The Joker has always been a captivating villain in the minds of movie makeup lovers, and none more than the portrayal by the late Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight.
Conor O’Sullivan (prosthetics supervisor): I was never given a concept or reason for the scarring before I started on the design of the Joker’s scars. Once I had it in my mind that it was going to be scars, rather than a fixed smile, I immediately thought of the punk and skinhead era and some unsavoury characters I had come across during this time. The terminology for this type of wound is a ‘Glasgow’ or ‘Chelsea smile’. My references had to be real. A delivery of fruit machines was made to the estate near my workshop and the man delivering them had a ‘Chelsea smile’. I plucked up the courage to ask him for a photo and he told me the story of how he had got his scars while being involved with “a dog fight”; needless to say I didn’t pursue the matter, but the photos proved to be very useful reference.