Berger and his award-winning makeup magicians had been waiting two years to return to Narnia. “We were chomping at the bit to go back for the next film and get a chance to revisit all the Narnian inhabitants we helped create for the first film,” Berger says.
Berger was eager to create the new, wilder look of the creatures of Narnia, who have been living in hiding for centuries when the film begins. “In PRINCE CASPIAN, we had heavy set fauns, old age fauns, female dwarves, African-Narnian centaurs and their families. The minotaurs are now on the side of good. We have a new hag, a werewolf and the Satyrs are back, but all redesigned to be more animal-like.”
The task would require a large staff of experts ranging from concept artists to creature-suit fabricators, from hair designers to latex piece manufacturers. “We estimated close to 3,000 makeups on the film, which would keep the foam department busy almost 24/7 for the next nine months. We ended up applying 4,600 makeups by the end of the shoot, which is, I believe, a world record,” Berger reports.
Howard Berger and a team of more than 40 special makeup artists gave birth to the film’s more fantastical creatures. “My favorite Narnians are the dwarves,” Berger says. “We had two fantastic dwarf characters in the film: Trumpkin, played by Peter Dinklage, and Nikabrik, played by Warwick Davis. We designed some very intricate makeup applications to transform them into Narnians.”
When the role of Trumpkin was being conceived, director Adamson knew that Dinklage was his first choice to play the role. “I knew when I saw The Station Agent that I wanted to cast him,” the filmmaker says.
“He's the first actor we cast for this movie,” exclaims Johnson about Dinklage. “He's just phenomenal.”
Once signed on, Dinklage turned to the books—which he did not read as a youth—for research and inspiration. He describes his character as “curmudgeonly,” but adds “too much of that and you’re not going to want to spend time with him on the journey. Let’s just say that the Pevensies annoy him, and he’d rather have a glass of wine back in his tree.”
Before agreeing to take the role, Dinklage caught a glimpse of what Trumpkin might look like when he visited with Adamson in Los Angeles for an introductory meeting. The filmmaker showed Dinklage some of the pre-visualization materials, “some computer animation of what appeared to be these big battle sequences,” the actor remembers.
“I sat there in this room filled with computers, and watched as my likeness came up in these computer images,” he continues. “I had never seen anything like that before. It was weird really, but I felt like I couldn't say no at that point.”
Even with this unexpected peek at Trumpkin’s appearance, Dinklage had no notion as to what Berger and his team would devise to transform the blue-eyed actor into a vivid Narnian creature. Berger and Tami Lane, who both earned Oscars® for the first movie, rendered him unrecognizable, except for his piercing eyes.
Working from a concept painting of what Berger envisioned for the character, Lane began the daily two-and-a-half-hour transformation by shaving Dinklage’s head completely and painting it. She dyed his eyebrows before gluing on latex face pieces. Finally the makeup artist tacked on the intricate hair work that turned Dinklage into a fantastical, otherworldly creature.
“The last thing was a really long red beard and wig made of yak hair,” Dinklage says. “And somewhere there's a yak on top of a mountain who's very cold. And I'm sorry. However, because we filmed in the summer in Prague, it was not the coolest of makeups for me.
“With a lot of makeups, you can lose the actor underneath them,” the actor continues. “Howard and Tami really managed to make me look completely different and still allowed my expressions, my emotions, to come through.”
“Peter brought so much life to the character,” says Berger. “I always say that a makeup is half successful if we do our jobs right. That, plus the performance, made Trumpkin truly alive and believable. We gave Trumpkin his look. Peter gave him his heart.”