61-year-old actor Jeff Bridges plays Kevin Flynn in “Tron: Legacy.” He plays Flynn at about 61, and he plays a computerized avatar called “Clu,” who hasn’t aged since around the time he was first created in the original “Tron” in 1982, when Jeff Bridges was about 35 years old…
Clu bears Bridges’ face, altered to make him about 35 years old, but it’s grafted onto a younger actor’s body.
To make Clu, filmmakers made a silicon mold of Bridges’ face and painted it like real flesh. They took multiple photos, put them into a computer and gave him a “digital face lift” that took out wrinkles, tightened the skin and shrunk down his nose and ears.
He then performed a series of facial movements, such as raising his outer left eyebrow or lifting his cheek. Those were recorded by camera and computerized in 3-D.
Finally, when Bridges acted in scenes as Clu, he wore a helmet with four tiny cameras pointed at his face. Dozens of dots on his face acted as reference points for the computer.
The captured expressions are replicated on his younger-looking self. Actor John Reardon mimicked Bridges in later takes and had his face swapped out later.
Making sure Bridges’ computerized head matched up with Reardon’s body took artistry as well as high-tech. It’s said that filmmakers took more time looking at 160 Clu shots than they did at all the other 1,400 shots in the movie.
Do you think this technology can be used to help older actors play younger characters?
In case you’ve been living in a bubble, here’s the trailer for Tron 2, enjoy!