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Old December 18 2013, 06:12 AM   #1
t_smitts
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Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

I just read an interview Jeffrey Dean Morgan gave in 2012 how playing a Xindi-Reptilian on "Enterprise" was such a thoroughly miserable experience for him that he would go home in tears every night and almost quit acting because of it.

Now it's common knowledge that acting under heavy prosthetics can be pretty rough, especially if you're claustrophobic. It's heavy, it's hot, your skin can't breathe, sweat gets trapped, you're often restricted as to what you can eat, you're sometimes nearly deaf if your ears are covered. Plus you've got a 3 AM call-time. Lovely.

When you factor all that in, it's not too terribly surprising to hear about Andrea Martin being unwilling to return as Moogie, or Star Trek resorting to what's practically a company repertory players (Vaughn Armstrong, etc.) as aliens, or a VERY generous salary bump being necessary to woo Michael Dorn to put that forehead back on for DS9.

(This is also why I think you need to give props to someone like Ron Perlman for making the Hellboy movies. He was the lead, after all, which means he was on set all the time. They were action movies, meaning lots of moving around. Plus he was already in his fifties when they made the first one).

My question is, do you think YOU could've endured the hours of applied prosthetics to play a Klingon, Ferengi, Cardassian, etc. for a guest spot or even a recurring role? What about the REALLY heavy ones like the Xindi-Reptilian, or Hirogen?

In my case, I've never been claustrophobic, but I don't think I could handle anything that requires contacts, so I guess a Vorta or Aenar would be out of the question for me. For the sake of immortality, however, I think be able to subject myself to a few days of working with forehead or even full head on me, but probably no more than that, as I suspect the long hours in something like that would really start to take its toll.

What about you?
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Old December 18 2013, 06:43 AM   #2
Nerys Myk
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

I don't even like wearing hats, so probably not.
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Old December 18 2013, 08:56 AM   #3
Wadjda
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

No way.
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Old December 18 2013, 09:33 AM   #4
Tosk
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

Facial prosthetic, yes. Full head, no way. The actors who played Ferengi...man, they got my respec'. Something like a Cardassian would be bad enough, but at least you've got the top of your head exposed, more or less. The Ferengi have got a gigantic rubber heat-seal on their head. Horrible.
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Old December 18 2013, 04:12 PM   #5
Kirby
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

I can't even talk in front of a group of people without feeliing like I'm going to pass out, so I assume that adding a claustrophobic, heavy latex prosthetic would probably just make me wet myself before passing out.
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Old December 18 2013, 07:51 PM   #6
C.E. Evans
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

Going by the accounts of various actors who don't wear prosthetics, spending hours in a Starfleet uniform costume is just as bad (IIRC, they're very tight, they tend to ride up, they can be extremely hot under set lighting, and--if you're not careful--they're easily prone to wardrobe malfunction).
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Old December 18 2013, 08:59 PM   #7
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

If I'm trying to break into the industry and it's the job offered to me, absolutely I would. Prosthetics aren't the only source of acting discomfort, the actors in Titanic got practically hypothermic. Severe discomfort is an occupational hazard.

If I'm an established actor with the ability to be picky and choosy, probably not, unless I really respected the writers.
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Old December 19 2013, 02:54 PM   #8
PicardSpeedo
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Going by the accounts of various actors who don't wear prosthetics, spending hours in a Starfleet uniform costume is just as bad (IIRC, they're very tight, they tend to ride up, they can be extremely hot under set lighting, and--if you're not careful--they're easily prone to wardrobe malfunction).
Well, at least the women got to go commando in the Starfleet uniforms (according to Marina Sirtis).
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Old December 19 2013, 07:32 PM   #9
C.E. Evans
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

PicardSpeedo wrote: View Post
C.E. Evans wrote: View Post
Going by the accounts of various actors who don't wear prosthetics, spending hours in a Starfleet uniform costume is just as bad (IIRC, they're very tight, they tend to ride up, they can be extremely hot under set lighting, and--if you're not careful--they're easily prone to wardrobe malfunction).
Well, at least the women got to go commando in the Starfleet uniforms (according to Marina Sirtis).
Doesn't help that the costumes are uncomfortable to begin with. Like most costumes, they're designed to look good on camera more than anything else. Even the ENT Starfleet costumes weren't all that comfortable to wear for long periods of time apparently (although they were supposedly better than the ones worn in previous shows).
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Old December 19 2013, 09:04 PM   #10
trekker670
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

PicardSpeedo wrote: View Post
Well, at least the women got to go commando in the Starfleet uniforms (according to Marina Sirtis).
Is there a source for this? In one of the best buy exclusive discs with the TNG DVDs, there's a tour of the costume department and that's clearly not the case.
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Old December 19 2013, 10:23 PM   #11
PicardSpeedo
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

trekker670 wrote: View Post
PicardSpeedo wrote: View Post
Well, at least the women got to go commando in the Starfleet uniforms (according to Marina Sirtis).
Is there a source for this? In one of the best buy exclusive discs with the TNG DVDs, there's a tour of the costume department and that's clearly not the case.
I'd have to track it down, but it was a statement attributed to her in an interview. In any case, just because they showed undergarments in the costume department doesn't mean that they were wearing them. There are several well-known screengrabs on the Internet that clearly reveal the lack of undergarments on more than a few Trek actors.
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Old December 20 2013, 03:31 AM   #12
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

Oh God no. I don't know how Vaughn Armstrong handled it. Poor guy's played more different alien species than anyone in history (8 different races, comprising over a dozen characters). I bet he was damn glad to finally play a human on ENT!
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Old December 20 2013, 11:20 AM   #13
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

Kirby wrote: View Post
I can't even talk in front of a group of people without feeliing like I'm going to pass out, so I assume that adding a claustrophobic, heavy latex prosthetic would probably just make me wet myself before passing out.
Or it might help counter the anxeity of talking in front of a group of people, and yes I dislike talking in front of even small groups of people.

But my answer to the OP's question is I don't know. What can happen is that people say they'll be fine with it until it's applied than they could freak out.
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Old December 20 2013, 05:14 PM   #14
t_smitts
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Kirby wrote: View Post
I can't even talk in front of a group of people without feeliing like I'm going to pass out, so I assume that adding a claustrophobic, heavy latex prosthetic would probably just make me wet myself before passing out.
Or it might help counter the anxeity of talking in front of a group of people, and yes I dislike talking in front of even small groups of people.

But my answer to the OP's question is I don't know. What can happen is that people say they'll be fine with it until it's applied than they could freak out.
That's why they have make-up tests.
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Old December 21 2013, 05:51 AM   #15
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Could YOU handle acting in heavy alien prosthetics?

Jeffrey Combs doesn't mind.

By 2005 he must have felt uncomfortable *without* prosthetics.
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