Anna Bogutskaya in conversation with Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne, Julia Vernon, Sian Miller, Alessandro Bertolazzi, Love Larson, Donald Mowat, Eva von Behr, Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram, Justin Raleigh, Frederic Aspiras, Goran Lundstrom, Jana Carboni, Sarah Nicole Tanno and Giuliano Mariano
Anna Bogutskaya: Good afternoon everyone, thank you so much for coming out today. My name is Anna Bogutskaya and I’m going to be your host for this afternoon’s session focusing on Hair and Makeup Design, supported by Lancôme. I’m going to take a seat. So a few housekeeping bits before we start. As you may be aware already, this is part of a series of fourteen sessions that celebrates the nominees of this year’s EE British Academy Film Awards. Before we bring in our first guest, please join the conversation online using the hashtag #EEBAFTAs, you can tweet and Instagram your heart out as we keep going. We will be inviting our guests to join us in two separate groups, and there will be a chance for you to ask all the nominees about their work after we have a little chat. So as we’re conversing, as we’re having a chat think of questions because there will always be a chance for you to ask them in person. So we’re lucky enough to have the nominees from all the nominated films in this category joining us today either virtually or in person. So joining us virtually first of all are the nominees for Dune. We’ve got Love Larson, the prosthetics designer for Stellan Skarsgård, Donald Mowat, hair designer and make up department head, and Eva von Behr, prosthetic make up designer for Stellan Skarsgård. Welcome.
Donald Mowat: Welcome.
AB: And from The Eyes of Tammy Faye, we have Linda Dowds, make up department head and personal make-up artist for Ms Chastain and Mr Garfield, Stephanie Ingram, the hair department head and personal hair stylist for Ms Chastain, and Justin Raleigh the special make up effects creator. Thank you so much for joining us.
A little later on we’ll be joined by the teams from Cruella, Cyrano and House of Gucci. But first of all let’s start with some questions for the team behind Dune and before we begin we’ve got a little clip from the film to take a look at.
So Donald I want to start with you, and you were the Head of Department for Make Up, Prosthetics and Hairstyling for Dune. Can you briefly talk us through your approach to beginning to design the film and how did you come to work with Love and Eva?
DM: It was a very long process. I guess for the purpose of this nutshell explanation… A lot of work went into it very early on. We knew getting the biggest make up settled early on, no pun intended, with the Baron, I knew that Love and Eva were the people for this and I’d worked with Denis a number of times. It was very exciting there was a possibility of having a practical make up, a really practical prosthetic make up play in this film. And that we had the time. I think it’s fair to say to people that not all films have that time and money and a director who’s really open and willing to try and experiment, which was the way he saw it. So he loved our initial explanation, which was Dr. Moreau and Marlon Brando and that we could create a very scary, menacing character and I knew Love and Eva in Stockholm who were the people who together with Stellan, who’s such an enthusiastic actor, were the people who would be able to collaborate with me and with us, with Denis Villeneuve, and do this. I called Love I think from Santa Monica, right, in January and said I think this all makes sense, all adds up, and that’s how I would go if I were in charge of the world and that’s kind of what happened.
AB: And Love and Eva, the prosthetics are such a huge part of it and it’s so interesting to hear Donald mention how exciting it was to be quite practical about things too. Can you talk us through the look of the Harkonnens in particular and how did you achieve that menacing element?
Love Larson: The look of the Harkonnens is really Donald and what we contributed with was the Baron’s look. He was the first Harkonnen that we started to evolve in planning the look for. I think the important part of making this wasn’t all about the prosthetics at all, it was to make a character that would fit into the world that Denis and Donald and Patrice and Jaqueline and Bob created. It was never really about prosthetics, it was finding a character that was believable, menacing and that would kind of stay with the audience throughout the movie.
Eva von Behr: And I mean, it was also, I think it started off being a smaller thing and then it evolved and it got bigger and bigger and all of a sudden Stellan was completely covered in prosthetics. His face, it’s his upper lip and his nose, otherwise he’s completely covered in prosthetics. I think it just grew and just became a huge, huge make up.
AB: Could you talk a little bit about how you collaborated with Denis and with Stellan on growing and evolving this look?
LL: Maybe that one would go to Donald because he’s the guy on top of everything and works closely with Denis. We work with Stellan, of course, but then us and Donald were discussing all the time how to create this character and to find the right character for this world that Denis had in his mind. I think Donald can answer that more than I can.
DM: Thanks Love. I think—did I unmute myself. I think it’s really important in a film like this the collaboration. It’s very much a part of, I know every film we talk about it, but I think in a Denis Villeneuve film it’s an unusually rarefied—like Jacqueline West and Bob Morgan on costumes working together, and Greg Fraser shooting it. But we worked together with Stellan and how Love and Eva and I talked about it; once Stellan was approved, once the idea, and it got bigger. It started off, and I kind tricked Love and Eva a bit. Let’s be transparent here, I sort of said ‘well, it’s going to be a little bit of this and a bit of chest and a neck.’ And it is, but Denis starts smaller, everything in Denis’ world is based in reality and anchored in reality and once he saw this could be a practical effect, and Warner Brothers thought it would no longer be a digital character, Denis was very impressed and very excited by the work that was being done. But also it enabled me to design the rest of the Harkonnens because once your principal artists like Stellan and Dave Bautista are designed, you then can figure out what the background and the crowd will look like based on it. It’s very helpful once you’ve locked that in. But it did start a very small, as Eva said, it changed, I added a chest, who knew I mean, but that’s what happens!
AB: Donald if I can stay with you. There’s been a lot of love for Timothée’s hair in the film. I wanted to ask you what was your approach for his look and especially as we go through different environments in the film?
DM: The thing for me about hair in a movie like this is people say it’s not really a hair film… Yes its’ not and it is, because doing very little in the world of make up and hair, and what I’ve learned and most of us here, talk to anybody here, less is more is very complicated, it’s very difficult. We have some great people here who understand that. Timmy’s hair is—to control it earlier on we wanted it to look very boyish and the idea when you first see him and he wakes up and he’s a young man and he does look like a boy. As he progresses there's a kind of interesting transformation very suddenly of the hair looks like a lion’s mane, he becomes a man and the heir to this household once his father the Duke Leto is gone. But I would literally stand him in front of the effects boys at the studio and turn the fans on him. There’s something with a Denis film you cannot get caught up in continuity; you cannot get caught up in touch-ups or you’ll send him over the edge. Because you have to recreate dust and dirt and wind, so I just thought what are we going to do? Sea salt spray and Cheryl worked very hard at maintaining, but there’s a point where you’re never really going to match because there’s a point where you’re outside in Jordan for seven weeks, then you’re inside. The one thing that had to stay the same was the pale of Timmy and Rebecca, but Timmy’s hair developed and he got this sort of mane like a lion and he grew up and oddly enough Rebecca turned more girlish. Something kind of funny about that, that I loved.
AB: And for the desert people, how did the blue eye effect work with your make up, knowing they would be added in post?
DM: Well I’m so glad you asked because the other day Denis and I reminisced because the only character who had contact lens fitting was Zendaya, just because by OCD kicked in and I thought yeah but she’s in all these you know, she’s in all of these visions of Timmy, and you think well why wouldn’t—I would dream of Zendaya.
AB: We all do!
DM: So we did and of course, Denis said to someone the other day and I didn’t know if I should be offended or not, but he said Oh for God’s sake if we had done contact lenses we’d still be shooting Dune. Absolutely right. There were no contact lenses, full transparency, and Paul Lambert created the colour, I just kept saying it’s something like Elizabeth Taylor, it’s the colour of her eyes, that’s what it is. He did a great test, he Photoshopped and showed us a clip of Javier Bardem to show us what the eyes would look like. It’s a little bit tricky doing people’s make up like Zendaya and Javier Bardem where you’re putting black kohl, imagining blue eyes on a brown eyed person. But we figure it out and Paul did a great job with everyone’s eyes. I swear if we had done contact lenses, we would still be shooting.
AB: Thank you so much for that. We’re going to move on now to the team behind The Eyes of Tammy Faye. But before we do we’ve got a little clip from the film.
Linda, I know that this film has been described as a real passion project for Jessica Chastain, and I heard that she’d been working on it for several years before it actually happened, Can you talk a little bit about how you came on board with the process?
Linda Dowds: Yeah, I’ve actually had, you know, I’m in a fortunate place where I’ve worked with Jessica, I think we’re on our sixteenth project right now. So when the film was initially going to go, we were working together and we started to have dialogue about the project. Then it went away for a little while and I think it did that about three times. So we kind of had some ideas and then when we realised it had solidly landed as much as anything solidly lands in our business, we again, we were working so we had the opportunity to talk through a lot of stuff, I was able to do a lot of research and pull things together that way, and that makes for a fortunate thing because as everybody’s working long hours it’s really helpful to be in the same place, the same trailer, and be able to reference things in real time.
AB: Staying with you Linda but also kind of to Stephanie, when you were approaching the character of Tammy Faye, obviously based on a real person who had a very specific public persona and public image, how did you make sure to steer away from some of the stereotypical associations with Tammy?
Stephanie Ingram: Basically doing research, Googling, watching her videos. Trying to get as much information, photos and just watching over and over again with Jessica because she wanted to be on point with all the specific looks. It was a fun ride and like Linda said we’ve been working with Jessica, this was our sixteenth film, so it’s great to have that collaboration all the time when you’re working on projects like The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
LD: And if I could just interject just one moment, that was super important to us. We all have the same goal. There’s a whole generation of people that have seen the late night sketches from late night shows like Saturday Night Live who have a real specific image of what Tammy Faye looked like. We wanted to give her that larger than life look but we never wanted to cross the line into caricature, so that was a real focus for us and we, we held that with us every single day and take a look and go are we at the line but not crossing it? It was a very important element of the work.
AB: That absolutely comes through in the film I think. For all of you, what techniques did you use to shape Tammy Faye as we see her age through the decades?
Justin Raleigh: I can answer some of that, I mean a lot of what you see with Jessica and Andrew is over half or two thirds of their face is covered in prosthetics. To control continuity, one just the anatomical aspect of what the changes we wanted to see with Tammy, it was always her cheeks and jaw with, and her nose tip; with Andrew it was in creating his nasolabial folds and other parts of weight in his face. But to control the aging aspect, each sort of timeline milestone we have a whole new prosthetic look that we would transition them into. So we had three different stages: stage one being the most subtle which kind of carries us from the 1960s to the end of the ‘70s, early ‘80s. Then mid- ‘80s we transition, they both had weight gain and they’d aged. We transitioned to a stage two prosthetic which now covers their pretty much most of the lower half of their face and neck. And stage three which was the oldest look, which was the 1990s, they were extensively covered in prosthetics at that point.
AB: Would you like to add anything to that, Stephanie or Linda?
LD: I think for us we had those base three stages which is great but that also covered a lot of time so it allowed us to play in the in-between and you know really get into—Tammy was very matchy, matchy with her looks. She liked to put together her wigs with her kind of wardrobe or costume, her nails, her make up. So we had a lot of changes in there, but we had those three core elements. In the younger stage when she was at Bible college, she was one of the few people who was wearing make up in that evangelical Christian Bible school, it was quite unusual. We had a much softer look there, but she definitely had make up on. Then when we went to sort of the middle ground, that’s where we saw—she loved colours, she wore lots of pink and her hair often you’d see her in a blonde tone. Everything was lighter and the colours were definitely more fun and fresh. Then when we hit the later stage she got darker and she tattooed on some elements, her lip liner, her eyeliner, her eyebrows. And the tones took on much more purples and reds and her hair colour was like that and her wardrobe was like that, lots of blacks. We had those core elements but we were able to play a lot in those elements and really have some fun with that, which was great.
AB: We’ve got some time for audience questions for both the teams, so if anyone in the audience has some questions please raise your hand and there will be a microphone that will reach you. There’s a question right there in the middle, thank you sir.
Question: Hi, this is a question for Donal and Love and Eva. Particularly with the Baron did you get pushback from production on the idea of doing prosthetics, because they often want to do the CGI route to start with. Or were they quite open to your suggestion.
AB: I’m just going to repeat the question because I think they can’t hear you through the microphone. The team Dune, did you get any pushback for the character of the Baron for wanting to use prosthetics?
DM: To be honest with you actually to the credit of Denis Villeneuve and Legendary and Warner Brothers, Mary Parent, all of them… Once they saw the initial work that when Love and I started talking and concept drawings. When they saw the very initial thing Love and Eva had worked on with Stellan, they were absolutely convinced this could be a practical make up and there was no push back at all, so we’re all very thankful for that, but I’ll let Love and Eva add to that if you would like.
LL: There was a point where we did EPK and one lady from Legendary who I don’t know, and she said when they saw the first test footage for this, the first camera test, someone from Legendary had said oh how quickly they made the CG character. That was kind of—they thought it would be a CGI character to begin with but obviously we had to work with Donald and Denis to make this prosthetic a practical make up. That was amazing, I think especially having an actor who was close to seventy when he started, it’s kind of a tough ride to do that six or seven hour make up and be naked in this full body prosthetic suit and prosthetic pieces, this muscle suit and fat suit and the cooling vest. It’s not easy, you can’t build it in five minutes. It’s a bit complicated, so I’m grateful to Stellan as well that he wanted to do it as a practical make up.
AB: Do we have more questions from the audience in the room? OK, I’ve got a couple more if you’re feeling shy but do think of some. For the team behind Tammy Faye, I’m wondering considering how you’ve been collaborating for so long with Jessica and on so many different projects, and how personal the project was for her as well, how much did you—how does that collaboration look like, especially considering how much material was out there? How much could you create of Tammy Faye vs. how much did you want to be realistic to the human being of whom there was so much footage and so much character as well?
LD: I think, you know we all watched the footage of Christian Broadcast Network, their PTL club. It was also based on The Eyes of Tammy Faye documentary, and Tammy in particular tells us a lot about herself. So we always went for the authenticity and in the movie we have a Nightline interview with Ted Koppel, the Steve Peters interview was a very real moment. Outside the courthouse. There were lots of real elements we referenced and wanted to get as close to that as possible. Wherever we could we always went for that authentic moment as opposed to kind of—there was a way, she showed us the way and we followed that, even when we had a little bit of liberty to play.
AB: We talked about how lengthy the process is of applying all the make up for Stellan in Dune, but can you talk a little bit about what the process looked like for Jessica and Andrew?
JR: Sure, prosthetically we were shooting continuous days on this so we basically shot a twelve-hour day with a walking lunch just to kind of deal with time in the chair. And myself and the team and Stephanie we all really worked in tandem to really cut down the amount of time in the chair and clean up at the end of the night. In the early stage we were about two and a half hours all in, and that includes hair, make up, prosthetics which was about an hour of that process, that included costume as well. When we got to stage two the time increased, there’s obviously more coverage, she’s gained some weight, we now have a neck prosthetic, larger cheek pieces. The same for Andrew, they aged and prosthetically transitioned in a very similar way. That was about three hours, maybe a little bit over on certain days. Then when we get to the latter days we were pushing four hours, and when I say four hours, that’s all in, that’s hair, make up, body suit and costume, all of that. We really tried to keep it as tight and confined as possible. In a lot of cases we worked in tandem with each other so there was multiple artists working on Jessica or Andrew to get them through that process. Efficiency was key and planning was key among the three of us to make sure when we were coming into whatever day it was we knew which look it was going to be and then how many transitions of that look, especially with Jessica Linda and Stephanie would have to change eye make-up, lips, nails, wigs, and myself and the team would be adjusting the prosthetics to help kind of tie it all together every time we would make those transitions. That also dictated how we built the prosthetics, as well. Some days she would have three or four different eye make up changes, so we were limited in what we could do prosthetically just to be able to deal with the time factor we had every single day.
AB: Thank you so much for that insight. Do we have more questions from the audience, perhaps? If you’re feeling very shy, I can go on. I did have another question for Donald about Dune. We’ve spoken extensively about Fremen and the blue eyes, but I wondered if there’s any other character or other element that was particularly challenging and I wondered perhaps if you could elaborate on that?
DM: I would say do you know for everybody here we all work towards the same thing of a make-up and hair—I think there’s a lot of characters we don’t always get enough time to prepare or camera test. Certainly Dave Bautista is an actor I’ve worked with a few times before, which I’m very thankful because I didn’t have a camera test. I didn’t have a camera test with Javier Bardem. Those are harder make ups where they come in, turn up a day or two before. Everybody here on the panel has done this, we’ve all had to experience that. So I think without saying oh poor me because it’s just what we do now, our business has evolved, it’s changed not necessarily in a way that’s good for us, but you know getting Dave Bautista the night before and figuring out eyebrow covers and covering all his tattoos the night before he works, you really have to be ready. We had an hour and a half. I would say the challenges are sometimes in the smaller, less obvious make up, maybe. The Harkonnens were a challenge in terms of the colour and the paint and the theatricality of it. I’m trying to think what else, tattoos on the men. Things that don’t have a lot of prep time or don’t’ seem very obvious would probably be the top on my board for creating anxiety. David Dastmalchian ended up in a bald cap sort of by accident and it ended beautifully and we had, you know, great people apply it and make it for us but it was just because he was cast in Suicide Squad at the last minute and couldn’t shave his head. So much to Denis’ dismay we felt we could have Steve build a cap for us while we were in LA and do a test and that’s kind of what happened there. Yeah, there were lots of little things but I think all of us feel that now; we don’t have enough camera tests, we don’t meet the actors with enough time to prepare anymore. That’s been happening, I don’t know, I’ve been feeling that for a number of years. So I think that’s a challenge for all of us now.
AB: Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and your insight. Can we please get from the people in the room a round of applause for our guests from Dune and The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
Thank you so much for joining us, and we now can welcome our next batch of guests. So in person joining us from Cruella we’ve got Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon if you want to join me on the stage here. And from Cyrano please continue applauding for Siân Miller. We’ll also be joined virtually in a few moments by Alessandro Bertolazzi from Cyrano as well, the make up head, and by the team behind House of Gucci, Giuliano Mariano the hair designer, Sarah Nicole Tanno, the make up artist for Lady Gaga and Frederic Aspiras, the hair style artist for Lady Gaga.
But let’s start with you first, you’re here in person! So Nadia, you’ve previously worked with Emma on The Favourite and can you talk a little bit about how you got involved with Cruella, with the project itself, and what it was about it that made you say yes you want to do this.
Nadia Stacey: I was at home on a Saturday night making my dinner and Emma phoned and said do you want to do Cruella for Disney. That’s a no brainer answer, really. So I kind of mid-dinner went yes, and then I was kind of doing it, I didn’t have the script, didn’t know who was directing it at that time or anything. Yeah, and then quickly the ball started rolling and meeting Craig our director and yeah.
AB: What were some of the first elements that fell into place with this new look, this new Cruella?
NS: I think the main thing was because we were an origin story that we weren’t shackled to anything we’d seen before. It became really apparent to me from really early on that because Craig Gillespie had come from a kind of offbeat, indie world of filmmaking, that he really wanted to make a ‘70s punk movie. I think that gave me a lot of comfort because the weight’s not actually on your shoulders. When I look back now, I think it’s a really iconic Disney character and it’s huge but at the time it just felt like we were going to make another ‘70s indie movie. I kind of approached it in that way really. What also became really apparent was that hair and make-up was actually used as such a—it’s almost like its own character, because she uses it to disguise herself all the time. Right from the beginning she’s hiding behind the black and white hair; right from the beginning she’s stealing or with her friends, so she’s using disguises so there’s lots of wigs. Then she’s creating another persona to hide from the Baroness. So I really realised that using hair and make up in this was going to allow us the space to create something very different for our version.
AB: Can you talk a bit about some of the inspiration, the references that you used for Cruella? This is also for all of you really.
Naomi Donne: Well I came along with Emma Thompson who asked me to do this. I started pulling images of what I thought this woman might become and then I went to see Nadia. And she gave me a lot of reference she felt was in the world she was creating, and there were a lot of overlaps. We were very much on the same page. It’s interesting as a designer I’m usually just a designer and it’s great to work with another designer, you don’t often get that chance. So you can nick all their ideas!
Which I did! Anyway, and so I had all these references and she was very much a woman that had seen her time and it was coming to an end and there’s this whole new era that’s epitomised by Cruella. The Baroness was stuck sort of in the ‘50s, ‘60s where she’d been this massive success and it was all fading away. I put her make up in that period, which was a very done, very regimented, very glamorous but traditional glamorous look, really. I started out and had this idea that she would look like Elizabeth Taylor. Started there with this very simple piece on top of her head and then it just grew, a bit like Donald’s make up.
Julia Vernon: I was going to say!
ND: A bit like Donald’s piece.
JV: She’s referenced two films there, hasn’t she!
ND: Yeah! Donald’s got bigger and bigger, and so did her hair. Her hair just got bigger and bigger, taller and taller until she could hardly get out the make up bus and going to the toilet was a massive problem. Anyway, these ideas come from talking to Nadia and everything I did I ran by her because it’s really difficult when you’re designing a film and one of the lead actors comes in with their own make up artist. You have to sort of pray they’re going to collaborate and be on the same page. And because I’ve designed and been in that situation I was very aware we had to be in the same world. I had to enter the world she was designing, really.
NS: That was so useful for me, though, because I feel like those two lead characters operate in very separate worlds. One in this chaotic punk world, one very sculptured and perfected, 1950s. So to have someone look after that other person solely, was great. It was amazing, really helpful.
ND: Sometimes it’s good to have another eye, isn’t it? If it’s someone you completely trust each other, which you have to do if you’re designing something that’s a big design concept like this film was, it’s nice to trust each other because you have a safety net then. If it looks a bit dodgy, it doesn’t matter if she’s gone ‘mate that looks a bit dodgy,’ you know you trust them and it’s a great feeling to have that security. It gives you the freedom to go a bit mad because there’s someone there who will stop you going too far or push you to go a bit further. It’s really exciting when you have that relationship.
NS: There was lots of have we gone too far conversations!
ND: We didn’t go far enough, push it a bit more!
AB: And you know you speak about Elizabeth Taylor being a reference for old school 1950s glamour for the Baroness, was there such a key reference for Cruella herself?
NS: Yeah there’s a German singer Nina Hagen and there was a picture, I don’t know where it came from but we all had it, it was up on the wall and there was something about this kind of spirit of her that was very Estella and that was the basis of Estella, definitely. For Cruella, the references ranged from all over the place. There was a lot of drag references, I felt. Because how a drag artist creates a completely different person using wigs and essentially kind of powder and paint on their face was what I needed to do. I’d previously done a film set in that world and I felt I was taking those tools into it. There was definitely a lot of that, Blondie, Siouxsie Sioux, I just wanted –I kind of immersed myself in the world where Estella would be: What’s she reading, what’s she listening to and you know, what’s in fashion at that time. Obviously in ’77 punk was huge and was changing and the fashion was changing massively in London so a lot of those references came from there.
AB: We’ve got a clip from Cruella.
I love that make up so much. Julia, I wanted to bring in, with we’ve kind of talked about the different types of references. Can you talk a bit about your visual inspirations for the ensemble?
JV: I’m taking on—Nadia does a lot of the research and the references, she had a lot of mood boards of the period and then you know, contemporary images for—we’re doing this eighteenth Century ball but set in the ’60s so lots of interesting mashups of that. We created a lot of wigs that way with that sort of ‘60s feel. I’ve said it before but it’s a bit like the Hammer House of Horror and when you watch it whatever period they’re shooting, whether it's Victorian, Georgian, it’s always with a ‘70s feel about it. That’s what those wigs were on that film really, ‘60s make ups with sort of eighteenth century… Yeah so we just had, I think Nadia had all the references and research and we were allowed to run with it really.
NS: She says that very lightly, there wasn’t a person that sat in those chairs in the crowd room that wasn’t, their look pushed completely. It was amazing wasn’t it?
ND: I couldn’t believe it when the crowd came out and they looked so much better than Emma, my God. I’ve never seen… I told you that.
JV: I know you did; I know you did. I mean I’ve said it and they should have all the credit as well, but I’ve got an amazing team that’s worked for years for me and they’re just brilliant. Again you have them all there and you say this is, let’s go with that, go with this, and they were given wigs to dress. Apart from the black and white wigs, that was a specific sort of brief, but yeah, you allow them to also express themselves which is great. They’re all so talented so you just trust them and let them get on with it and guide them if they have questions, yeah. Just a bit of guidance!
AB: With this wild array of wigs and designs how hard is it? Is it a real challenge to keep continuity?
JV: I’ve never particularly worried too much about continuity because they are background a lot of the time. Less so in this film, you see them a lot actually. Generally, in films they are there but you don’t you know, most people aren’t looking at them they’re looking at the cast so I don’t worry too much about continuity. Yeah I mean it’s quite hard to keep on top of that when we were moving around so much. We did a lot at Shepperton and then we were on the road a lot. Yeah, you keep an eye on it. We do fitting sheets, take photographs, but it’s not something i—
NS: We were lucky though because a lot of those big moments that you see were one-offs, thank goodness. Created those make ups and went actually we’ll never be able to do that again, so it was they were one night, one make ups. A lot of the make ups Emma had on her face were one time only so we were pretty much—
JV: Because there were so many of them! So many!
NS: We were kind of lucky it was those pop up moments really.
AB: We’re not supposed to pick favourites, but do you have a particular look or moment or character that you think is your favourite, or perhaps the most challenging one to design?
NS: I really loved Artie because for Disney to have a gender fluid character as well was amazing and for it to be that era as well. I was really kind of listening to a lot of glam rock and obviously Bowie was a big inspiration there and T-Rex and Roxy Music and stuff like that, so he was really fun to do. When John sat in the chair and I went I kind of want to bleach your eyebrows out, he went yeah go for it, do whatever you want! It was fun to play with those looks every time you see him. It’s always hard to choose a favourite. I love Emma in the crown wig because I feel like she’s got to a stage in her development of she’s really brave in her looks, we changed the colours a lot. At that point she’s locked the Baroness in the car so it’s like she’s the new queen on the block so she’s here with a crown on her head to show that. I was really excited by that point, yeah.
ND: I like her first look a lot. I didn’t think I’d be able to pull off that whole look at all. That first look where there’s that slight Elizabeth Taylor feel. I didn’t think she’d look good dark, Craig wanted her dark and I fought it a bit because it’s very hard to have dark hair on a woman of a certain age. I felt it would not flatter her. But he was completely right, so when I did that, we did this wig and a piece on the top and I thought Emma looked pretty good and I thought wow she just looked so lovely and she looks, I mean she looked great and she looked like this woman, this Baroness. She comes out the car with these dark glasses on and it was quite a moment I thought. You know sometimes you don’t believe you’ve done it—how did I do that?! That was the beginning of the story and as you get to know a character everything grows, so you can develop them. I loved the white wig with the bows that matched the dress, and I loved it because she had £500,000 of diamonds in that wig. De Beers came in and said can you put this somewhere? We had security guards, it was a chain of diamonds that we sewed into the wig and we were followed everywhere! I could’ve bought that at John Lewis, but it happened and you wouldn’t know, but they were real!
NS: It gives me palpitations just thinking about that.
AB: Thank you all so much, we’ll have some time for questions in a bit. But I want to move on to Siân Miller, hair designer from Cyrano and also on the screen we’ve got Alessandro Bertolazzi, the make up designer for Cyrano. Before I ask a couple of questions we’ve got a clip from the film.
So for both of you really, this is the first time you worked with Joe on a project, is it not?
Siân Miller: Yeah.
AB: And can I ask you how did he convince you to come on board this new interpretation of Cyrano?
SM: Personally there was no convincing! It’s a Joe Wright film, it’s a period film with a great cast and I was very excited. I’ve always been a big fan of his movies and the whole premise I was extremely excited about doing it and making it in Sicily. I’d not worked with Alessandro before so yeah there was no convincing. There was a yeah I’m happy, I’m packing my bag! That was how it came about. Alessandro?
Alessandro Bertolazzi: For me it started the same. I was looking forward to working with Joe Wright. He’s an incredible artist, full of knowledge about the idea and it was amazing. The idea of working on a project in the eighteenth Century was absolutely a dream for me, yes. Definitely it was absolutely easy to say yes, I wanted to do it, it was simple.
AB: And I’m curious how do you approach a project, a story that’s been adapted so many times over, across so many different genres from comedy to more dramatic to stage and screen in many ways. How did you approach it with your own ideas and kind of did you try to keep it, bring something particularly new to it, or did you have a lot of references you kept in the back of your mind as you worked on it?
Alessandro Bertolazzi: I’m going to start first. It’s eighteenth Century, it feels simple because everything, you take, you put the weight, you put the fake white face, the blush and stuff but this is too simple. The art galleries are full of incredible references but even that is not right because it’s just glossy painting. I was obsessed with something real, something authentic. But this is another problem, because if you want to do something real, something authentic you do something like a documentary. I don’t want to do this. I want to do something you feel it; you feel the spell of this century of this man of these crazy people. We found another way. We’d been at Noto this incredible part of Sicily so we got a lot of inspiration. We got inspiration from everything, me and Sean we got this inspiration from the production designer, from the music. And then when you’d been surrounded, and we copycat a lot of this process because we’d been forced to stay all together like in a cage and we got a lot of ideas, we played like kids. This has grown the creativity has been fed and is growing, growing, growing until we did what we did. Is that clear, I’m not sure?
SM: Joe’s brief was very—I’m reticent to watch, I’m working on something at the moment where there was quite a big film version of it before and I think I’m always reticent to go back and look because it can really colour your approach. So obviously we’ve seen Cyrano has been adapted I don’t know, there was an article in The Guardian the other day and there’s fifty-seven films maybe. There’s many, many productions. But Joe, we knew already it had been written by Erica Schmidt for the stage, The National had already written the lyrics so we knew that was quite established, the approach to this adaptation. And Joe’s premise was very much that he wanted to create a fantasy of a period as well. So as much as we wanted to delve into the arts and you know, artists were patronized at that time, and look beneath to the reality behind the paintings to society and how society lived, we also knew we had a very free spectrum with in that from what Joe wanted. So we were able to cherry pick quite a broad period in terms of the history. As Alessandro rightly said, you know, we’re not approaching it from a documentary point of view, so that gave us freedom. And then with the three principle characters of Cyrano, Roxanne and Christian, we set them aside in their own kind of bubble as well. For the younger audiences, and it has proved to be quite popular, to make it more accessible to them. So that there’s almost a modernity to those three characters compared to the rest of the ensemble cast and the crowd. That was also an established standpoint for us to then move forward with.
AB: Can you talk a little bit about how you approached the look of Cyrano himself, of Peter’s hair and make-up?
SM: With his hair, what was really important was to try—he won’t mind me saying this but there’s a little bit of a disparity between the age of Peter Dinklage and Haley Bennett so we wanted to try and shrink that. Really what we wanted to do was to make him look very boyish. When I first met with him, I felt in a lot of roles he plays, and he says it himself with the shape of his physique, his head, his forehead etc. there’s certain ways of doing that with Peter. I created quite a youthful haircut, quite modern, quite boyish. It is quite modern but it also copes very well with he’s got very unruly hair so there’s a bit of an undercut in there, there’s a lot of disconnection to create something that looks uncontrived. I think Donald touched on it and we do it all the time, the less is more thing. There’s so much involved in what you don’t see as opposed to the really obvious. That was the approach really with Cyrano. And of course we played round with partings and aging for the end of the movie and I was able to use Peter’s natural hairline to great effect for that and just add some greys to then show that kind of transition of time to the end when, for those who haven’t seen it, he’s dying. That was certainly for the hair, yeah…
AB: What about from a make-up point of view?
Alessandro Bertolazzi: Yeah the make-up I was really not less is more, really less, less, less. I don’t do nothing on Peter’s Cyrano, we just decided the length of the beard and then there’s another stage in a war and this was different and the aging at the end. But for the majority of the movie it was just the length of the beard.
AB: There’s some major crowd scenes in the movie as well. Do you find it particularly challenging to approach these, especially with a limited budget?
SM: Yes, it was challenging and it was a limited budget, which we don’t generally talk about. I had a really amazing crowd supervisor and we both had Jennifer Harty who did a phenomenal job. Julia will say you know it often goes unsung, and a great team. We had hair and make up artists from the UK, also had Italians, we tend to separate the discipline. We had people from Malta, quite a European kind of feel about it. They worked incredibly hard; we had to make compromises with certain looks along the way which we sat down with Joe about. Literally when you can’t afford to have 500 wigs and you can afford to have fifty you have to come up with other ideas and be resourceful. You know, in general with COVID in a way it was a bit of an advantage to us. There was either design where you see commedia dell’arte masks, and the puppets you see at the beginning of the film were actually made by Joe Wright’s father who’s a very famous puppeteer and I think his mother Lindy made some of those masks, so it was all very… the heritage of that and that helped us with COVID, we literally were in the middle of the pandemic. With the COVID situation, wearing the masks and taking them on and off Alessandro will talk about that too but certainly what I wanted was for the hair to look hair and the wigs, the tie backs on the bourgeoise and the Marlborough’s on the aristocracy I wanted it to look like they were on and off like hats. Drop curls, powder that was kind of very patchy and just hairy. We see a lot of period films where the hair—Julia touched on this—where the hair is made in a certain decade and that often informs how people look and we’ve gone through a very tidy, neat period in period films and it was really nice to see hair. So that was very much a strong part of the brief. They worked really really hard but I think filming is challenging anyway, regardless. They did well.
AB: Did you want to add anything to that, Alessandro?
Alessandro Bertolazzi: Yes, it was incredible working on the crowd, my favourite part of the project honestly. I crazily decided to use two colours: only one make up colour, white for the audience and then only one for the lips. I wanted to see what it looks like and I was really impressed because they looked, everything different but linked with the same idea and they become all organic. It became a tableau vivant and then you can see that… And then I asked the team don’t do any touch ups, leave it to destroy the make-up, the sweating, the decay, and even the mask of the COVID breaking down everything. I want to see horrible, horrible make up like in the real people they do it. As you know in that time the people, the aristocrats used to paint his face the same colour the painter used for a painting and then he makes the skin completely crumble, disgusting. I want to see that; I want to see that. Then we achieved something pretty different because when I see the moving everything looked beautiful, I don’t know why they looked to beautiful but something magical happened and that’s the beauty of this job. Decide to do something simple and organic and become something different. When you do a movie like that one, a lot of audience and a lot of character and a lot of people—you’re limited about many situations like of course COVID and everything. You don’t think in one day you’re going to talk in a beautiful audience like this moment because I know already I’d become oh my God I’m going to die now. You try just to survive to the end of the day to bring the actors to the set and say I’m going to do everything the same colour and then in every brush we used the same colour. It was quite crazy and absolutely fun, absolutely fun. Again thank you to this incredible team who let us do this crazy job. I’m sure he saw something but if he saw something he doesn’t stop me; he probably never found me I ran away many times. He’s still looking for me!
AB: Thank you. Thank you so much Alessandro, thank you so much Siân. We’ll come back to both of you for audience questions in a bit but let’s give a warm welcome to the team from House of Gucci. We’ve got Sarah Nicole Tanno the make up artist for Lady Gaga and Frederic Aspiras, hairstyle artist for Lady Gaga joining us. Thank you so much.
Unfortunately, Giuliano Mariano who was due to join us, the hair designer, unfortunately has dropped off the call but thank you Frederic and Sarah. I want to start, because House of Gucci similarly to The Eyes of Tammy Faye are two of the projects who are nominated who have characters based on real life people, which carries its own particular set of challenges. How did you approach especially the character of Patrizia and in researching her and in making the look of her accurate?
Frederic Aspiras: So that is, the process with that took quite extensive research. We worked with Lady Gaga—we’ve been, Sarah and I have been working with Lady Gaga for fifteen years now and so with that one of the first obstacles was strip all of Lady Gaga’s iconography. Nine months before we started shooting, we sat down with her and talked about how she was going to go about playing this role. Patrizia Reggiani is not a famous person, nor does she have photos widely on the internet, so the task for Sarah and I was to create really authentic hairstyles and make up looks that would be so true to an Italian woman of that period, the ‘70s, ‘80s and the ‘90s. Another obstacle was our idea of what Italian women look like in America is different in the ‘70s because they were still going off a lot of the ’60s and carrying that look into the ‘70s and that was something that we found in a lot of the research that we did, watching movies from Visconti and Fellini and then talking to a lot of Italian women. My assistant in Italy was Italian and really got into the mind of what she told me, what her parents told me, what women looked like. Creating those looks that we couldn’t find of Patrizia as a young woman and then matching it up to a photo that we found of her as an older woman and trying to make that make sense in the story that was going to curate the looks with the emotion that Gaga was going to play. That was about all fine tuning and then with Sarah, she can talk about how her research became with that.
Sarah Tanno: It was really challenging because I’m sure all of you can share that doing a project like this in COVID had its own challenges. Frederic and I are used to working so closely together in person so we would have to spend like a good eight hours a day on the phone making this long, journalistic directory so that we would be organised because Ridley shoots so fast and out of order that we would have to make her on any given day forty years old and then back to twenty. And like, stripping the Lady Gaga out of everything really was the biggest challenge. We’ve seen her a million different ways and making her you know, taking her from young and innocent with barely any make up on her face. It was really about the way—Frederic had this really genius way of pulling her face to actually change the features and shaping her eyebrows differently and almost putting no make up on her face at all and just taking all the tattoos away. So she looked young and innocent, and then she gained all this power when she became in love with Maurizio and she was so strong and then as she started to lose him she became more dishevelled and unravelled and kind of unhinged. Really just aging her gracefully so it looked authentic and had a sense of realism and it wasn’t distracting. I felt really proud watching it back that I didn’t see Gaga on the screen and that means my actor was able to shine through and that’s a really proud moment.
FA: Also one of the biggest challenges is that she didn’t want to be engulfed in all this hair and make up and clothing and jewellery and feel like she has all these obstacles to go about immersing herself into the role because she lived, started really developing the character so early on and wanted to feel as real as possible so that when she got on camera it felt so free and so real for the audience. Our job was to provide her tools that wasn’t going to be hindering all of her work, her process. So the hair had to look as real as if it were growing from her scalp. Like Sarah said, I created this technique where I created this almost uh this really fine bald cap so you didn’t see the hair underneath and it wiped out all of her hair because she has a lot of hair and really thick Italian hair and then also when Sarah wanted to make her look older or younger, we created these kind of straps that would lift her face or drag her face down underneath the wig. Everything was hidden underneath so when she looked in the mirror after four hours of transforming into Patrizia, she can literally see Patrizia in the mirror. I don’t think she even looked in the mirror while we were doing it because she was focused on emulating the role and talking about her character in the scene that she really allowed us to really go for it. Like Sarah said, doing all her tattoo coverage was like three people on top of her, then me… It was such a process and almost like a lab we created in our trailer in Rome but you know, that process was very different from anything we’ve ever done before because it was completely immersed—she almost included us in her methodology. Because we had to do that in terms of going there with her, because when you look at the screen and you see her you don’t see a caricature of an Italian woman, you believe it is Patrizia. Then when you see a photo of the real Patrizia, it looks like it could possibly be her, so for our job was almost to kind of create this forensic board of what she would look like and then drawn out to a couple years later and age her slowly through a process that was very gradual and believable. Little fine things Sarah would do, without prosthetics, unbelievably, to make her look fuller, to make her look rounder and then I would use the hair, age the hair by over-processing it because we know the ‘80s were over-coloured and over-bleached and whatever and that was kind of what she looked like in real life. So I would over process the hair or over dye it to make it look like it would have been naturally, obviously.
AB: You’ve already hinted at it slightly but I’m wondering Sarah if you could expand a little bit on this journey, on how you designed this journey we see Patrizia go through. Her rise and her life with Maurizio and then her downfall eventually. How did you approach the design of the make up in that way to illustrate with it every moment that she’s going to and how it’s presenting itself on her face?
ST: I really, I had the joy of watching her rehearse her lines before she would go on set. We actually did a character analysis meeting with her like in the morning to go over what scene she was going to do. That way we would watch her in the mirror, how she was going to play the scene: Is she going to play the scene soft and hurt or is she going to be angry or upset? What was the vibe she was trying to translate? And then sometimes I would have to add or take away so the make up wasn’t distracting in any way. The real Patrizia had so many like little fine characteristics of her make up. It always looked really lived-in and kind of messy. Her lip liner was kind of horrendous; really sharp and never blended. I had to make her lips look smaller so they had the same shape as Patrizia. I really enjoyed being able to dive into a character like that or like a real person and make it come to life on screen. There’s a lot of challenges there because some of the other amazing artists touched on this earlier but knowing when to walk away and doing less is sometimes the hardest thing to do. This was something we had to do a lot in the film, also when she would go onto set there was no touching her up because she was so in the character. If she was crying and you know, continuity needed to do the same, I always just let her go because that’s what the scene needed. She just brought so much life to it, I felt like all I was there to do was to add to it and never take away.
Kind of creating this journey it was like we found all these pictures from her wedding on, but there really wasn’t anything before her wedding we could ever find. So we had to create her youth and Frederic found this reference of Gina Lollobrigida and she was really the most famous actress at that time so we used her heavily to reference the shape of her eyeliner; Italian women didn’t do their make up in an upward slant wing, it was always drawn really straight to elongate, more like Elizabeth Taylor the shape of the brows was different. In the ‘70s women were doing their make up more like Americans in the ‘60s, it wasn’t like what people think it was with the blue eyeshadow or anything. It really was doing less is more and making sure she aged gradually and it was never distracting.
AB: And Frederic, you mention—you alluded before to using over-bleaching some of the wigs to really fit within the era. Can you talk a little bit more about some of the techniques you used to keep the hair and the wigs era appropriate or relevant to how Italian women would style their hair at that time?
FA: I’ll touch on that first question, the process of aging the hair which I find if I see movies distracting is sometimes the hair doesn’t—it looks too young for an older woman. In order for her to really feel it’s realistic, I wanted to provide her like authentic texture to the wig. So I thought of you know, because looking at pictures of the real Patrizia as he got older her hair started to thing and she looked like she would have coloured her hair a lot herself, box dye probably because it was very over processed looking. So I didn’t want to go in there with brand new virgin hair that was made. I wanted to take it back and really take the wig a step further, just finding hair that looked older. I wanted it to look as if she had her hair done and it was, she did her hair herself and it was over-bleached or over-coloured. So the colour would be too—you know when you see over coloured hair and it looks super dyed and super dark and rich. But then I had to also play in mind that Ridley Scott was shooting in an ominous way, so creating highlights to kind of bring out the colour. Playing that and teetering with that to kind of find the balance to match up every emotion of every scene so that it felt real was one of the biggest things I really wanted to portray in this film with hair. That goes with even the techniques that I used. I come from a foundation of really my mother was a hairdresser and she taught me a really old foundation in hair styling where you know you don’t use a curling iron, wet set. Stay true to the bleach technique which we all do but sometimes we don’t do that. I wanted it to feel and move as if it felt in the ‘70s or the ‘80s and even the ‘90s. so I stated with, even used recycled products that Patrizia would use as Italian women, finding talking to a lot of the hairdressers that worked in Italy at that time and knowing what they used. Obviously they use products like we use today to create that texture, so finding those exact techniques and procedures to create these hairstyles so it feels of the time, so when you watch you feel like you’re okay I’m in 1978, or 1997. And you didn’t get lost, this was a huge story here you’re undertaking. It’s three decades and I was blessed with the job of you know, Patrizia had a lot of hairstyles apparently. Even with the ten pictures we had, Sarah, so many different hairstyles. It was like, ok, plus the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s we had so much to choose from so finding the right hairstyle that emulated and matched the intensity of the way that Lady Gaga was going to play each scene was kind of like curating the hairstyles and the make up and working with Janty Yates every single day to talk about the clothes and the earrings. It was so, so detailed and that influenced me and Sarah and I in our morning meeting sessions with her every single day talking about how we were going to finetune each look as we put her out on film.
AB: Thank you both so much. And we’ve been chatting to you about House of Gucci but we haven’t seen a clip, so let’s see a clip from the film and then we will move on to audience questions.
FA: That scene, every time! Our name, sweetie!
AB: Thank you all so much, it’s been a pleasure hearing about your experiences on the film. But we’ve got time for audience questions so anybody in the room has questions please stick your hand up and the microphone will find its way to you. There’s one right here in the front row.
Question: Hello. My question is for Nadia. We know that you research a lot for your films but do you have a process, where do you start? What’s your first go to when you start researching?
NS: Everything’s always in the script and I was fortunate enough that Tony McNamara had written The Favourite and wrote Cruella so it was kind of like being around an old friend where it’s in there, the detail’s in there but you’ve kind of got to find it, a bit like, like with ‘The Future’ make up for example it says in the script that the following day The Baroness is reading the paper and it says on it ‘Is Cruella the future?’ so you start to kind of break it down to figure out all these looks and what they’re going to be and yeah, for that it was kind of like how do I do that literally and just write that across her face. But yeah, it’s always in the script and if it’s a good script, the detail is in there. Tony’s scripts really let you kind of play and interpret that in the way that you want. I was really lucky with Craig that every time I came up with one of those ideas as we touched on before, we never really got any, never really got stopped. So it just continued. And then you just immerse yourself in the world that you’re in. You know, like I said I wanted to think about who she was, what she’s reading, what she’s listening to. I read a book about a girl who started a punk rock bank in ’77. So I was kind of listening to music and I think by osmosis somewhere then those little details come out when you’re to find your designs.
AB: Do we have more questions in the room? We’re feeling shy today so I’m going to continue asking questions. This actually came through from people on social media. I wanted to ask you this for everyone really, everyone who’s here in person and also our guests online: Is there someone, is there a particular talent working in your field that makes you excited about the future of hair and make-up design in movies?
ND: I would say probably Nadia. Nadia’s exploded onto the scene and when I saw The Favourite I thought here’s a make up artist that’s willing to take risks that not many people do, right Julia? And I thought—I loved that film, I just thought I loved the look of that film. I thought I could have done that and why didn’t I do that! I thought it was so different and then I thought and then here she is, this massive success, nicking all our jobs!
So I would say because there are very few, there are very few people that will really take these huge risks. Who’s going to paint ‘The Future’ across someone’s face? Very few people. I think sitting here right now is really the future.
ND: I’ll see you later!
AB: Did you have any thoughts, Siân or Alessandro, Frederic, Sarah?
SM: It really is a hard question!
ST: Oh I’m sorry go ahead.
ND: No you go ahead!
ST: I just I know Jana our designer couldn’t be here today but she’s someone who’s really inspired me by such a huge undertaking. I know Frederic and I haven’t worked on as many films as you guys and I look up to all of you, and I’m impressed by all of your work. I just wanted to say that and congratulations to you guys.
SM: I think actually there is somebody that I would like to mention who isn’t here tonight and I thought he might actually get through, is Wakana. Wakana Yoshihara who did Spencer. I think she’s an incredibly talented all-round make up designer. I think her work is meticulous and I think there’s a really good example there of the subtlety and what she’s capable of with her skills that’s not always very obvious. You know and I’ve taught a lot with students over the years and I often say to them, you know, what you don’t see you know won’t ever really get hailed particularly, but actually that kind of… You know that particular film was a great example. I think she’s very, very talented and I’m sure will go on and do… She’s done a lot of amazing films and I’m sure will do many more, but I think she’s very, very talented.
AB: Thank you all so much. I was wondering as we’re starting to wrap up the session… One of the really interesting things for me hearing from all of you has been some of the creative challenges and practical challenges. You’ve spoken a lot about kind of shooting in COVID in some situations with everything that that involves. Now what is the, and this is for everyone—what is the one thing that you keep going back to when you’re working on these projects? If there was a particular challenge and things got a little tough or difficult or a bit crazy, what’s the thing you come back to and go actually this is great, this is the thing I’m going to be proudest of? It’s a really existential question.
ND: Do you mean practically?
AB: Yeah! The thing you enjoyed the most despite any creative or practical challenges.
NS: I mean I was like a kid in a sweet shop continually, so I think the challenges you look back on them now and go oh yeah that was really tough but just to be able to have the freedom on that kind of scale for me. I’d never done anything of that size before so I was just incredibly grateful to be given that freedom and to play and to be able to continue to push ideas. So yeah I think I sort of that kept me going really. Every time another one the looks came through and it was the Baroness or the crowd or for Emma, that kind of—you suddenly forgot how tired you are. At the end I don’t think I could have done one more hour, but—
JV: I suppose it is the sort of collaboration really with everyone. The team work. You really do bounce off each other and get that energy from each other.
SM: I think for me in my career, I’ve spent a long time, like Naomi we’ve been in the business a long time working with principal actors. For me it’s the story arc, it’s following, working with an actor and creating the character transformation. So I think when things are difficult there’s that resolve of relying on actually we all get that sort of panic, relying on what you know, what you’ve learned. You’ve got that collaboration, its sounds really kind of you know, wanky, it does. But I love it! I love it, I absolutely love it. From the beginning of the script, meeting the actor, working with them, going through it, getting to the end and really contributing to that story arc, that character transformation. I think that is then something you can rely upon and the kind of work that we do that’s really interesting yeah.
ND: You need to have a story. You need to be telling a story, you’re telling the story of the character. But the way they look is telling a story and once you have that story, you don’t get lost because it just takes a minute to find it sometimes. You just follow that through and you’ll always find your way.
AB: What about I guess…
FA: I guess for me; this was quite a personal project. Six months before the start of filming my mother passed away and she was quite the mentor because she was a hairdresser and she taught me everything I knew, but you know what I learned from this and I’m sure a lot of you can relate, is that I decided to not quit and instead I decided to put everything into my work and my craft and not make it just about the work but make it about what I really felt passionate about. And this is all during COVID and having the great support of our team and working as a team to kind of make it through such a huge project making a film, any kind of film, is difficult but it’s to find the passion again after what the world has gone through and is still going through during COVID and to sill be able to tell stories through what we do and to allow our actors to create freely is such a gift in itself so very fortunate and very proud to be part of these conversations with everyone and to be able to create, so…
AB: Thank you so much Frederic.
Alessandro Bertolazzi: What was the question?
AB: My question, Alessandro, was what was the element or the thing that kind of kept you going when the work became a bit challenging or the production became challenging?
Alessandro Bertolazzi: I was distracted; did you ask to me?
AB: It was to everyone and if you want to answer, please do!
Alessandro Bertolazzi: Oh no I don’t want to say anything! No it’s ok.
So whatever this, what’s my feeling when I start a new approach to a movie, I want to do it, I want to do it and then when I get immediately everything becomes I completely disappear and say Oh my God I’m not the right person for this job! I always thing someone will come to me and say you’re not a make up artist, you’re not a designer, go away. Actually it’s going to happen soon! This is the moment I was really freaking out and then but something like a little idea started to arrive to me from so far away, it’s growing, it’s growing and eventually everything blows up and it’s amazing. It’s amazing. I had to find the right way, the right word, the right feeling. The feeling I really like what I can say your name Frederic, he said because it’s absolutely true. The most important thing is the love; the love opens everything. You can feel it in a sense, being so vulnerable. I still receive like a knife in my back, I’m full of knifes in my back now but as I keep going because I don’t care and I feel so blessed to do this job, play with the character in this world. Talking with all of you, I love everyone, I’m so full of love. I’ve become older and full of love.
AB: I’m afraid we might have to wrap up now but what a wonderful note to wrap up on. Thank you so much to every single one of you for sharing your experiences on the films but also your experiences and your thoughts on the craft too. It’s been a real joy and a pleasure to listen to you all speak. Congratulations again on your nominations and good luck on Sunday. We’d like to thank as well Lancôme for their continued support of this series and do check out bafta.org and BAFTA’s social media channels for more info on what’s to come. There’s still more BAFTA Film Sessions that are due to happen and last but not least of course the 2022 EE BAFTA British Academy Awards will be hosted by Rebel Wilson and will take place this coming Sunday 13th March on BBC One at 7:00 PM. Thank you so much for coming.