Rosalina Da Silva started her makeup artist career with “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome”. Since then she has worked on over 50 high profile projects such as “TRON: Legacy”, “Sucker Punch” and “Watchmen”. Rosalina also just completed working on the new upcoming sequel in the “Underworld” series. Movie Mikes had a chance to chat with Rosalina about her recent projects as well as what is upcoming.
Mike Gencarelli: When you start a project, what is your first step to begin your process?
Rosalina Da Silva: When I first receive the concept or script for a film I will have a meeting with the director to get their vision of the movie. Once I have that I will start researching the characters or period as kind of a preliminary. I have a huge library of books and movies that I reference to assist me with the look I am going for.
MG: Tell us about your experience working on “Sucker Punch”?
RDS: By far I think that project was one of the most creative I have done. It started the same way as any other project by doing the research. We knew the girls were going to change dramatically from the minute we first met them to the time they were on screen. The costumes had already been designed so that was inspirational to be able to look at the drawings and see what was going to be worn for each scene. Almost everyone had their hair changed as well. Weather it was lengthened or colored that was one of the first things that had to be done before I could start designing the make-up. Once you change some one’s hair color everything changes. So at the beginning I tend to sit back to see where things are going to look like before making final decisions. Zack Snyder had his drawings and ideas, as well that I would reference. The first character I worked on was Emily Browning, which was kind of a 60’s look which is something that I love. The film is set in 1968, so we based everything off that time period. Zack really trusted me and let me do what I wanted which was great.
MG: Do you find it easier working with females during the makeup process in general?
RDS: It doesn’t really matter. Sometimes the make-up is simpler. Other times it’s a little more involved. The challenge with males is to make it look like they are not wearing makeup. Lately I have been doing a lot of comic book themed projects where you have to use the make-up to bring out certain features and make a person look a certain way. The make-up will tend to be shown more in these types of projects.
MG: What approach did you take working on “TRON: Legacy”, compared to your other films since it is such a big film?
RDS: Originally I was not going to be a part of “TRON: Legacy” because “Sucker Punch” was going to be shooting at the same time. “Sucker Punch” had got dropped for a few months and I found myself working on “TRON: Legacy”. I hadn’t done many Sci-Fi films before, as that genre really isn’t my thing. I didn’t really have any idea what I was doing. So I had a meeting with the director and we discussed a few ideas. Prior to me joining the crew they had some of the concepts developed already. I looked at a few of those and knew there was going to be some difficulty in achieving some of the looks in the time limit we had. The Siren’s in the film were supposed to have a face that was like a mask and all four were going to look identical. There were two African-American girls and two Caucasian girls which just could not look the same. I had to find something that all the girls had in common that would make them individual and beautiful in their own way but still have that one thing in common to tie them together. It was decided that we were going to use only black and white colors for hair and make-up except for the Castor character. The idea for using just two colors of make-up really started with the Siren characters. It was very hard to try and create something that had not been done before because it seems everything has been done before. We did a lot of different tests on the actors and actresses and we tried to match their make-up with the costumes and keep everything very geometrical. It was a lot of fun!
MG: Since “TRON: Legacy” was filmed in 3D, did that create an issue for you working on makeup?
RDS: The only difficulty we had was that one of the Sirens was wearing a wig. We had to make sure that the wig lace was not going to be seen. Often times when shooting a normal movie that type of thing can be touched up. We had to find a formula with the make-up that would not show the lace because with the film being shot in 3D you did not have that option of going back and touching things up. I really didn’t know what I was up for when I joined the project so I just made everything as simple and bland as I could (Laughs).
MG: From working on your first film, “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” to today, how do you feel that your job has changed over the years (if at all)?
RDS: “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” was an amazing experience. I think everything we did on that was very raw. We didn’t have access then to a lot of the things then, like we have now. Today if you want to make freckles or what not we have things on hand that make that possible. Back then we had to make everything. We would go to the drug store in Australia and buy a bunch of things to make into stuff we could use. The paste used in the kid’s hair on “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” was just something we made. Everything back then had to be much more organic than it is today. We were very resourceful. We also had to be extremely careful back then to make things that were non-toxic because stuff wasn’t labeled then like it is now. There are still challenges to make-up today however they are just different.
MG: What has been your most difficult film to work on?
RDS: Every movie has its own challenges. “Sucker Punch” and “TRON: Legacy” were both very challenging. I just wrapped a week ago on the newest “Underworld” film which was another that was very challenging. Difficulty wise, going back to “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” we were moving around and shooting in a lot of different locations. We also encountered a lot of natural disasters while shooting that film. We had wind and dust storms, as well as rain. The weather was really tough but sometimes that’s the way it is.
MG: Tell about your latest project working, the fourth film in the “Underworld” series? Any other projects upcoming?
RDS: At the moment I am kind of at a standstill. I just wrapped up shooting on “Underworld” last week which was a fun experience. It was very cold shooting as we were shooting mostly at night. We did some really great vampires and Lycans. I have a few other things brewing but nothing is concrete in this business until things are signed. (Laughs)