Killing Eve’s hair and make-up designer Lucy Cain supplies insights into her position on the award-winning collection and the sensible challenges she faced alongside the best way.
Whereas Killing Eve has rightly been lauded for its razor-sharp dialogue, iconic costumes and award-winning performances, the contribution of the hair and make-up design to the general storytelling shouldn’t be ignored.
Although it is perhaps extra delicate than in a interval drama, science-fiction collection or blood-filled crime procedural, hair and make-up in a up to date collection can include vital signposts to a character’s temper or arc via a story.
That was definitely the case for the BBC America collection, which has grow to be a worldwide hit thanks to the chemistry between leading actors Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer and the work of its creator and season one head writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who handed over writing duties to Emerald Fennell for season two.
But before the celebs had been forged, hair and make-up designer Lucy Cain – who has labored on each seasons – was already formulating concepts and ideas for each MI5 officer Eve Polastri (Oh) and globetrotting murderer Villanelle (Comer).
Eve, she thought, would have a method that means she has just rushed out of the door, whereas make-up wouldn’t be a high precedence for the wannabe undercover agent.
“Another thing I felt with Eve was even though she’s in a happy marriage, it’s probably a bit safe and easy,” Cain tells DQ. “There’s no effort there. With Eve, I always wanted her to have that look.” But as her relationship with – and fixation on – Villanelle develops by way of season one, her growing consideration of her appearance and her experimental strategy to making an attempt on make-up or sporting her hair up or down would spotlight her altering notion of herself.
Cain decided Sandra Oh should have a ‘just rushed out of the door’ look as Eve
Then again, “Villanelle was completely different. She’s a true chameleon,” Cain admits. “She has to mix into any surroundings or tradition she’s positioned in. I needed from the very starting of season one for the audience to not likely know who she was. That’s why within the very opening scene, once we’re in Vienna, she’s received a dark wig on. Then the subsequent time we see her, she’s on the practice and she or he’s in the identical clothes but she’s obtained her actual blonde hair.
“That opening scene [pictured top] where she pushes the ice cream into the girl’s lap, smiles and leaves – of course you know it’s Villanelle, that’s our introduction to her. That was a really nice way of kicking off the difference between them.”
Villanelle’s unpredictability gave Cain plenty of freedom to play with the character’s look, notably when it came to the disguises she makes use of when the hired killer is concentrating on her subsequent sufferer.
“Whenever you see her in a wig, it suggests to the audience there’s about to be a heinous murder,” she explains. “The wigs really helped in that respect. For me, I wanted all of those looks to be believable. Even if we know she’s wearing a wig, I want you to say she looks great and not that she’s wearing a wig.”
To create the wigs, Cain used ready-made, untouched hairpieces that the designer might then reduce into a specific type, whereas Comer was in the make-up chair sporting them.
“Every wig I cut on her head,” she says. “That way it’s quicker. Sometimes when you’re getting a wig made from scratch, there’s a much longer process. But it was fun to do as well.”
In a single scene from episode one, Villanelle kills her mark by stabbing him within the eye with a hairpin. It was an accessory that prompted a lot debate between Caine, costume designer Phoebe De Gaye, production designer Kristian Milsted, director Harry Bradbeer, government producers Sally Woodward Mild and Lee Morris, and producer Colin Wratten.
Was it going to be small, like a hair grip? But then it needed to be a certain measurement for Comer to hold in her palms. In the long run, one pin was made for the kill, with a small tube of ‘poison’ seen to be released once it had been thrust into the sufferer. A smaller model was also created for when it could possibly be seen in Comer’s hair.
The choice of jacket on this S1 scene prompted Cain to change Comer’s hair fashion
Another problem came when Villanelle, pretending to be a waitress, was referred to as upon to kill a businesswoman with some fragrance. “She’s just supposed to look like an ordinary girl that nobody would remember, so you try to think about what that would look like,” Cain says. “If you had to describe the girl, did she have brown hair? Did she have blonde hair? Did she have a fringe? There’s nothing about it that was particularly stylish or stood out.”
In contrast to working on a genre collection, the place the hair and make-up types come with parameters that limit designers to the type of a specific time or theme, a up to date drama means “everyone has an opinion,” Cain jokes, including that she all the time needs her work to enhance every thing within the scene.
Working with De Gaye on season one meant the selection of costume would all the time inform the hair fashion. One example in episode three is when Villanelle is in Berlin, watching agents Eve and Invoice (David Haig) arrive on the scene of her newest murder.
“Villanelle’s got a lovely high-necked top on, so I would chat with Phoebe about what she’s wearing and then say to my assistant that she needs her hair up because we don’t want to be fighting with the collar,” Cain says. “It’s a beautiful costume so we want to see that. When she’s in Bulgaria and she kills a guy in an office, she’s got a bomber jacket on and it’s like she’s gone on a mission, so we’re like, ‘Get the hair back’ and put it in a tight plait.”
Comer’s ‘androgynous’ look once more knowledgeable her hair fashion in the Berlin sequence
Villanelle’s look in Berlin was additionally informed by a later motion sequence during which she would finally kill Invoice. “She wore a go well with that was actually androgynous. It had a very good shoulder construction and we’re in Germany, so we ended up just doing a plait that came right round the aspect of the top.
“It worked brilliantly with the suit. It had that Germanic feel, but also it worked because I knew later on she was going into a nightclub and there was going to be this frenzied kill with all these people around and we need to see her face. If she’s got her hair down, there’s a good chance when she’s jumping up and down, that hair’s going to cover her face and that could potentially ruin that shot. Maybe Jodie will also start thinking, ‘OK my hair’s going all over my face, maybe I shouldn’t move my head so much.’ So there’s lots of elements that go into a decision when you’re doing a look. That’s an example where it all worked perfectly – she’s in Germany, it’s an androgynous look, she’s wearing a suit, and she’s jumped in and she’s killing someone frenzied in a nightclub. There were ticks all the way down for that.”
Later within the season, Cain additionally had to flip Comer into a crushed and bruised Villanelle after a vicious bust-up together with her handler Konstantin (Kim Bodnia), however the nature of the out-of-sequence filming schedule meant she had to have the accidents earlier than the battle passed off.
“Phoebe Waller-Bridge really wanted Villanelle to be absolutely battered by the end,” Cain reveals. “So I had to create the look, then present the stunt coordinator what I’d carried out so they might match the stunts with the look we’d established.
“It’s hard when you do make-up like that because you know it will run for two episodes and sometimes you wonder whether people forget why they’ve got those marks on their faces. Season two also starts 30 seconds after the end of season one, so she starts season two with those marks again!”
Oh and Comer weren’t the one forged members to spend an in depth period of time in the make-up chair, with Owen McDonnell (enjoying Eve’s husband Niko) requiring a new moustache to be applied each capturing day. As an alternative of using a pre-made one, Cain took the decision to lay it on as an alternative, making use of glue to his lip and then pushing on a handful of hair, a blend of 5 totally different colours. She would then use scissors and tongs to shape the hair appropriately.
Cain developed Fiona Shaw’s make-up as her character travelled to Moscow
“Phoebe really wanted Niko to have this big moustache and I think Owen looks brilliant with it. It really suits him,” Cain says. “When he was on set, it would be a super early call. We’d go in and listen to the farming news and be in on our own for about an hour before anyone else arrived. But it was definitely worth it for the overall look. He could just move normally, it never hinders his performance and I don’t have to touch it all day. Then he’d go off and I’d do Sandra and he’d come back in an hour once it’s settled and I’d brush it a bit more. It was a bit of a double process but it worked for us.”
One other character whose make-up tells a narrative via the collection is Carolyn Martens, played by Bafta winner Fiona Shaw. At the beginning, she didn’t put on much make-up, but that modified when the story took the MI6 boss to Russia and the character started to put more on.
“When I watched the show, I really liked the way she looked at the end of season one, so at the beginning of season two in pre-prep, I’d meet up with all the female characters and we’d do some shopping and look for products and see what worked last year,” Cain reveals. “I was with Fiona and I said we should continue in that vein for season two and she was really receptive to it and it really works. She looks amazing in season two.”
Season two, which launched just lately on BBC1 in the UK, sees Cain working alongside new costume designer Charlotte Mitchell and manufacturing designer Laurence Dorman, as well as author Fennell. Nevertheless, most of the challenges dealing with her remained, similar to filming overseas and the logistics of travelling with big quantities of package – and hoping it arrives on time.
Cain additionally had to think about the position of prosthetics in the collection, which comes from producer Sid Mild Movies and distributor Endeavor Content material. When Eve stabs Villanelle at the climax of season one, the designer had a stab wound made, which she would then stitch up when it was applied to Comer. She additionally had the foresight to order a scar as properly, which could possibly be used as the wound heals.
Owen McDonnell plays Eve’s husband Niko with a hand-built moustache
“It’s not scripted that you see the scar but you have to be prepared, so if costume decide to put Jodie in something that shows it, or if she’s getting dressed,” Cain says. “So I got a scar made just because I thought we’d need it, and we did later on.”
Cain began her career in comedy, engaged on collection comparable to The Workplace, The Kumars at No 42, Sensitive Skin and Friday Night time Dinner. More just lately, she contributed to dramas including The Passing Bells, Grantchester, Snatch and Fortitude.
But whereas the ambition for a collection can typically be higher than its price range, Cain notes that her beginnings in comedy taught her to work with fewer assets. “The bigger the drama, obviously the bigger the budget and the easier it is,” she says. “I did plenty of comedy once I was arising and that’s whenever you get to make something out of nothing. You’ve got to be very artistic, you’ve got to assume in your ft and you simply get used to working that method. It hones your expertise.
“Now, on Killing Eve, if you need something and it’s going to enhance the show, I have never had a problem getting it.”
Whereas Cain has determined not to return to Killing Eve for the already commissioned third season, she is now working on Us, the BBC adaptation of David Nicholl’s novel by Nick Payne. The story follows a couple who go on a European tour in the hope of repairing their marriage.
“What’s lovely about Killing Eve is it’s a dream job, because there is a really creative side to it,” she provides. “It’s challenging but also you have some days that are really laid back and calm. There’s just the right balance. On some jobs, there is something to be anxious about every day and it’s not necessarily something creative. With Killing Eve it was the perfect job for all of those reasons.”
tagged in: Bafta, Colin Wratten, Emerald Fennell, Fiona Shaw, Harry Bradbeer, Jodie Comer, Killing Eve, Phoebe Waller Bridge, Sally Woodward-Mild, Sandra Oh, Villanelle