Rick Baker is a living legend. Plain and simple. He's been nominated for a total of 12 times for an Oscar and has won 7; his first win for the incredible transformation sequence in An American Werewolf In London. (Which is quite frankly still to this day the best werewolf transformation ever put to film.) And let's not forget his contributions to Michael Jackson's Thriller, the Men In Black movies, the amazing work he's done on Eddie Murphy over the years in films such as Coming To America (with his American Werewolf director John Landis) and The Nutty Professor. Looking over his body of work is just tremendous. And it's equally as fun to listen to the soft spoken artist speak about his love of the art, as well as all things monsters!
In Part 1 of his episode with Mick Garris for Post Mortem, Baker confesses to growing up as a "monster kid" and talks about his fascination with movie magic at a very young age, even going as far as to nickname himself "Rick Baker Monster Maker". He also talks about first discovering the work of Jack Pierce and Dick Smith & explains that his parents were always extremely supportive of his ambitions. Part 2 expands upon his relationship with Dick Smith and how a letter he sent to the famed FX artist as a teenager eventually led him to work on The Exorcist with his mentor.
Part 3 delves into his long working relationship with director John Landis starting with his debut feature Schlock and eventually leading 10 years later to An American Werewolf In London. If you're a fan of American Werewolf, then you'll love some of the fun tidbits Baker goes into regarding the creature work and infamous transformation sequence. Part 4 is all about his relationship with Eddie Murphy, which began on Coming To America where Baker made the comic up to appear as an old Jewish man and conducted a series of videos tests. That process has been pivotol for Murphy and he's chosen to work with Rick ever since. Finally, Part 5, Rick discusses the few jobs in the business he personally lobbied for which included Tim Burton's Ed Wood and Universal's remake of The Wolfman.
It's all great stuff, so sit back and enjoy, fiends. Here's Post Mortem: Rick Baker!