Banu Bashyam - She's the woman whose magical make-up wand touches Kollywood's most famous faces like Jyothika, Suriya, Trisha, Vikram, Nayanthara and Asin to name a few.
But not many know that Superstar Rajinikanth trusts only Banu when it comes to his face, after she gave him a make-over in Sivaji especially as 'Motta Boss' , who impressed millions of his audiences and die-hard fans.
Sify.com met the media shy, soft spoken Banu at her home in the busy T Nagar, Chennai as she was packing her bags to go to Bangkok and China for the shoot of Suriya's next film 7 am Arivu. The top make-up artist who hates to be in the limelight, agrees to talk about working with Shankar and the Enthiran team and how she gave the superstar three different looks in the film.
How did you take up make-up as your profession?
I had done a course in beauty treatment and make-up artistry in US. Slowly I started creating looks for the hero and heroine characters in films of Mani Ratnam, Priyadarshan, Rajeev Kumar and PC Sreeram.
Can you share with us about how you gave Rajinikanth's Robot look?
Right from the beginning, Shankar was clear on what he wanted and he is a tuff taskmaster when it comes to perfection. We brainstormed for days together on the kind of look for the Chitty character. After a lot of trial and error method, we zeroed in on a custom made face mask, similar to a peel-off mask. I must have tried it out on everyone in my household before I tried it on Rajini sir and Shankar was happy. We also took the opinion of technicians from Stan Winston Studios in LA and they were satisfied.
But normally prosthetic make-up is used to create robot look. Please comment?
Rajini sir has a broad face and if we used prosthetic make up it will look broader and we wanted him to look thin. Prosthetic makeup will make your face at least 2mm thicker and henceforth artificial. So we decided to try out something new. After all, Shankar was clear that Chitty should look plastic, robotic and at the same time natural, which was the biggest challenge. My references were the GI Joe toys available in the market. Chitty had to look handsome and friendly and hence we used green lens on eyes and a different wig.
How did you arrive at the bad chitty look?
Again, our references were the comic books. Sabu Cyril had in fact given a lot of inputs for that spike hair with that silver streak in the middle. This special wig made out of Yak hair was the highlight and I gave a darker, red skin tone with brown lens for eyes. The leather jacket was designed by Mary Vogt (Men in Black 1 & 2 fame) along with sun glasses from an LA shop was totally in sync with the bad Chitty character.
How did Rajini sir take it?
It was not easy for anyone to have the mask on your face and still be mobile for more than two hours. Your skin needs rest and time to breathe but Rajini sir would go on for hours without a break, as he didnât want to waste time especially during the combination scenes of Aishwarya, technicians from Stan Winston Studios and other artists. I give full credit to Rajini sir for carrying all the three different looks in the film so convincingly.
But people say he looked the best in songs especially in the Kilimanjaro song?
Rajini sir has very good skin with no lines and he still looks youthful because of the positive energy that he exudes.
Which look did he like best?
He liked all the three looks but (smiles), but I think he loved the Dr Vaseegaran look with an Oakley beard, as I call it. As a scientist, who is dedicated to work and invention for last 10 years, he had to look a little haggard, mature but handsome. So we used minimal make-up.
Which is your new film?
I am presently working on Murugadoss directed 7am Arivu and is giving a completely new look for Suriya. I am also giving the look for female leads in Jayendra's 180