Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for Disney

Behind the Scenes of 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Makeup

Looking at the skill and detail that went into creating Guardians of the Galaxy characters is impressive. It is no wonder that the film’s makeup team won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling at the 2015 Academy Awards. However, in order to transform the actors into these out-of-this-world characters, it takes hours.

Luckily, according to Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista, for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, they have managed to take a few hours off the transformation process. In the first film, it would take Zoe five hours to turn into Gamora. However, as she told Metro, her green character only too “four hours every day” this time around.

Gamora #BTS - part 1 - #gotgvol2 #gamora #ifGamorawasaNewYorker

105.8k Likes, 1,208 Comments - Zoe Saldana (@zoesaldana) on Instagram: "Gamora #BTS - part 1 - #gotgvol2 #gamora #ifGamorawasaNewYorker"

Dave, who plays Drax the alien who is unaware of comedy, stated that “the second film was by far better than the first one, a completely different process, It not only went on faster but it looked better.”

The team of artists consisted of five people who would apply 18 pieces of prosthetic five hours each day. The grueling process may sound horrifying for those not involved, but to Bautista, he said the process was since the “makeup artists are some of the best in the world.”

From @jamesgunn FB page. @davebautista (Batista) with his team of experts who did his makeup every day. These guys upped their game tremendously from the first movie. They fixed the scars prosthetics so that they would fit Dave more snugly (he would often look like a Shar-Pei at the end of a day of shooting). In addition, they sped up the appliance process from nearly five hours on the first movie to an hour and a half on the second film. AND it looks so much better! If you see all the early rave reviews for Dave's performance, talking about how much he upped his game from the first to the second movie, it's worth giving these guys a shoutout for facilitating his creative expression! Thanks, guys! #TeamDrax #GotGVol2 #legacyeffects #prosthetics #prostheticmakeup #makeupartist

256 Likes, 11 Comments - Matt Sprunger (@ms675) on Instagram: "From @jamesgunn FB page. @davebautista (Batista) with his team of experts who did his makeup every..."

For the second installation of the film, the makeup sort of gathered a routine. David White, the special-makeup-effects designer told Business Insiders that “Everyday, a Vac forma [plastic mold] of David’s exact body shape with perforated holes in it to indicated exactly where the prosthetics start and finish was offered up.”

I will be posting a #GotGPicoftheDay every day from now through the movie opening. They'll be composed of behind-the-scene shots from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 I took on my iPhone, my Leica Q, and a few select unseen set stills. Here's the first one, Dave Bautista (Batista) as Drax in quite a mess. This was uncomfortable as all get out for Dave but, as usual, he puts up with many feats of discomfort to make the Guardians great. #GotGVol2 #Drax #movies

26.2k Likes, 174 Comments - James Gunn (@jamesgunn) on Instagram: "I will be posting a #GotGPicoftheDay every day from now through the movie opening. They'll be..."

Once the prosthetics were added, the makeup team would then add “thin layers of browns, reds and green within the base gray to break up the tone and make it come alive before the final color sweep.” However, this was not the end of the process. White continues to tell Business Insiders that the “whole body is [then] sealed with a fixative so that it can withstand the day’s shoot.”

We have a whole new appreciation for their roles after learning this process. However, we can assure the makeup team and actors that this whole process is totally worth every hour!


Sarah Harley is a Hufflepuff living in NYC. When she is not traveling or talking to random animals, she is working as a script writer. Tweet her at @lumpyspacederp