Makeup artist Judy Chin came to “The Wrestler” fully prepped.
“Much of my research was done when I was 12, as I was the biggest wrestling fan ever,” Chin says. Plus, during the film’s prep period, “there were wrestling events nearly every weekend that the crew was invited to.
“We were invited backstage where we were able to talk to the wrestlers and ask them questions, look at their scars and see real blood running down their faces. They were all very sweet, very obliging, very beaten up and very curious about our movie.”
From those visits backstage and from Chin’s own expertise as a wrestling fan, certain ways of doings things developed.
“We used a combination of techniques,” says Chin. “First we made the skin pink and angry everywhere to give the feeling of trauma and having been through physical duress. Next we added nicks, cuts and scrapes everywhere. Then we added smears of blood.”
Then Chin — after some discussions with helmer Darren Aronofsky and star Mickey Rourke — took it one step further to make it real for the audience.
“We used a number of prosthetics to show the aftermath of the tacks, staples barbed wire and glass — all of which pierced their bodies in the film,” Chin says. “Put that all together with a custom mix of My Blood — a brand of blood I particularly like — and an ample supply of sweat, and you have a wrestler beaten within an inch of his life.”