Watch How the Black Panther Makeup Team Applied Thousand of Prosthetics to Michael B. Jordan’s Body

Last month, special effects makeup guru Joel Harlow gave us the inside scoop on all of his magnificent designs for Black Panther. Harlow tackled extremely unique challenges that pushed the boundaries of traditional makeup design. His tasks ranged from creating Erik Killmonger’s (Michael B. Jordan) scars, accessories for Shuri (Letitia Wright), and the lip plates of the Mursi inspired River Tribe. We got all the details from Harlow about the painstaking process for creating and applying the prosthetics, but now you can see for yourself in this behind the scenes video from INSIDER.

Michael B. Jordan’s full body makeup required more than 3,000 tiny prosthetics that had to be applied daily. Harlow explains how difficult it was to keep them consistent through sequences involving water and a lot of physical contact. Just getting Jordan ready for a day on set took a lot of time and four people working simultaneously to apply the dots. That doesn’t even include the time it took to create the prosthetics using a technique Harlow invented. The same approach was used to a lesser degree for the similar markings on W’Kabi’s (Daniel Kaluuya) face.

Obviously, makeup design for film means much more now than just getting an actor’s face ready for the camera. Working on films like Logan, Star Trek Beyond and Pirates of the Caribbean, Harlow takes his design techniques to a new level. For Black Panther, he expanded into the realm of accessories to create flexible and well-fitting pieces for Shuri’s combat sequences. The head and neck pieces had to be light and comfortable for her to move during fight scenes.

Harlow also incorporated African inspired elements to develop the look of each tribe. He mentions how important it was to honor these traditions in the right way. That included making a believable lip plate for Isaach De Bankolé and the other actors representing Wakanda’s River Tribe. Each delicate piece had to be durable to withstand the movement that was required of the actors. It’s incredible how it all comes together.

Check out the incredible work by Harlow and his team in the video and relive Black Panther on digital video May 8.

Featured Image: Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018


Kelle Long

Kelle has written about film and TV for The Credits since 2016. Follow her on Twitter @molaitdc for interviews with really cool film and TV artists and only occasional outbursts about Broadway, tennis, and country music. Please no talking or texting during the movie. Unless it is a musical, then sing along loudly.