It’s been 67 years since the Wolfman first attacked the box office, but he’ll be making a comeback next year in a remake by Joe Johnston (Hidalgo, Jurassic Park III). Fortunately for all you lycanthrope fans out there who just can’t wait that long, EW caught up with the horror flick’s makeup artist, six-time Oscar winner Rick Baker, for an exclusive First Look at how he’s transformed star Benicio Del Toro into the famed beastly creature.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How many different components go into putting the face of the Wolfman together?
RICK BAKER: The part that covers his nose and his brow is what we call an appliance. It’s made up of a foam, latex piece with tissue-thin edges that covers part of Benicio’s face and blends into his own skin. Then we have a wig and dentures that change his teeth into the giant Wolfman teeth. Most of the hair on his face is what we call ”laid.” It’s actually loose hair that we apply little bits at a time with glue to his face. It’s very much the way the Wolfman was done in the  original [starring Lon Chaney].
How long does it take to apply all of this makeup?
Typically about three hours — it’s a pretty average time. I’ve done makeup that’s taken close to eight hours before, though.
How much use can you get out of the appliance, dentures, and hair? Do you have to use new sets for each day of shooting?
It’s mainly new latex pieces and new facial hair that’s reapplied every day. The teeth are the same and the wig is the same, but we have several of those because they tend to get screwed up. The adhesives we use now stay on pretty well. Many times it takes about an hour to remove the makeup. In the old days, back when we used to use spirit gum, at the end of the day you could just kind of pull the stuff off and not harm the person’s skin, but now you can’t do that — you’ll pull skin off.
Benicio Del Toro already has some wolf-like features — does that make it easier or harder for you?
In a way, it almost makes it harder. Where do you go from there? He’s practically there as it is! [Laughs] I think what’s going to make it be harder is when we get into the transformation scenes; going from Benicio to Benicio as the Wolfman isn’t a really extreme difference. Like when I did American Werewolf in London, we went from this naked man to a four-legged hound from hell, and we had a lot of room to go from the transformation and do a lot of really extreme things. Here we have Benicio Del Toro, who’s practically the Wolfman already, to Benicio Del Toro with more hair and bigger teeth.
What was everyone’s reaction on set the first time he came out in makeup?
People seem to be getting really excited about it. These pictures are the first time we put him in makeup, and this was just last week!
NEXT PAGE: Another pic of Benicio Del Toro as the Wolfman, and Rick Baker on how this job stacks up against the others on his résumé