So, we've been given a sneak-peek of Anthony Hopkins all puttied-up to look like Alfred Hitchcock. This is for the film Hitchcock, a biopic directed by Sacha Gervasi, also starring Helen Mirren as Alma Reville and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, which will be released in 2013.
In my opinion, the above picture doesn't look much like Alfred Hitchcock. It contains all the important reference points; an overweight, jowly, grey-haired, balding man in a suit standing in profile with a snooty look on his face. But still, not really a great match for the famous director (see below).
Of course, we can't expect Hopkins to look exactly like Hitchcock, because he isn't Hitchcock - nobody is. But, the problem remains; is Hopkins really a good enough actor to sustain wandering around onscreen for a good length of time with half a ton of flesh-toned goo pasted onto his face? Is anybody?
Leonardo DiCaprio was clearly being hampered by his old man face in J. Edgar - and while this press shot of Hopkins certainly looks as though a much higher level of skill has been utilised in creating the classic Hitchcock jowls, I am doubtful as to whether he'll be able to pull it off, so to speak.
Of course, Hopkins is a pretty brilliant actor (as long as you discount a few blips like Hannibal), but so is DiCaprio, and he hammed it up so much under his mask in J. Edgar that I couldn't even look at a slice of bacon for a week afterwards. Alright, maybe he wasn't quite that bad - but the make-up still made him look like he'd been in some sort of horrible industrial accident, and it certainly put a dampener on things.
Done well, prosthetic make-up can greatly enhance the look and range of an actor. Done badly, it can mess up great chunks of the film (if not the whole thing). Still, let's hope my fears are unfounded, and Hopkins blows us all away in a year's time with his astonishing portrayal of the quirky old director.