Backstage Interview: Makeup & Hairstyling

Q. Hi.  Congratulations.  How much of a challenge was it for you to work with George on this?  I mean, it’s great having the freedom, but also you had a lot of challenges.

A. (Lesley Vanderwalt)  The challenge wasn’t George.  George is amazing.  It’s George’s vision, and we were just helping, you know, facilitate it, create it.  He, I think, thinks very much, that’s why we’re working on it, along the same wavelengths as we do.  I think all his crew were very much a part of his process, you know, his creative process.  So I think we were all like absolutely ‑‑

A. (Damian Martin)  The conduits for his ‑‑

A. (Lesley Vanderwalt)  Yeah.  And just heartily wanted to be there.  It wasn’t a challenge for that part of it.  The location was a challenge.

Q. We keep hearing about his wonderful vision and obviously you are getting so much rewards tonight for realizing that vision.  How does that process work?  Did he give you sketches?  Did he describe the character?  Did he describe the vehicles?  How did it go from his mind to this coordinated world?

A. (Lesley Vanderwalt)  Well, George is a storyteller.  You know, that’s what he does, what he is.  I think ‑‑ and he’s a very good communicator.

A. (Damian Martin)  Yeah.  I think it’s all of those things.

A. (Lesley Vanderwalt)  Yeah.

A. (Damian Martin)  Not one single thing.  The vision was very much in his head, and he was fantastic at communicating and he used a lot of people to get there.

A. (Lesley Vanderwalt)  That’s it, and I’ve known George since 1981 was the first job I did with George.  So for me, it was ‑‑ he started talking and you start visualizing yourself and you start working it.  And then there was this massive office with these just fantastic, you know, from beginning to end and all around were different storyboards and different artists that were working on comic books, everything at the same time, so you had the Japanese version, all different versions of things, and then you just had to go in there and start thinking along with George and ‑‑

A. (Elka Wardega)  Immerse yourself in the world, just completely immersed.

A. (Lesley Vanderwalt)  And work out a day in the life of, a week in the life of and what was available to all those people around them in this post‑apocalyptic world.  You could create your own world with George’s stamp of approval on it.

Q. Damian, this is a question for you.  I was sitting on the plane out to Los Angeles with someone who said that they were your aunt and they were coming for the awards and to tell you hello, congratulations, and said they wanted to meet you.  Congratulations.

A. (Damian Martin)  It’s great to have some family.

Q. Congratulations to you all.  At the Makeup and Hair Awards you talked about the challenge of all the sand that you constantly had to remove from your actors.  I wonder if there was some other very unique and special challenges that went into working with the makeup and hair on this movie?

A. (Lesley Vanderwalt)  I think metal, sand.

A. (Elka Wardega)  Stunts.  We had a huge stunt.

A. (Damian Martin)  It was a very physical film.  There was a lot of contact that had to be managed.

A. (Lesley Vanderwalt)  Yeah.  And I was about halfway up the tires on some of the vehicles, so we had to learn to climb and, you know, up ladders and down ladders.  You know, it wasn’t easy.

A. (Damian Martin)  There were multiple challenges.  Yeah.

Q. Who had the toughest morning in the makeup chair?  How many hours and who got off easy with the great look?

A. (Damian Martin)  I don’t think anyone got off easy.

A. (Elka Wardega)  I mean, we had Nicholas Hoult in makeup for two and a half, two to two and a half hours a day and he was on about 77 times.  So I mean that was quite long, but I mean Slit’s makeup was a little bit longer.

A. (Damian Martin)  Slit’s makeup was similar to Hugh’s.

A. (Lesley Vanderwalt)  Yeah.  And he was on a little bit longer.  And Miss Giddy was the longest, but she wasn’t on for as many days.  She was five hours on one day.  She slept in the tattoos, and then we put the wig and everything on the next day.  So seven hours in total her makeup took.  She kept it on for three days and then we removed it which took about two hours.

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