There are Oscar-caliber films, and then there’s the Jackass series. Johnny Knoxville’s irreverent, prank-filled romps just fill a different niche – one that, under normal circumstances, probably wouldn’t even register with those looking to honor prestige filmmaking. It is probably safe to say that no one ever expected a Jackass property to get an Oscar nomination.
But Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa was different, and the Academy took notice. Here was a film that lived and died by its ability to trick people in real life into thinking that a 40-something Knoxville was actually a crude 86-year-old man. The conceit worked, and Stephen Prouty scored his first Oscar nomination for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, pitting him against teams from Dallas Buyers Club and The Lone Ranger. ”I received an email from Johnny that day. It had a lot of expletives in it, but good ones. And I believe a ‘wahoo!’ was how it started,” he told EW.
Considering old-age makeup is often unbelievable on screen, convincing real people that they were actually dealing with a man in his 80s was clearly one of the biggest accomplishments, but for Prouty, the litmus test was continuity. Prouty explained: “There’s a driving montage, and it’s a fixed camera inside the car. It’s him and the boy talking and joking back and forth and it’s a lot of quick cuts, and you see the wardrobe change, you see the background change. These were actually shot over the course of the whole film from the same angle. To me, that was rewarding, because it’s like, ‘Okay, he looks the same,’ so obviously we kept our continuity.”
Take a look at a very cool time-lapse video of Prouty’s process after the jump, along with a heartfelt intro from Knoxville.
For a more in-depth explanation of how Prouty created the look, check out EW’s interview with him here, and tune in to the 86th Academy Awards this Sunday to find out what happens in the Makeup and Hairstyling category.