the role of Megyn Kelly – TV presenter running her own programs in FOX News. Theron’s creation is as always perfect – the actress is impossible to distinguish from Kelly. As it turns out, 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies have played a key role in this, helping makeup and special effects specialists make an almost perfect transformation.

Roger Ailes’ story of female harassment is one of the greatest moral scandals that rocked the world of media and entertainment, along with the scandals of Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. Ailes was one of the most influential people in the US. His career dates back to the 1960s, when as a producer he worked for television stations in Cleveland and Philadelphia. In the late 1960s, he met Richard Nixon, for whom he began working as a television consultant, having a major impact on his victory in the race for the chair of the US president. In later years he served a similar function for Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and at the end of his life also for Donald Trump.

In the 90s he was the president of the CNBC station, from which he had to leave because of a racist scandal. In 1996 he was employed as the CEO at the newly created FOX News station belonging to Rupert Murdoch. Ailes has created from scratch one of the most important and opinion-forming news stations in the world, at the same time developing a quite controversial format, which is currently the current standard in all media in the world – an open and direct presenting information and their subsequent interpretations. FOX News has become a bastion of the American right, becoming a counterweight to central and leftist CNN, CBS, or CNBC.

Ailes possessed a number of vices that were more or less the industry secrets. He had a very explosive character, suffered from overweight due to chronic gluttony and… he had a weakness for young television presenters. The latter led him to the final fall – in 2014 a book by Gabriel Sherman was released, in which Ailes was first publicly accused of sexual abuse of subordinates. In 2016, one of the biggest stars of FOX News – Gretchen Carlson, filed a lawsuit against Ailes accusing him of many years of sexual abuse. This resulted in an avalanche of lawsuits and eventually forced Rupert Murdoch to “persuade” Ailes to resign from his position and leave the station. A year later, in May 2017, Ailes died at the age of 77 due to complications related to hemophilia, which he suffered for most of his life.

The story of Roger Ailes and the women he used over the years was perfectly portrayed in last year’s HBO miniseries – “The Loudest Voice”. The role of Ailes was played by the brilliant and unrecognizable changed Russell Crowe, and Gretchen Carlson was played by Naomi Watts. The series is highly recommendable, except that it is extremely difficult to watch – especially in scenes when Carlson carries out “private orders” for his boss…

Now the topic of the scandal is back in the form of “Bombshell”. Roger Ailes is played by John Lithgow, and Gretchen Carlson by Nicole Kidman. Margot Robbie plays Kayla Pospisil – a character symbolizing a series of young reporters and journalists molested by Ailes, and Charlize Theron – Megyn Kelly, another star of FOX News, who also accused Ailes of harassment (but incomparably smaller than Carlson, which was dramatically depicted in HBO series).

Theron not only perfectly reproduces Kelly, but even looks identical to her. In the time of digital revival of deceased actors or rejuvenation of them by 30-40 years, it would not be anything extraordinary, if not for the fact that the transformation of the actress into a TV presenter uses a specially prepared make-up and a number of makeup accessories, which were created based on 3D scanning and printing 3D.

The report published by Huffington Post describes the work of Kazu Hiro – an Oscar-winning makeup specialist, responsible for, among others for the transformation of Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill in the film “Darkest Hour.” The challenge that he faced in the case of “Bombshell” was that Charlize Theron was more interested in “becoming” Megyn Kelly than playing it.

Hiro scanned the actress’s face and made a copy of it by casting. Then he spent a lot of time comparing the faces of both women and finding common things and those fragments that needed special change. The nose was key – the presenter is more upturned and has larger nostrils than Charlize Theron. Hiro created and printed about 40 specially designed noseplugs. In addition, he used these techniques to create a number of other characterization elements that eventually arose from silicone.

In addition to Theron, Hiro also changed Nicole Kidman and John Lightow into the characters they played. In each case, it was the same thing – to use as little makeup as possible, and the changes were more physical.


Paweł Ślusarczyk
CEO of 3D Printing Center. Has over 15 years' experience in buisiness, gained in IT, advertising and polygraphy. Part of 3D printing industry since 2013.

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