The team worked on the design for nearly nine months ahead of the film's production to ensure that every single detail was right for the story. "It was a very long process," Shane Mahan, project supervisor and make-up effects for the creature. "It was a lot of trial and error, and a lot of experimentation. The challenge was that he had to be a creature that the lead actress could fall in love with without making him look completely loveable or completely over the top with those attributes. It was about the right balance of what was fantastical and what was attractive and what was horrifying and what was alluring. That's a difficult combination of things going on."
Once production started Mahan, Hill and their team spent three hours per day putting Jones into the costume pieces and makeup elements created from the final creature design. It was important to Mahan to build a suit that would keep the assembly time as short as possible while hiding how the costume elements came together. New pieces and additions were created and built throughout shooting as well, which added to the complication. Jones shot his scenes with a layer of one-inch latex covering his entire body, including, sometimes, his eyes. For Dennis Bernardi, visual effects supervisor, having an actual actor embody the role was essential for making the creature work.