Rick Baker is probably one of the greatest make-up artists of all time.
Among his many amazing credits, including An American Werewolf in London, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and Coming to America, just to name a few, he’s of course also the genius alien creator of the Men in Black series, and he’s back creating more great creatures with MiB 3.
The third Men in Black film is now reportedly on track to be the movie that’s going to finally knock The Avengers off the #1 spot, with a predicted $200 million gross.
Sure, there were concerns that CGI would force make-up artists like Baker, Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead, Creepshow), and Greg Nicotero (Kill Bill), to go out of business, but Baker is indeed a singular talent, and make-up artists have learned to work alongside CG and use it to improve their work.
In a recent profile run by the L.A. Times, Ron Howard, who had Baker create the Grinch for him, said: “Rick has had a huge impact on pop movie culture, defining in many ways the way we look at fantasy characters. Rick is part painter / sculptor and part actor / stortteller. Rick really begins from a place of pure character and finds the intersection point between that and what will really get audiences excited by the coolness of what they are seeing on screen.”
Baker’s obviously come up with some great aliens for MiB 3, and director Barry Sonnenfeld told the Times he feels Baker is truly his partner in the Men in Black Films. As Baker said at the Hero Complex Film Festival, “What’s cool about Men in Black is that I get to do a little bit of everything that I do on all these other films. We have crazy aliens, we have puppets and animatronic things. They’re just a blast to work on.”
Looking back on it all, Baker’s very happy he’s still in demand. “It’s all I ever wanted to do. And the monster have been really good to me.”