Bathed in amber light, sliding over one another’s smooth tan bodies, Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone — as Basic Instinct‘s Nick Curran and Catherine Tramell-glow with the sweat of sexual passion.
Or do they? Actually, that dewy moisture clinging to Douglas’ suntanned back is a ”reflectant” used by makeup man David Craig Forrest to create an erotic shimmer. And they’re not tan, either. They’re covered in makeup. ”Head-to-toe,” Forrest confirms. ”One-stop shopping.”
In Basic Instinct, Forrest worked with Laura De’Atley (who did Stone’s makeup) to keep the look romantic, sensual, and very erotic.”If the skin looks blotchy,” Forrest says, ”it’s too close to home, too real. It’s all done to keep you in the story.”
But for the actors baring it all, the body makeup offers a psychological edge, too. ”A lot of times it works to give the actors a little protection,” says Forrest, who also did the makeup for the flesh-revealing 9 1/2 Weeks. ”It’s sort of a second skin so people aren’t seeing the ‘raw’ you.” The process of applying it, he adds, gives actors, ”a chance to adjust to someone seeing them naked, and having someone’s hands on them.”
According to Forrest, Douglas had a sense of humor about the whole thing. ”Oh sure, he joked about it. You have to joke. If you take it too seriously, then it becomes personal. And then it turns into something else.”