The 12th Man Makeup Design


This breathtaking action adventures tells an incredible true-life story of heroism and a man’s unbreakable will to live.

Norway, 1943: After a failed anti-Nazi sabotage mission leaves his eleven comrades dead, Norwegian resistance fighter Jan Baalsrud (Thomas Gullestad) finds himself on the run from the Gestapo through the snowbound arctic reaches of Scandinavia. It’s a harrowing journey across unforgiving, frozen wilderness that will stretch on for months – and force Jan to take extreme actions

in order to survive. With gut-punching realism and vivid psychological immediacy, director Harald Zwart pays tribute to one man’s extraordinary courage – and to the everyday heroes who helped him along the way. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers co-stars.

We started with Thomas as healthy looking as possible, highlighted his shadows, thinned his beard, to then fill it in again, so that we could go back and forth the same day. We added the red using FX Skin Illustrator palette and the Red 3 Glaze . Ásta Hafþórsdóttir

After his escape, he had to swim in the ice cold water and was starting to suffer from hypothermia and frostbite and on his toes. — Ásta Hafþórsdóttir

He was hit by an avalanche, which resulted in that he became snow-blind, and bled from small cuts. Asta Hafþórsdóttir

He was saved and nursed back to health, but had to be hidden in a small mountain hut, where he suffered a lot from his gangrene on his feet. Here I used small transfers, lenses and illustrator paint work. — Ásta Hafþórsdóttir

After moved from the hut, he was hidden in a snow hole for a couple of weeks cause of storms, with no food. Here he starts to lose weight rapidly.

I used silicone cheek appliances, teeth and small transfers  provided by Morten Jacobsen,  and again a lot of paint work to make him look thin and in bad shape.

We used paraffin wax, ice gel and powder snow for frost effect. — Ásta Hafþórsdóttir

After being rescued from the ice hole, he was again kept in another hiding place, a cave for some weeks, until spring came so it would be easier to plan his escape over the border to Sweden.

He lost more weight, and deteriorated. He was at this point in bad shape.

I used the same appliances and teeth, with more paintwork. — Ásta Hafþórsdóttir

For the end scene, we had to give it all. 3 hours of makeup, with all the effects we had used and lots of paintwork. — Ásta Hafþórsdóttir

The makeup mainly consists of prosthetic cheeks appliances, teeth and a lot of Skin Illustrator paint work.

Our ‘go to’ palettes were Grunge and FX palettes.

He also wore 4 types of different contact lenses.

The frost and snow was made with different techniques, mostly paraffin wax, ice gel and powder snow on top. — Ásta Hafþórsdóttir

We started with shooting the final scene in the movie, where actor Thomas Gullestad had lost a lot of weight, and then waited a year. He was then back to his normal weight. But, still when we started to shoot again, they wanted to add shots with a direct continuity to what we had done.   

We ran around in the snow at -30 Celsius. The film was shot in 7 weeks. — Ásta Hafþórsdóttir