Casting Call

Early pictures from the making of the forthcoming Dave specials.

19 December, 2008

Poor Robert Llewellyn. Where most actors get measured up for a costume, he gets claustrophobically coated in gloop by blokes in overalls.

Casting Call

It's been seven years since the last Kryten head cast was taken - in that case for the almost-made-it Red Dwarf movie project - and while there were whispers that this time around there might be some whizzy facial laser scanning, in the end it all came back to the same old things: lubricating cream and a big bucket of alginate.

On the afternoon of Thursday, November 27th Robert joined long-time Red Dwarf make-up designer Andrea Finch (who, along with costume designer Howard Burden is set to return for the production when it kicks off in January) to perform the dreaded task. The job itself was done by prosthetics experts Animated Extras, based at the Shepperton Studios.

It's not an event one can take too seriously, as your actor is stripped and smeared before being plastered with gunk. The process began with a bald cap, marked up with guidelines that made Robert appear like an animated character. Then the back of his head was coasted in plaster - resulting, thanks to the structure required, in a bizarre 'halo'. Robert's never looked so angelic!

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With the first stage completed it was time to paint Robert in lovely pink alginate - the same seaweed-based material used to take dental impressions. With the main layer done, covering the whole of the face with the quick-setting gloop, more plaster is then used to fix the impression in place.

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Removing the two pieces, the guys took a look at the mould created and realised that the nose wasn't quite as set as the rest of the face... leading to a bizarre Voldemort impersonation as Robert had his schnoz re-coated.

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Finally it was hands-in-gloopy-bucket time as the team took impressions in readiness for Kryten's rubbery gloves. All the James Herriott jokes you might have expected were, indeed, told.

As a relieved Robert was measured across every dimension of his head, then wiped down, Animated Extras were left to combine the nose and face casts. It won't be long until both are required to produce a bust of the actor's head, ready to accommodate the all-new Kryten mask.

Casting CallCasting Call will be bringing you reports from the set of the Red Dwarf specials in the New Year.

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