Magazine article Variety

How ‘the Crown’ Created a Look That Was Fit for a Queen

Magazine article Variety

How ‘the Crown’ Created a Look That Was Fit for a Queen

Article excerpt

MAKEUP GURU Ivana Primorac spent the past year turning soft-featured actress Claire Foy into an angular Queen Elizabeth II, long-faced John Lithgow into a curmudgeonly Winston Churchill and an assortment of actors into palace royals and political figures - many of whom are alive - for Netflix's "The Crown."

The entire first season of the series debuted in November; a second season has been ordered, with six episodes planned.

Primorac, a prolific hair and makeup designer, has worked on such diverse films as "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "The Imitation Game" and "T2 Trainspotting." For "The Crown," which Peter Morgan created and wrote, evolving out of his 2006 Queen Elizabeth biopic "The Queen," she aims to reflect "both the history and the now," Primorac says. "It's important to portray [the royal family] truthfully."

To convey this sense of reality, the hair and makeup team was helped by a wealth of public footage of the royal family, as well as film from the queen's private life. When Elizabeth was still a princess, her father, King George VI, gave her a Paillard Bolex movie camera, which she used to document many of her personal moments - including those from the time she got married and her honeymoon tour and also the private side of her public tours after she became queen.

Several different wigs kept Elizabeth strategically coiffed to show the early progression of her hairstyles, which soon settled into a constant look. Primorac also relied on a range of cosmetics to aid the subtle aging process as the queen navigated the decade from blush- ing bride to skilled monarch. …

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