Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou (‘Last Night in Soho’) on designing makeup and hair across two time periods: ‘I’m quite method in the way that I work’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“I’m quite method in the way that I work,” explains Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou. The Oscar-nominated Hair and Makeup Designer recently applied her craft to Edgar Wright’s latest horror-tinged drama “Last Night in Soho.” Her meticulous and specific approach to makeup and hair helped inform the characters of this time-hopping murder mystery. Watch the exclusive video interview above.

The Focus Features film contained a unique challenge for Yianni-Georgiou, thanks to its dual contemporary and 1960’s settings. Thomasin McKenzie portrays Eloise, a budding fashion design student in London. Eloise receives visions from the past where she follows Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy), a singer trying to find success in a world controlled by lecherous men. As Eloise grows obsessed with Sandie’s story, she adopts the chanteusse’s signature blonde locks and style.

Not only are the characters polar opposites, but the designer reveals that the actresses are “so different in themselves.” Taylor-Joy possessed a certain confidence while the film was McKenzie’s first foray into period work. So Yianni-Georgiou used period-specific techniques to adapt one look for both women’s faces. “We used products that kind of fitted that era,” she says. This included styling Taylor-Joy’s hair with rollers that they would have used from the 60’s and working with modern blonde dyes for McKenzie’s wig. “It was very conscious,” states Yianni-Georgiou of her approach, and all in service of making each actress feel at home in their respective time period.

“Edgar is so specific about what he wants,” notes Yianni-Georgiou of the film’s director, “So it was very interesting to try and get inside his head.” She did plenty of research into Wright’s previous films, and those of cinematographer Chung-hoon Chung. It helped give her an understanding of what types of makeup would work best in the surreal lighting schemes of the movie. She also details the surprising ways in which the villainous “shadow men” are a product of makeup work, even though they have a CGI filter. Wright’s desire to blur out their eyes and mouths called for prosthetics that covered most of their face. “They had one little slit, and while they were in the makeup they could only really drink their food,” jokes Yianni-Georgiou. “I do love doing the horror, because I love getting inside people’s heads.”

Yianni-Georgiou was Oscar-nominated for her work on “Guardians of the Galaxy.” That film also earned her a BAFTA nomination, with additional BAFTA nominations for “An Education,” “Made in Dagenham,” and “Rocketman.”

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