Mert & Marcus' Maleficent Shoot

Behind-the-scenes

Most Popular

It’s unmistakably Angelina Jolie. Piercing green eyes stare back at you from a shot that could easily be found within the pages of a fashion magazine. Those razor-sharp cheekbones! Those blood red lips! But, in fact, the image is the poster for Jolie’s latest film Maleficent; the film she has been promoting this week with her fiancé and family in tow.

Responsible for the film poster are fashion photographers Mert & Marcus. The image was shot in their London studio and they described Jolie as an ‘incredible muse’. Unlike a fashion shoot, where ‘you are also responsible for making the garments look great’ here the aim was to translate the eerie feeling of the character Maleficent.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

‘We wanted to try something more bold and graphic, sort of unlike the usual movie posters,’ said the duo.

‘It was important to us that [Jolie] didn’t come across as [an] ‘evil queen,’ and that she had a lot of emotion and depth to her character.’

ELLE reviews Maleficent

Jolie, who is executive producer, called on her own make-up artist Toni G, as well as special effects make-up artist Rick Baker and Arjen Tuiten, who made the prosthetics, to create her otherworldly look.

Most Popular

‘She’s basically a fantasy creature, but it still had to be very beautiful, you know? It couldn’t just be effects with silly, heavy makeup,’ Tuiten told Fashionista.com. ‘Disney was very nervous in the beginning. They were like, ‘Wait, what? Prosthetics on Angelina? Why are we covering her up?’ They were not very keen on it.’

The team had made a prosthetic forehead and chin also, but in the end decided less is more. ‘We didn’t want to make her a caricature,’ Tuiten explained.

While the green eyes are unmistakably Jolie's (the contacts were based on her own eye colour) they were inspired by goat eyes and labradorite stone that has a metallic, oil-slick finish. Each lens was hand-painted by contact lens artist Cristina Patterson.

On camera Jolie’s skin isn’t quite as pale as the complexion witnessed in Mert and Marcus’ stylised poster. And as for the standout lip colour it is MAC Pro Longwear Lipglass in Anthurium. ‘We tried many, many lipsticks,’ said Tony G. The chosen colour ‘wasn’t pink and it wasn’t orange, it just had that true red tone’. She managed to get through three tubes during the course of the filming.

For her character’s horns, Jolie called on London-based milliner Justin Smith. Smith explained that Jolie wanted the costume to be a ‘bit more fashion’. While Smith and Jolie respected the original Maleficent animation from the fifties they wanted to make it more edgy for the modern day. The creation you see in Mert and Marcus’ poster is ‘a fusion of Angelina and Maleficent,’ said Smith.

Maleficent star Sam Claflin: Man of the Week