Emmy-Nominated Hair & Makeup Teams Talk On-Set

Emmy-Nominated Hair and Makeup Teams Talk On-Set Glam, Collaboration and Transformation Challenges

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter
3:23 PM PDT 8/13/2018 by Sydney Odman

Hair and makeup gurus from ‘Westworld’, ‘This Is Us’ and more gathered in Beverly Hills for a live-stream Q&A held by the Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild at the Beverly Center.

From Emmy®-nominated dramas like Westworld and This Is Us to star-studded specials like Dancing with the Stars, the experts of TV glam and small-screen magic gathered at Cal Mare at Beverly Center on Sunday, August 12, to celebrate their respective accomplishments in the Creative Arts Emmy categories of makeup and hair styling. 

Held by the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild (MUAHS), the event played host to several Emmy-nominated hair and makeup veterans mingling within the upscale Italian eatery. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres flowed throughout the afternoon, as the pros continued to arrive on the red-carpet. 

The makeup leads and hairstylists were eager to emphasize the familial bond that they have as a result of spending so much time on set. And those warm sentiments certainly seemed to translate off-set, as attendees waved, hugged and greeted one another as old friends around the carpet. 

“Our average days are around 15 hours for us,” said This Is Us department head makeup artist Zoe Hay. “But we laugh a lot. We’re a pretty goofy bunch and we have a great crew.” 

“Ninety percent of the crew has been on the show since day one so all of the departments are very cohesive and friendly,” said the NBC drama’s asst. department head makeup artist Heather Plott. 

“And really supportive, too!” Hay added. “They were genuinely happy for us when we got nominated.” 

Chartered in 1937, MUAHS membership today includes over 1,800 artisans in entertainment worldwide, who work in all types of theatrical productions. 

The afternoon’s main event commenced with a live-stream Q&A moderated by Emmy-winning hairstylists Monte C. Haught and Mary Guerrero, with each nominated team in attendance. 

Elisa Marsh, department head makeup artist for HBO’s Westworld, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on the show’s episode “Akane No Mai,” which was nominated for outstanding makeup (non-prosthetic). The episode, which features geishas and several other elements of Japanese culture, allowed the makeup team to collaborate with not only the directors and producers, but also the Japanese members of the set. 

“We had a lot of Japanese actors and they were very free with their knowledge and sharing,” said Marsh on the creative process. “It was very collaborative in terms of — like any other actor — how they want to look and what is appropriate for the show. But everybody on our show comes in ready to do whatever for what the story requires.”

“For the geishas, there was discussion about what they would be,” Marsh continued. “We did some testing of what I wanted to use and what we thought would work with how we filmed. With Lisa (Joy) and Jonah (Nolan), the creators of the show, we would send them a picture of the test, and then the writer and director of the specific episode would [approve] too.”

As for some of the more memorable moments on set of an Emmy-nominated show, American Horror Story: Cult department head hairstylist Michelle Ceglia weighed in on the challenges behind Evan Peters’ many transformations throughout the season. 

“Putting Evan Peters into 12 different looks — that was insane,” Ceglia said. “My favorite moment was what we call the 30-minute Jesus. We had to turn him from Jim Jones to Jesus in like 30 minutes, while the sun was coming out. And then we had to throw him onto a crane to float down with his angels at like 7 in the morning.” 

The 70th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards will take place over the course of two nights on Sept. 8 and 9, with the live show to take place on Sept. 17. The MUAHS Livestream Q&A can be viewed here.