You know you’re involved in a unique and interesting film when you can’t even recognize your famous co-stars on set.
Such is the case with “Cloud Atlas,” the “cranial plate shift of a film”based on David Mitchell’s novel of the same name. It is a visually stunning film that follows the stories of six individuals and the seemingly impossible connection they all share across time and space, one that required its cast to take on multiple parts, personas and genders. And the results of which often rendered the recognizable faces of Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon and Jim Sturgess totally unrecognizable.
MTV news recently caught up with the cast to discuss their makeup and which character in the film surprised them most.
“I didn’t recognize Ben Whishaw when he was in the hut scene [with us],” Berry admitted. “And he was in the whole scene.”
“How about that? So Ben Whishaw, who is in a third of the movie, I didn’t know he was in that scene until I saw the movie in Toronto,” Tom Hanks agreed. “Who was he? I didn’t know he was there that day.
“Hugh [Grant] rode by on a horse a couple of times. I didn’t know it was him,” Hanks added. “It happened all the time. We were in Berlin doing extensive makeup tests, and during that time, we kept passing each other in the hallway. It was always this amazing moment, ‘Who are you today? Who are you turned into?’ ”
“Seeing Hugo Weaving as Nurse Noakes for the first time was pretty remarkable,” Whishaw said.
“Yeah, he really looked nothing like Hugo at all,” James D’arcy agreed. “There’s a character that Halle plays in the film that I didn’t recognize at all. Even when she was on set that day playing that role, I didn’t recognize her at all.”
Berry’s role as an older Korean man with a special futuristic mechanical eye seemed to strike most of her co-stars as the most surprising.
“I think Halle had some of the biggest transformations. She played an older person, she played a man that was Korean. I remember having to have a conversation with her while we were shooting that scene,” Jim Sturgess recalled. “It was the most surreal kind of messed-up moment. We were talking about her kid and how she’s integrating into German schools, but she was dressed as this bizarre-looking Korean man with rotting teeth. It tripped my head up. I had to go sit in a corner for five minutes and get my head together.”
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