I saw Conan the Barbarian on Wednesday, and I’ll be honest — the normally beautiful Rose McGowan is creepily hideous in her role as Marique, the sorceress who serves as one of Conan’s main adversaries. That’s because McGowan’s normal good looks are hidden under layers of grotesque make-up along with shaven eyebrows and a half-shaven scalp look that McGowan has dubbed a “10 head.”
But McGowan wasn’t going to sacrifice her often-nominated Maxim, FHM, Stuff, and Blender “Sexiest Woman” looks for nothing.
McGowan reveals to The Hollywood Reporter, “The studio asked if I would shave my eyebrows and my hairline back to here, and I thought, ‘Sure, if you give me $5 million.” Of course, McGowan’s asking price for becoming ugly was a bit steep, so her unique look was accomplished solely by make-up. The consequence of that? Long hours in the makeup chair — in her own words, McGowan confesses that she “sat from about two in the morning till around 7:30 in the morning” in makeup. Naturally, it was a small price to pay for keeping her eyebrows and hairline through the duration of the shoot. But was it all worth it? Despite being nearly unrecognizable, McGowan thinks so. On her thoughts of Marique’s look, McGowan not only approved but found it liberating because it separated herself from the character, as she says, “I think she looks kind of majestic and amazing. It really freed me up to be as kind of weird as i wanted to be. It was the only time I’ve ever actually had an ease with watching myself on screen, normally I cringe…cause it looked so unlike me.”
Conan the Barbarian opens in theaters today.