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Colored Contact Lenses

I have a problem. I cannot un-see the colored contact lenses they are putting on actors in certain shows.

The new Shogun is absolutely amazing and I am loving every minute of it. But it only took me one scene to be distracted by the contacts they put on Cosmo Jarvis.

Now, I know why they do it. They need to highlight the character’s whiteness—the “blue-eyed samurai.”

In the new Max show, The Sympathizers, both main characters wear them:

It must be confounding to producers to land on the perfect casting—either creatively or financially or both—and then have to deal with eye color of all things.

But sometimes you need a character to stand out racially; or to blend in with other family members (Edward James Olmos in Battlestar Galactica); or to resemble a real person (the Spielberg kid in The Fabelmans) or a famous fictional person (Brandon Routh in Superman Returns)—or all of the above.

But the way the colored contacts sit atop the eyes—they always stick out. And we’re so drawn to actors’ eyes, they ALWAYS LOOK FAKE.

Making light eyes dark is not a problem. They did that to the teen version of Melanie Lynsky in Yellowjackets and I didn’t even notice.

It’s the other way around that sticks out. And with all the incredible VFX, I would imagine doing it digitally would cost a fortune and still look terrible.

So we have these incredible shows and they still all look like this to me—

This is just as I’ve become less annoyed by British actors doing bad American accents—Succession convinced me it’s possible.

At least we’re no longer in the era of the football-helmet toupee:

I do remember reading that when they cast Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, they considered putting contacts on her brown eyes, but chose against it.

I don’t think anybody ever noticed.

This reminds me of a story I read of the development of the Apple laptop. The way the Apple logo lies on the back of the monitor, you actually have to open the thing up on what looks like the “wrong” side—the top of the apple—for the apple to be facing the “right” way on the back of the laptop when you use it.

Steve Jobs was seriously considering just having the apple be upside-down when one of his team said, no no no: once you teach people to open it on the “wrong” side once, they’ll do it, and never care again. But if you do it the other way, it will be wrong all the time.

That’s what these contacts look like to me. Instead of being wrong once—and we accept it—they’re wrong every time we see the fake-looking lenses.

But it’s not the worst thing in the world!

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3 comentários

The worst contacts I've seen were the ones worn by Brent Spiner in the 1st season of PICARD.

Lukas Kendall
Lukas Kendall
21 de abr.
Respondendo a

Yeah but at least he was supposed to be an android!


Scott McIntyre
Scott McIntyre
20 de abr.

Chris Pine and William Shatner have different color eyes. But they played the same person.

No backlash.

Well, not over THAT anyway. 🤣

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