In the latest film from Lana and Andy Wachowski (of The Matrix fame) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run), each actor plays various parts in a sweeping saga over eons of time. Which required tons of makeup work, transforming the actors into different sexes, races and ages.
"Actually, it was fun," Hanks assured us at the premiere of the movie, held at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. "It takes a really long time…I learned how to sleep with my head up. Because you're coming in to work at 5:45 in the morning and Halle, by the way, had been there since 4:45 in the morning 'cause the chicks need more time."
Jay Maidment/Warner Bros. Pictures
Especially when they're turning Catwoman herself into a Korean man, as done in one now-controversial segment of the film (again: Yes, that's Halle Berry!). Halle told us about her transformation, "That was awesome. To sit in that chair, go to sleep and wake up and be a man or be a white woman. Doesn't get better than that."
But, as a viewer, you'll be excused if you weren't quite able to identify all the actors in their respective roles. Because some of the stars didn't even know who they were acting with onset!
"Yes! Yes there was!" Hanks laughed when asked if there was any time he was bamboozled by any of his costar's new looks. "There was a small part that Susan [Sarandon] plays and she walked on and I honestly thought, 'Chris Walken and Al Pacino had a baby and it's here now.'"
Tom continued, "She started talking. She said, 'Hey Tom!' and I said, 'Oh my God.' I actually sent a picture back to the family and said, 'Do you know how this is!' and no one could guess who it was."
He wasn't another either. "Sometimes I'd pass Hugh Grant down the hall and have no idea," Keith David, who called the process "absolutely fascinating," confessed before imitating himself, "'That was Hugh?! Get out!'"
Jim Sturgess, who says the makeup had the actors "just laughing at each other most of the time," was also fooled by Berry. "I did an entire scene with Halle Berry and had no idea it was even her...We had to have this sort of interaction and were working for about an hour and then it wasn't until she got up and started talking that I realized it was Halle the whole time that I was working with."