When assembling the behind-the-scenes team, Shadyac, Bostick and Spyglass Entertainment producers Roger Birnbaum and Gary Barber and Original Filmâ€™s Neal H. Moritz turned to the talented group of creative individuals with whom they collaborated on previous projects, including Bruce Almighty.
The artisans included costume designer Judy Ruskin Howell and Academy AwardÂ®-winning special-effects makeup designer David Leroy Anderson (Cinderella Man) to the fold.Â It was Anderson who developed and interpreted the evolution of Evan Baxter into a modern-day Noah.Â Â
The designer created approximately seven different looks for Carellâ€™s transformationâ€”starting with the handsome, well-groomed professional ready to take on Capitol Hill and finishing with a longhaired, bearded man of the animals.
Anderson and his team toiled daily, taking an average of three hours to morph Carell into the different phases of Evan Baxter/â€The Weirdo With a Beard-o.â€Â The veteran special-effects makeup designer kept his sense of humor throughout arduous months of filming, giving each of Evanâ€™s new looks such memorable names as â€œMountain Man,â€ â€œMetrosexualâ€ and â€œUnabomber,â€ among others.
The process of creating all of Evanâ€™s beards was a painstaking one that had a three-person team placing individual hairs onto Carellâ€™s face.Â Custom-made wigs completed the remarkable transformation that rendered the actor unrecognizable to some.
Says Shadyac, â€œDave is an amazing artist.Â There was not a moment in the movie that I looked at Steve and said, â€˜Oh, this isnâ€™t real.â€™Â It all looked absolutely real.â€
Carell recalls of his time in the hair and makeup chair: â€œIt always looked like something that was actually growing out of my face.â€Â He slyly adds, â€œSo, when I lose a little more hair in real life, I will be calling Dave to come over to my house every morning and apply a toupee for four hours, because I know itâ€™ll look real.â€
Completing Evanâ€™s miraculous makeover, Carell donned several â€œancientâ€ robes to become the worldâ€™s most famous seafarer.Â As with any historical element for the comedy, research played an integral part in helping the team to craft together the iconic look of biblical character Noah.Â Â Â
Veteran costume designer Ruskin Howell designed the rough-hewn silk-burlap robes to look as authentic as possible, completing them with several functional touches to stand up to the punishments of the daily wear and tear of filming.Â Ruskin Howell conferred with textile experts, read up on her ancient history and aged fibers to achieve the proper patina and look for Carellâ€™s multiple robes.
Months of filming, hundreds of animals and an exhausted cast and crew later, principal photography on Evan Almighty was finally finished, and it was time for editing and VFX to work their magic in their respective bays.Â A weary but wiser Shadyac reflects on not only the comedy of his film, but the place where it comes from and why it was so important to make the latest in the Almighty series.
The director/producer concludes:Â â€œYou can give all the charity dollars to all the habitats you want, but if youâ€™re polluting the air for that family and the kids that will be in that house in the future, youâ€™re not doing a good thing.Â I just started waking up.Â I was Evan.Â The journey of Evan is so much the journey of me.Â The guy grows a beard and has long hair by the end of the movie.Â Coincidence?â€
Evan Almighty. Learn about the film, cast and crew. Click here to join the group.