Magazine article Variety

Putting Their Best Faces Forward

Magazine article Variety

Putting Their Best Faces Forward

Article excerpt

TV HAS NO SHORTAGE of series that rely on massive explosions, fire-breathing dragons and mystical creatures. But many of the most impressive special effects on TV today are happening in the hair and makeup departments of shows such as "Pose," "This Is Us" and "The Man in the High Castle."

"When you create a fantasy character, you're telling the audience what they look like," says "This Is Us" makeup department head Zoe Hay. "But when you create age makeup, everyone knows someone old. We have to be able to withstand incredible scrutiny."

Hay, who works with prosthetics designer Stephen Bettles, routinely has to age the ensemble cast members of "This Is Us" both up and down - star Mandy Moore, 35, has covered a range from age 16 to her 80s. In addition, this season the show introduced a flashback taking place during the Vietnam War, which required period-specific facial hair, appropriate tattoos, and even skin coloring to reflect the suntan one might have gotten while in country.

"I didn't want to do a TV version of Vietnam," she says. "I wanted it to look real."

In the real-life fantasy world of "Pose," the looks are fierce. But makeup department head Sherri Berman Laurence says her job is bigger than just making the actors look glam.

"We have to get the period right, and within that period there's the ballroom community, and within the balls there are even different categories," she says. "We wanted to do that justice and authentically. …

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