The heavy prosthetics and makeup that Colin Farrell donned to play Oswald Cobblepot, also known simply as “Oz” or the Penguin, fooled many of his co-stars on batman set, including John Turturro.
“I had no idea it was him,” Turturro told The Hollywood Reporter. “I just thought he was some rough-looking guy. I was just staring at him. It was pretty incredible.”
Farrell’s version of Penguin acts as a chief lieutenant for Turturro’s Carmine Falcone in batman. The actor was visually transformed by makeup artist Mike Marino, who worked closely with director Matt Reeves, and Farrell has praised his work on the character, calling their vision for Oswald Copplepot liberating.
“It felt like [Marino] created this amazing marionette and asked me to help inhabit/animate it,” Farrell said in a previous interview. “I’d no idea we were gonna travel this route. But once we agreed on it I got excited. Then I saw the design on a computer screen and I got more excited. Then we did a make-up test and I just felt so fortunate to be able to play in such a sandbox.”
Aside from Turturro, Jeffrey Wright, who plays Jim Gordon in batman, also found Farrell unrecognizable as Penguin. “I’ve worked with that makeup artist before and it’s just incredible,” Wright said in August 2020, shortly after a trailer for the film was released, giving audiences a first glimpse at Farrell’s dramatic transformation of him. “Colin walked on to set one day and I walked right past him… I was like ‘OK, hey dude what’s happening, where’s Colin are we going to shoot.’ It’s pretty remarkable.”
Farrell is not the only actor to undergo a huge physical shift to bring the Penguin to life. Danny DeVito, who played the umbrella-wielding criminal in 1992’s batman returns, also wore prosthetics that took over two hours to apply. The Penguin in batman returns was also considerably more like an actual bird, and feasted on fish and leaked oozy spittle from his jaws. To visualize this interpretation of the character, DeVito had to put mouthwash and food coloring in his mouth.
batman‘s more grounded version of the Penguin is set to star in his own series, showcasing Oswald Cobblepot’s rise to control Gotham City’s underworld. Writer and producer Lauren LeFranc has seemingly been tapped as series showrunner, according to a recent change on her Twitter profile, and Farrell has stated that he’d love to continue Oz’s story.
“The Oz that we meet hasn’t embodied the energy of the Penguin that we recognize from the source comics and from previous films,” Farrell said. “…I’d love to explore it because he’s not an underboss, he’s not a boss, he’s just a soldier of Falcone at this stage. But he has great ambition and dreams of doing big, big things.”
batman is now playing in theaters.
KEEP READING: How Batman’s Villain the Penguin Became a Powerful Justice League Threat
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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