Lea Thompson on Middle-Aged 'Back to the Future' Makeup: 'No One's That Scared Seeing Me Now'

Kevin Polowy
Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

Lea Thompson adores the fact that Back to the Future is one of the most beloved movies of the 1980s. But there’s another reason the actress, now 56, celebrates the contemporary classic about a time-traveling teen Marty McFly that made her a major star in 1985.

“I’m really happy to be mostly known for a part that was great, and a part that I aged in, so no one’s that scared seeing me this age,” Thompson told Yahoo Movies during a Facebook Live interview (watch in full below) while promoting her new directorial effort, The Year of Spectacular Men. “It’s like, ‘We’ve already seen you that age. And you look a little better, so it’s OK.‘”

With a few major credits already to her name (Jaws 3-D, All the Right Moves, Red Dawn), Thompson was 23 when she took on the role of Lorraine Baines/Lorraine McFly, mother to Michael J. Fox‘s adolescent wannabe rock star. The first time we see her, of course, is present day 1985, and 47-year-old Lorraine McFly is depressed, unfit, and boozes too much. (Though she’ll look much better once Marty alters the course of history, avoiding 17-year-old Lorraine Baines’s romantic advances in the process, in 1955.)

“They did the best they can, it’s hard to do that kind of makeup,” said Thompson, who sat through three-to-four hours of prosthetic applications a day while on set (or as she exaggerated during the interview, “A hundred years”).

“That’s why they do it in CGI,” Thompson said of the aging techniques that have become so common in movies lately. “That makeup is just hard.”

Watch Yahoo Movies’ full Facebook Live interview with Lea Thompson: 

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