According to makeup department head Tarra Day, “Godless” is unique in the western genre simply because of its “strong women characters.” Day has a lot of experience with cowboys in the Wild West, having worked on such films as “Appaloosa” (2008) and “The Magnificent Seven” (2016). But in most cases “the women are prostitutes or girlfriends or wives. There hasn’t been a lot of room for female characters to lead the western.” That changed with this Netflix limited series. Watch our exclusive video interview with Day above.
Written and directed by Scott Frank, the series centers on a man (Jack O’Connell) evading a violent outlaw gang leader (Jeff Daniels). He takes refuge in the town of La Belle, New Mexico, which after a mining accident is populated almost entirely by women, including a ranch owner (Michelle Dockery) and the mayor’s tough-as-nails widow (Merritt Wever).
Day aimed “to keep the period seamless” and “keep everybody as organic and as authentic as possible.” It helped that costume designer Betsy Heimann had “created an individuality to each of the women” that “allowed us to create a look with the makeup, with the wardrobe, and with the hair.” The independent-minded character played by Wever, for instance, “was so minimal. It was really important for us to keep her as natural as possible.” But the ladies of La Belle who are desperate to find a husband would “be more put together.”
Day is a six-time Emmy nominee. She competed four times for Best Non-Prosthetic Makeup (Movie/Mini) for “Into the West” in 2006, “Comanche Moon” in 2008, “Georgia O’Keeffe” in 2010 and “Temple Grandin” also in 2010. She was also up for Best Prosthetic Makeup and Best Non-Prosthetic Makeup (Single-Camera Series) for “Breaking Bad” in 2014.
Her work on “Breaking Bad” also brought her a Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award for Best Contemporary Makeup in 2014. She has additionally worked on films including “Gods and Monsters” (1998), “Matchstick Men” (2003), “Let Me In” (2010), and “Hell or High Water” (2016).
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