Michael Sheen spent eight hours in make-up for one 'Last Train to Christmas' look (exclusive)

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Watch: Michael Sheen discusses his make-up work in Last Train to Christmas

Michael Sheen is seldom shy of an on-screen transformation, having played the likes of Chris Tarrant and an angel in the last few years alone, but Last Train to Christmas called for even more extravagant work.

The film stars Sheen as nightclub impresario Tony Towers, who finds himself able to travel through time as he moves between the carriages of his Christmas train back to Nottingham.

As he flits up and down the train, Sheen changes in age and level of success, requiring some hefty make-up and costuming — with one look requiring eight hours in the chair.

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"Every single day was a different look. My little daughter, who's only two, didn't know who her daddy was as time went on," Sheen revealed to Yahoo.

The 52-year-old added: "She would just say 'oh it's just daddy in a silly wig again'. The film goes from the 1940s up to the 2000s, so you can imagine all of the different looks in there. It was incredible.

Michael Sheen plays Tony Towers throughout his life in time travel comedy 'Last Train to Christmas'. (Fae Films/Stigma Films/Sky Cinema)
Michael Sheen plays Tony Towers throughout his life in time travel comedy 'Last Train to Christmas'. (Fae Films/Stigma Films/Sky Cinema)

"For one of the looks, I was in the chair for eight hours before I went on set. A lot of them were much shorter than that because we wouldn't get any filming done.

"That was one of the most enjoyable things about the film, to play around with all of those different looks.

"Everybody really enjoyed it — whether it was the hair and make-up department, costume department, art department, the camera department — being able to be as creative and imaginative as possible with all of the different time periods we were playing with. It was one of the great joys of doing the film, I think."

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Sheen and co-stars including Game of Thrones actor Nathalie Emmanuel and Cary Elwes shot the film within the confined environment of a train carriage set.

"The camera was on a track that went all the way along the bit where normally you put your hand luggage," said Sheen.

Michael Sheen stars alongside Nathalie Emmanuel in the festive film 'Last Train to Christmas'. (Fae Films/Stigma Films/Sky Cinema)
Michael Sheen stars alongside Nathalie Emmanuel in the festive film 'Last Train to Christmas'. (Fae Films/Stigma Films/Sky Cinema)

He added: "There was a track all the way down both sides of the train and the camera could move along these tracks because obviously there's not a lot of room on the train to be able to get the camera in. So it was very clever to be able to do that.

"But there were a lot of people in there for a long time with a lot of hot lights, so it could get a little ripe. I'm naming no names."

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Emmanuel said the filming process was "very up close and personal" given the cramped surroundings, though the production did a great job of replicating the feel of a train.

She added: "We were there for hours and hours and it was quite challenging at times actually. But really immersive.

"I realised a few times in the day 'oh no, I'm not actually in a train, I'm on a train inside a studio'.

"We had the LED screens either side and some very strong people moving the train somewhere outside. It's very funny. I think Cary said 'you're never going to get on a train now and not think of this movie'."

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The film forms a key part of Sky's festive slate, which also includes other original Christmas movies in A Christmas Number One and the video game-inspired 8-Bit Christmas.

Last Train to Christmas is available to stream via Sky Cinema from 18 December.

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