Name/Alias: Mystique/Raven Darkholme (Rebecca Romijn)
Mutant Powers: A shape-shifter, Mystique can assume the form of any object or creature she chooses.
Origin: Where she got her powers is somewhat mysterious, but when Mystique was young, she married a Bavarian statesman and gave birth to a blue-furred baby (who grew up to become Nightcrawler, a member of X-Men). After that, she was pals with various mutants and even acted as a foster parent to Rogue when she was young.
Character Description: After a life of crime, Mystique paid her debt to society by joining X-Factor, an anti-crime, government sanctioned group. In the past, she and Sabretooth
Original article: Hollywood.com
"I'm not naked, OK?" Rebecca Romijn protests. "Let's get that straight."
Fair enough, but she isn't exactly wearing clothes either in her role as Mystique in the X-MEN movie. In fact, all she's wearing are silicone prosthetics and blue paint. Lots of blue paint.
Gordon Smith, X-MEN's makeup supervisor, calls Romijn "a real trooper" for going through the process to turn her into the scaly, blue-skinned Mystique.
"She was great. It was very difficult for her," Smith says. "The first time we did it, it took ten hours. There's somewhere between seventy-five and ninety prosthetics before she's painted up. But after the third time, we had it down to six hours, so we cut four hours off it. The first time we were learning how to do it."
"She's not wearing anything but the prosthetics, but the prosthetics are designed as clothing. We built them for modesty's sake and practicality, so she could go to the bathroom. Those were some of the first design elements that you had to deal with.
"The prosthetics go on first, and then we painted between the prosthetics. The prosthetics in this particular movie are new to the industry in that, first of all, they are silicone, and secondly, they are self-sticking, reusable and permanently colored. We virtually had to do no makeup after the fact except for a little bit of color shifting if an actor's face had gone red, to shift the topical color. But there's essentially no makeup involved.
"All the colors are built intrinsically into the prosthetic, so when they come out of the mold, they match."
For Romijn, who went through the makeup process some twenty-five times, the hardest part was the paint. "They'd cover me in prosthetics and then they would brush me, which was horrible because I was inhaling paint fumes," she says. Smith says that Romijn received utmost care and sensitivity. "I backed out after the first application for modesty reasons and polite reasons. My mother raised me good," Smith says, smiling. "It's very intrusive. So I had a team of girls, who were artists from my studio, look after Rebecca pretty much exclusively."
The prosthetics proved durable through several uses.
"The only thing that wears out on the prosthetic at this stage in the technology is the edges, and we give four or five applications of the prosthetic before we abandon it and go with a new one for a cleaner edge," Smith says. "With this kind of technology the edge has to be perfect because we're not using any other kind of material to match the edge. It just goes down and we glue the edge very, very lightly because it needs to disappear into the skin. So technically, it's pretty high end. For safety reasons and practicality reasons and photographic reasons, it's really quite spectacular.
"That was the challenge for me in this movie. It was a bit of a risk on a movie this large to introduce something that has never been seen before or done before or even tested."
Smith was happy that even though two-thirds of Romijn' body was covered with the prosthetics, very little glue -- which can be abrasive -- was used.
"For example, the big back piece that went on -- there was no glue on her back at all, aside from a quarter of an inch all the way around the outside edge," he says. "So putting it on was very fast, and it was very easy to remove.
"All of her prosthetics were reusable. You'd take them off, go wash them off in the sink and they were ready to use again the next day. We didn't do that a lot initially, because we didn't believe it ourselves. But after three or four days, we'd say, 'Let's try using the old prosthetics.' You wouldn't know, you could only guess. And the second applications were generally better than the first applications. And all of the materials were medical-grade materials, so they're all perfectly clean. So they're virtually the same kind of thing you would put inside a body."
Original article: Marvel