“Rings of Power” star Owain Arthur carried around a “newborn baby” while filming the new Amazon Prime Video series — in the form of a beard.
In order to play Prince Durin IV in the show that debuted Thursday, he went through the wringer in the makeup chair and it didn’t stop there.
The Welsh actor, 39, said the bushy, braided beard he wore all day on set weighed several pounds and came in 16 separate pieces.
“[It was] attached to my face so it would move but not pull,” Arthur told Variety, adding the beard “weighs as much as a newborn baby.”
“[The] hook takes a lot of the weight. It’s also attached to the wig at the back,” he explained.
Arthur said the team also decided to have him wear the beard lower on his face so he could “express” emotions “and not have the makeup be a hindrance.”
Arthur’s look was inspired by Scottish knights and kings.Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for P
Given the complicated process, Arthur had two artists working on him for over two and half hours daily to get his look just right for the part.
Jane O’Kane, head of the makeup and hair department for the fantasy series, broke down Arthur’s transformation process with Variety, noting she wanted Durin IV “to be larger than life and to have a big presence in a room amongst the heightened elves.”
Makeup and hair artist Aly Webby would first apply Durin’s prosthetic ears and nose, and then fasten his beard. Since the hair process was so extensive, it consisted of a full wig with neck-hair pieces, an under beard, sideburns, split chin parts, a mustache and even nostril strands.
However, the hairs were not made from fake pelts: They were actually created from a mixture of human, angora goat, horse and yak hair.
“We integrated real copper threads to give it something unique in light reflection and texture,” O’Kane explained. “There were also felt dread sections in the beard, all handmade.
“It was an extensive jigsaw puzzle of facial hair,” she added.
Arthur also had the difficult task of withstanding the heat while sitting in the makeup chair. In order to make sure his body temperature stayed average, he wore a cooling vest while undergoing his body alterations.
“Rings of Power” is based on the iconic “Lord of the Rings” series by Peter Jackson and J.R.R. Tolkien.
The show takes place in the Second Age of Middle-earth, set thousands of years before “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.” Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Robert Aramayo, Nazanin Boniadi, Charles Edwards, Morfydd Clark and Ismael Cruz Córdova also star in the new series.
Rings of Power’ actress: ‘I needed therapy to survive violent scenes’
If you can’t beat ’em, train with ’em.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” star Morfydd Clark revealed the intense way she prepared for her role as Galadriel — an ethereal warrior elf that was played by Cate Blanchett in the films.
“When I was playing Galadriel, the stunt team said, ‘You’ve got a problem because you’re used to being attacked on film,’” she told Empire about adjusting to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth fantasy world.
“I would flinch a lot when people came at me. So they did exposure therapy with me, where I would have all these huge, huge men running at me, screaming with swords. To stop me from looking frightened. Because I’ve definitely been cast as the victim. And Galadriel is not that,” she explained.
Morfydd Clark said the therapy helped her not look scared on camera.©Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection
The 33-year-old’s “Rings” role is different from the types of jobs she usually books. Clark is most recognizable for portraying a traumatized nurse in “Saint Maud” but has always been a fan of Tolkien’s franchise — even if she didn’t realize she was auditioning for it right away.
“The first [audition], I didn’t know what I was auditioning for,” Clark recalled. “The actress next to me looked over all sneaky and was like, ‘Do you know what this is for? It’s “Lord of the Rings.”‘ And I’m forever grateful to her,” she declared.
“I went into the toilet and just stared at myself and was like, ‘You’ve gotta pull yourself together. You’ve been training for this for years,’” Clark said of her audition. “‘You know what to do, it’s in your blood.’ Because I’d been obsessively watching ‘Lord of the Rings’ for my whole childhood.”
The series is set thousands of years before the original films and features new, diverse characters that are meant to modernize the series.
The Amazon Prime series was a personal venture to CEO Jeff Bezos, who is a longtime fan of the franchise. He passed that passion down to his son, who Bezos said gave him some advice on the show.
“He looked me in the eyes, very sincerely, and he said: ‘Dad, please don’t eff this up,’” Bezos shared at the series premiere in London on Tuesday,
The first two episodes of “The Rings of Power” are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
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