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Babushka Boi

Malina Stearns talks pig prosthetics in A$AP Rocky’s ‘Babushka Boi’ video


TextAlex Peters

The make-up artist behind the Dick Tracy fantasyland looks tells us about her process

A$AP Rocky just dropped the video for his first single since being released from jail in Sweden last month and the rapper has come out swinging. The satirical, hyper-stylised video for “Babushka Boi” directed by Nadia Lee Cohen sees Rocky and his crew of bandits (played gleefully by A$AP Ferg, Schoolboy Q, A$AP Nast, and Kamil Abbas) engage in a cops and robbers escapade with a group of pig policemen (spoiler: they end up as hotdogs). 

Set in a fantasyland filled with Tommy guns and prohibition-era cars, Rocky and crew all sport distinctive looks – think Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy meets all your favourite horror tropes. There’s Rocky’s Freddy Krueger-esque facial scarring worn with the titular babushka scarf (a favourite of his). There’s A$AP Nast’s square, Frankenstein monster head; Schoolboy Q’s Ice-T hairstyle atop his veiny, alien head. Kamil Abbas pairs a tiny moustache with his supersized ears, while A$AP Ferg wouldn’t be out of place in the Hellmouth. These Loony Tunes looks come courtesy of FX and prosthetics artist Malina Stearns who worked closely with Lee Cohen to bring their imaginations to life. Drawing inspiration from Dick Tracy villains, the two took that spirit and exaggerated it. “It just needed to feel overly cartoonish,” Stearns says.

Overall, 10 characters were in prosthetics across the shoot, Stearns says and she worked with a team of artists to get everything done in time. “All of the prosthetics are from an amazing local company called RBFX. It was a lot of mixing and matching prosthetics to get the look (Lee Cohen) wanted. I even altered a few pieces. She gave me a little more free reign with the pigs and just told me she wanted them to be more than a nose and ears so I ordered a bunch of fat necks and faces and then mixed and matched to each actor.”

See all the brilliant looks for yourself below.

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