- Jennifer Lawrence endured an eight-hour paint session to transform into Mystique for the X-Men franchise, but the process has since been streamlined.
- Lawrence found the blue body paint uncomfortable and compared it to a “weird fungus,” but she kept a lighthearted attitude about it.
- The Mystique costume underwent changes in subsequent films, with Lawrence wearing a bodysuit and shorter makeup sessions, and her appearance became more like actual skin.
Jennifer Lawrence has suffered multiple on-set injuries during her 17-year-long acting career. She has starred in both major action film franchises and small independent movies. She also has her own movies, such as the recent comedy No Hard Feelings.
Although the outcome is definitely worth the trouble, portraying a comic book character in a special costume is never as fun as it seems. Jennifer Lawrence made a name for herself playing the heroine Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games franchise, and the mutant Mystique in the X-Men franchise. The latter role forced Lawrence into a costume that would really not be convenient to wear as daily attire.
This is a common occurrence for actors who take on the roles of superheroes. To arrange a believable performance that would be worth watching, and which would uphold the name of the franchise, actors are forced to undergo a drastic transformation. In Jennifer Lawrence’s case, becoming Mystique took an eight-hour paint session — until an innovation streamlined the process.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique Make-Up Took 8 Hours To Perfect
Early in her career, Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Mystique/Raven Darkholme in the X-Men franchise. She has since then appeared in four films from the franchise: X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
Her just as famous co-star Hugh Jackman holds high praise for Lawrence, describing her as “not only one of the most talented actors I’ve met, but also one of the most authentic. Very down to earth, no ego.”
As the X-Men Fandom Wiki details, Mystique is a mutant character that can shape-shift into anyone she likes. She is best known for her blue reptile-like skin and vividly red hair, neither of which Lawrence naturally possesses, of course.
When appearing on Jimmy Fallon, Lawrence was questioned about the duration of the make-up process and what she did during that time. Her answer made everyone both laugh and clench their teeth in horror:
“It used to take eight hours, which is lovely. [During the eight hours], I stood, or I had to sit on a bicycle seat. Every woman knows this is our dream come true.”
Jimmy Fallon openly admitted that sitting still for eight hours straight would drive him crazy, as everyone silently agreed. The audience also acknowledged that the eight-hour-long torture was worth the effort as it ended up looking amazing.
Despite the torment she was put through, the money that she earned playing the role of Mystique likely made up for it.
Jennifer Lawrence Hated The Blue Body Paint
Jimmy Fallon then asked Lawrence if she would go home painted in all blue, to which the actress joked that, of course, she did that. She then jokingly complained about having to stay blue for four months straight while filming the X-Men movie.
Lawrence admitted that she always found a little bit of blue in the corners of her body after arriving home. She compared the paint to “a weird fungus.”
The head of the makeup and hair department for X-Men: First Class, Frances Hannon, said they did 20 tests for the costume. They did tests on different women to find the perfect shade of blue for Lawrence’s body.
Despite the careful preparation for Mystique’s costume, Lawrence once considered leaving the X-Men franchise due to the paint and the fumes seeping from it.
“[At first I] didn’t care about fumes and toxins. Now I’m almost 25. And I’m like: ‘I can’t even pronounce this and that’s going in my nose? I’m breathing that?'”
The Mystique Costume Thankfully Underwent A Transformation
Thankfully, Lawrence’s X-Men costume has undergone a transformation, during the eight-year-long journey of the character. Lawrence described the makeup process in the early X-Men films simply as first attaching Mystique’s scales, followed by three layers of blue paint airbrushed onto her, and then another five layers of a splattering effect.
Different tactics were used for the following movies, due to Lawrence’s complaints about the paint irritating her skin. The actress would wear a bodysuit and was painted only from the neck up. This helped shorten the makeup process to three hours ‘only.’
As for the actual look that we would see on the screen, the paint would later change to “electric blue.” Mystique’s markings became much smaller, and she’d have vividly red eyebrows added to her forehead.
The Dark Phoenix movie introduced Mystique wearing actual clothes for the first time in the franchise, as well as her body paint looking more like actual skin than before.
Despite Lawrence’s subtle hatred for the franchise and the trials she had to go through, Lawrence has kept it light-spirited. It took seven girls to paint her full body, but the actress still described it as this: “I know that everyone feels sorry for me, but it’s so much fun. It’s like a sleepover, except I’m naked and getting painted.”