Camille Friend (‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ hair department head): ‘I live, breathe, sleep, dream in hair’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“One thing I love about Marvel is it gives you all the tools to make everything happen,” reveals Camille Friend, hair department head on “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” For our recent webchat she adds, “they didn’t say, ‘oh Camille, we want it to look like this.’ They were like, ‘here is the movie, you create, you design, you dream.’ And so when you give me that, that’s when you’re gonna get the best out of me. When you allow me to have the open slate and the open world.” We talked with Friend as part of Gold Derby’s special “Meet the Experts” Q&A event with 2023 Oscar contenders. Watch our exclusive video interview above.

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“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is the sequel to the 2018 Oscar-winning Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther,” directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole. The 30th film in the MCU franchise stars Letitia Wright, whose character Shuri becomes the new Black Panther (following the death of the original superhero and King T’Challa played by the late Chadwick Boseman), with Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”), Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Florence Kasumba, Dominique Thorne, Emmy winner Michaela Coel (“I May Destroy You”), Tenoch Huerta Mejía, Emmy winner Martin Freeman (“Sherlock”), Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Seinfeld,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Veep”) and Oscar nominee Angela Bassett (“What’s Love Got to do With It”). The acclaimed sequel expands the scope and scale of the original film while grappling with the death of King T’Challa, and mourning Boseman’s untimely passing.

“I’m a third generation hair stylist,” Friend declares about her love for the craft and the joy involved in bringing the dozens of new creative looks for the sequel. “I live, breathe, sleep, dream in hair. So it’s something that truly works for me and I love what I do. I love being creative. I love the creative process and I love working with other hair and makeup people. It’s the best. And on this one, I had a really young crew, so I didn’t have a crew that I’ve worked with before. I had a lot of younger people, so I loved the teaching aspect of it. It was really great to see them grow as people and as artists. And so that was beautiful to me too.”

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