We caught up with Emmy-nominated makeup artist Tarra Day (Breaking Bad, Temple Grandin, Into the West) to talk about her work on the Netflix series Godless created by Scott Frank and starring Jeff Daniels. Tarra dishes on the Wild West, the “no makeup” look and the famed LA makeup store where she got her start.
How did you come to work on Godless?
I had a couple offers at the time when I got a call from the line producer Mike Malone. Geordie Sheffer (Godless department head hairdresser) and I were working together and he asked if we could meet. We were working all night with no sleep and we went to meet him the next day. I said to Geordie, “If he orders a beer, we’re doing the show.” And he ordered a beer! He talked to us about the series, and the minute I hear Western, I’m in! To our delight, it was an incredible Western and incredible script. This was a must-do. So we gave up everything else and said, “This is what we’re doing.”
How did you approach the no makeup design for this series set in 1880?
With Westerns, it’s about attention to detail…things you might not notice as far as makeup goes. I’ve been fortunate to have done quite a few Westerns. It’s a genre I’ve really immersed myself in and love doing, so I’ve had a lot of history with it. Our goal is to keep the audience Continue reading
What led you both to a career in makeup?
Louise McCarthy: Growing up, our Mum’s love of the classic movies we watched together was contagious. I remember Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief. I would be mesmerized by the glamour and suspense of it all! I was truly inspired by the design process of film making — the wardrobe, hair and especially makeup.
Joanna McCarthy: I channeled that same inspiration by earning a degree in fashion at Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. After graduation, I worked in the fashion
industry and lived in London. Louise was working as a makeup artist in the film and television industry and loving it! After much soul-searching and many discussions with Louise about her career, I decided to go to makeup school — Delamar Academy in London — where Louise trained. I learned from the best in the industry and never looked back.
What brought you to the US?
Joanna: Our father is American and when he was in the Air Force he met my Mum’s brother who introduced them — they will celebrate their 50th Anniversary this October. They lived in Brooklyn for the first two years of marriage before they moved to Dublin where Louise and I grew up.
Louise: I finished high school and Continue reading
The final episode of Will & Grace aired in 2006. What is it like to reunite on a show after more than 10 years?
Truth be told, I was retired and they dusted me off and brought me back just for this! I was the department head and did Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes and Eric McCormack
so it’s really great to be back and see my friends again. We’ve got over half the crew back. Director, James Burrows is back and most of our writers are back. We have a few new, young writers that add a lot of spice to the scripts. Everybody is thrilled to be on board. Between the writing team and acting team, they were born to do this show. They’ve all gone on to do other amazing things, but if you circle back around, Will & Grace is still their greatest accomplishment. For us, as well — the makeup and hair team. When you’re working on a project that is so strong, you up your game. You do it with passion. Everybody encourages you to do better and be better. And you want to be better.
Have there been any changes to the makeup and hair team for the revival?
Karen Kawahara who used to do Debra Messing is on Veep, so we have the fabulous Julie Hewett now. Luke O’Connor and Tim Burke are back for hair. Renee Vaca has joined them. She is a wigmaster and she’s really great. Farah Bunch is back, so you have Mama Bunch and Baby Bunch.
When did Farah join the show?
Farah came in on our second season of Will & Grace and it was cast-chosen. She was doing a sitcom next door to us and she would come over and visit. At that time, Continue reading
La La Land, ta love story between a jazz musician and an aspiring actress following their dreams in the city of stars. The musical explores the importance of everyday life in the pursuit of a once-in-a lifetime love or the spotlight. La La Land grabbed the spotlight, with seven Golden Globe nominations, including best picture, best director and best lead actor and actress nods for stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
On Makeup Magazine’s Editor at Large Shannon Levy, had the pleasure of sitting down with La La Land makeup department head Torsten Witte for the Fall 2016 print issue. Check out the full interview below. We wish La La Land Nominees the best of luck for the upcoming award season.
How did you get your start in the makeup industry?
I started my career as a hair and makeup artist in Germany working in print and commercials. When I was 21, I moved to Paris, where I got my start in fashion. I just knew that I was going to be a makeup artist. I’m very fortunate to do what I believe I am supposed to be doing and that I love what I do.
How did you come to work on La La Land?
One of my industry friends introduced me to Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. From that introduction I met Continue reading
What kind of research did you do to prepare for this early 1900s medical drama? My research for the general look of the period was mostly based on studying and reproducing portraits by American realist painters like Thomas Eakins, famous for all his amazing paintings of the medical theaters, and wonderful portraits by Sargent and Sorolla. I hosted a painting workshop led by my mentor, Cassandra Saulter, a former scenic artist turned makeup artist, and long-time painter and sculptor. My core team and I worked for two weeks on replicating their artwork to understand more of light and contrast, as well as the texture and colors of the faces of the turn of the 20th century, to translate it with painting rather than applying makeup. We had a lot of fun. I also spent a long time researching how and who used makeup since it wasn’t really commercially available back then. The easiest part of the research but crucial to a show about medicine, was researching illnesses, various conditions and their corresponding symptoms and what they do to the body. Because those haven’t really changed, the internet, medical books and our medical consultant on set were our main guides.
Did you learn anything interesting about the makeup for that period?
Women made their own Continue reading