Boogie Nights is such a masterfully crafted film that’s it’s hard to believe it is only Paul Thomas Anderson’s second directorial effort. Grantland’s oral history of the movie has a lot to absorb about what happened behind the scenes of the production, including some really interesting tidbits about Burt Reynolds’ uncontrollable temper. Perhaps, one of the more compelling segments of the piece, though, is how the infamous closing scene — which shows Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) exposing his massive member in front of a mirror — was constructed. Special makeup effects supervisor, Howard Berger, explained how the prosthetic dong was created:
We started creating the prosthetic by building a wire frame armature and then sculpting the penis in clay. And then we took a three-piece plaster mold and split it right down the center so it was one side, one side, and then there was a back plug that had the core that created the receptacle in the testicles.
That’s right, ladies. That’s not really little Wahlberg. Berger explained how they fit it to Marky Mark’s, uh, “anatomy”:
We sculpted a version that was 12 inches long, and we tested it and it was just way too big. It looked just like a weird monster penis. The next one was seven inches; that was the penis we went with. One of our artists, Garrett Immel, sculpted this penis to be slightly erect and with the testicles and everything. We made a core that created a void that Mark could put his own anatomy into. And so we’d give that to Mark and he would go in the bathroom and he’d do that and he’d come out and Garrett would glue it all down. We had a little merkin, a very finely made wig that somebody actually ties one hair at a time into this very fine lace. We took a pattern around that area around the penis and tied that lace piece and matched the color to Mark’s hair. That was the final thing. We spent two weeks making the penises.
P. T. Anderson’s newest film, Inherent Vice, releases this week. I’ll be first in line for the film because his work is amazing, and because I don’t mind staring at rubbery monster dongs.