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SYFY WIRE Original Video

Joker makeup tutorial: Joaquin Phoenix vs. Heath Ledger


Hey, do you want to know how we got these scars? Or do you just want to know how to give yourself the signature smile of the Clown Prince of Crime? Even if Joker wasn’t the reigning box-office champion of the moment, Batman's ultimate adversary is always a favorite makeup when Halloween comes around. We've seen some evil clowns before, but nobody tops Mr. J!

But which Joker do you want to become? SYFY WIRE's Caitlin Busch and Jackie Jennings settled upon the Joaquin Phoenix and Heath Ledger Jokers, respectively. Phoenix's Joker is currently tearing it up on the big screen, while Ledger's Joker haunted The Dark Knight over a decade ago.

Makeup artist Bea Sniper provided her considerable skills to transform Caitlin and Jackie into their Joker personas. Bea also provided a list of everything needed to make their metamorphosis complete while walking viewers through the important steps along the way. Because Phoenix's Joker is fairly close to a traditional clown, Caitlin's makeup wasn't quite as complicated as Jackie's. The Ledger Joker also has some very distinctive facial scars, and Jackie's Joker just wouldn't be complete without them.

Bea "put a smile" on Jackie's face, and it's fascinating to see what goes into creating a realistic facial scar that easily blends in with the rest of the face. Ledger's Joker was also intentionally messy, and Bea showed us how to recreate some of those effects while maintaining the artistry behind the design.

For more details about the process, check out the entire Joker makeup tutorial!