Thirty-four years after the original Coming to America was released starring Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall, a sequel, Coming 2 America, finally arrived — and like the first film has been Oscar-nominated for its makeup and hairstyling. Tasked with bringing it all up to date and making the various guises and multiple roles Murphy and Hall take on really work for a new audience are Mike Marino, who did Special Effects Makeup, as well as Hair Department heads Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer. They all joined me on Amazon Studios’ panel for Deadline’s Contenders Film: The Nominees.
For Marino, just walking in the shadow of seven-time Oscar winner Rick Baker’s original creations was daunting.
Contenders Film: The Nominees — Full Coverage
“So Rick Baker is essentially a guru in our industry, and still is even though he is retired now. I was a huge fan of the original, and Rick’s work stood out so strongly to me as a kid it forged these things in my mind as to how these things should look,” Marino said. “Doing this job for me was like a dream come true. I am a huge fan of Eddie’s as well, so duplicating and aging the makeups that were established by Rick Baker was an enormous task and more difficult I think that anything I have done, because you are aging a great series of makeups, but if you mess up Rick Baker’s [original] work, you become kind of a fool in the industry. There was a lot of pressure It was a really big challenge.”
Farmer talked about how she approached the looks for the younger generation who are also a part of the story now and mentions she is a fan of Afro-punk and incorporated much of that look for hair and jewelry in particular. Morris said for her one of the biggest challenges was to create a defining look for Wesley Snipes, who is new to the franchise and plays a neighboring general from Nextdooria.
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The trio just swept the Make-Up Artists & Hair Styling Guild Awards, winning in all three categories for which they were nominated.
Check out the panel video above.
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