Hail to the almost chief. Vice, the film that transformed Christian Bale into various incarnations of George W. Bush’s former Veep Dick Cheney, scored the Oscar tonight for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. It’s the fourth Academy Award for makeup designer Greg Cannom and the first for his fellow Vice winners Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney, both of whom were first-time nominees.
Read a transcript of their acceptance speech below.
The Annapurna Pictures film depicts Cheney in many iterations spanning a half-century, and Cannom said he was given free rein by writer-director Adam McKay, saying he was the best collaborator he could have asked for. “One day I was on set in the beginning,” the Oscar winner told Deadline in a recent interview,” and he walked in, and was just like, ‘How do you do this, Cannom? Are you a witch?’”
With Cannom focusing on Bale’s Cheney transformations — in the end, he noted, Cheney was in the room and Bale was not — Biscoe as head of the makeup department had 130 people to make up, everybody else in the cast. But the focus, of course, was on making The Fighter Oscar winner into the man who generally pulled the strings during W’s administration.
“We kept changing things, trying to get the -year-old look down first, the one that everybody knows,” Cannom said. “A couple weeks before shooting, I did a test on Christian, and I really liked it, but Christian still wanted to make it better, change it, a little thicker neck and everything. I was arguing with him, “No, it’s too much.” But Christian wins out every time, so the producer said, “Do it.” I think we only had five days to redo the whole thing. That Saturday before shooting, he was in the office, put on the suit, and I was like, “No, it’s too fat, I think.” He put on the fat suit, and glasses, and teeth, and walked in the room, and everybody just could not believe it. I was like, “Oh my god, you were absolutely right,” and that’s what’s in the film. He looked just dead on.”
Cannom also won Oscars for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mrs. Doubtfire and Dracula among 10 total nominations and won a Techincal Achievement Award in 2005.
Vice beat out another darkly comic political period piece from a very different era, Fox Searchlight’s 18th century tale The Favourite, which won a Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Award last week for Period and/or Character Hair Styling last week, and Border, Neon’s Swedish fantasy thriller from Ali Abbasi that won the top Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes last year.
Here is tonight’s acceptance speech for Vice, provided by the Movie Academy:
Thank you, Annapurna, our great director Adam McKay. Christian Bale, what a …. Oh, you’re here. Go ahead.
Plan B, Gary Sanchez.
The voting Academy members and our fellow nominees from the U.K. and Sweden, thank you.
Christian Bale, you’re fantastic. You’re so great to work with, to create with and everything. Thank you.
Amy Adams, thank you for bringing us up to your level of commitment.
Sam Rockwell and the other 150 SAG members, great job.
Jeff Waxman and Jennifer Madeloff.
Our DP Greig Fraser, our [unintelligible].
Ann Pala Williams, Jamie Kelman, Adrien Morot, Wesley Wofford, Cristina Waltz.
Chris Gallaher, Kenny Myers,
Erik Porn, Brian Wade.