Behind The Scenes
A 'Wonder'-ful Prosthetic Makeup: How Oscar-nominated makeup artist Arjen Tuiten transformed Jacob Tremblay for 'Wonder'.
Go behind the scenes of 'Wonder' with Oscar-nominated makeup artist Arjen Tuiten and his Treacher Collins syndrome makeup for 'Wonder'.
May 18, 2018
While at makeup school in the Netherlands, Arjen absorbed everything he could and began corresponding with makeup pioneer Dick Smith to further his study. At 19, he moved to Los Angeles to work as an intern for creature effects studios, including Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc (ADI) and, eventually, Stan Winston Studio, a work experience that would change his life. Stan soon saw Arjen's potential and wanted him to continue working in the states. Over the next couple years, Arjen honed his skills at SWS on films including Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Tim Burton's Big Fish, and Doom. Circumstances caused Arjen to move back to Europe temporarily, but it was this apparent setback that led him to work for Barcelona-based FX studio, DDT Efectos Especiales on Guillermo del Toro's masterpiece, Pan's Labyrinth, a relatively low-budget Spanish film that went on to achieve worldwide critical acclaim and box-office success. After Pan's Labyrinth, Winston helped Arjen with his US immigration papers, and Arjen returned to Stan Winston Studio where he worked on Terminator Salvation and Pandorum. "My time with Stan changed my life," said Arjen. "I miss him terribly, and I hope he sees what's going on, not just with me, but with so many SWS artists that have gone on to do great stuff."
LESSONS LEARNED & LOOKING FORWARDThe success of the 'Auggie' makeup earned Arjen a well deserved Oscar nomination earlier this year, proving that passion and willingness to take on a challenge can be worth the effort and hardships. "The main thing that I learned from Stan Winston was to take the challenge, and not be afraid to bounce back from failure," said Tuiten. "With Wonder, I thought of Stan a lot. I had two moments where I really wanted to quit because it was so hard to figure out, and VFX were fighting me. But you find a way. That's what I picked up from Stan, to not be afraid to take on the challenge and push it to another level."
Mentored by industry icons like Dick Smith, Stan Winston, and Rick Baker, Arjen has risen the ranks to become one of the masters of makeup effects working today. Wonder may be behind him now, but it's a job he will cherish and remember for the rest of his life. Busy as ever, he's now moved on to join Angelina Jolie for Maleficent 2. "Stan once said that as long as there are actors, there will be makeup. It helps everybody," recalled Arjen. "Recently Angelina Jolie told me during Maleficent 2, 'I don't always let you know, but without my cheeks and my nose, and horns and ears, I can't find the voice of Maleficent. I NEED to see this in the mirror.' That's the power of makeup. I don't think that will ever leave."