Inglorious Basterds: The Makeup
Most friends have no clue that I have a true weakness for Tarantino movies. The Kill Bill series is very close to my heart.
Here is an interview with Heba, the MA responsible for the beauty looks in Inglorious Basterds. The first peeks are stunning. Very Garboesque!
Inspired by the Dirty Dozen movies, Quentin Tarantino's latest features a Jewish girl whose family has perished in the Holocaust. She finds sanctuary in a Parisian cinema run by a kindly Frenchwoman. At the same time a group of Jewish-American soldiers - "The Basterds" - are terrorizing the Nazis behind enemy lines. When a German war hero seeks to screen a propaganda film at the cinema it offers the perfect chance for vengeance....
Kanebo’s SENSAI Advisor had a chance to catch up to the busy Heba Thorisdottir, the Department Head for Inglourious Basterds as she was catching up after working on the film’s LA premiere this week. Heba has worked with innumerable film actors, directors, musicians and stars during her career. Most recently her work has included, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Spirit, The Other Boylen Girl and The Nannie Diaries. She is often Scarlett Johansson’s personal makeup artist on her films as well.
SENSAI Advisor: Tell us about your experience on Inglorious Basterds—it looks like it is going to be another unique Quentin Tarantino film!
Heba Thorisdottir: I’ve worked with Quentin previously on Kill Bill (Volume 1 and 2), with Quentin I don’t prep a lot—I just know to be prepared for anything! We shot for four months mostly in Babelsberg Studios just outside of Berlin—then we were a week in the countryside which was beautiful! There were some locations in Berlin as well and we shot a couple days in Paris. Quentin creates a family like atmosphere and on the last shooting day of the week he picks a bar we all go to wind down. That way, we get to know each other on a social level as well as professional. Quentin knows everyone who works on his sets. And I mean everyone and what they do! If he needs anything, he'll go to the right person and ask for it and doesn't have to be asking someone else to go and get something. I love working on his films and can not wait to be working with him again.
I got the script over the Fourth of July weekend last year. I went to Germany mid September, a month before shooting began to do makeup tests. I met all the actors and had to decide if the actors were wearing any facial hair and they got haircuts and got fitted for their costumes. Inglourious Basterds is a WWII film and we have to follow that period as closely as possible. Quentin uses KNB Creations on special effects makeup on all the true life figures such as Hitler, Goebbels and Churchill; anything gory that involved more than throwing blood and dirt on---they took care of that.
SENSAI Advisor: You worked with a large cast, how did that work?
Heba Thorisdottir: Aside from the main Basterds, a couple of females and a Nazi we had 300 extras for three weeks. On a regular day, I had a key makeup artist from Germany, Pamela Grujic with me. Additionally we had a makeup and hair artist that ran the crowd. Meaning, for a couple of months before shooting began with them, she had to go to wardrobe fittings and pre-set the look for hair and makeup. They had to have the same look for the entire time they were shooting so after they get their wardrobe, they have their hair and makeup done, then they have their picture taken and the makeup/hair girls make a little bag with the products they use, put in a copy of the photos of hair and makeup and at the end of the day, Emanuel Millar, department head hair and I, would look over the photos and make sure it was all in the right period and there was a balance of red lips, hair up and down etc. The Germans are very organized and made my life easier!
SENSAI Advisor: There are two strong female characters in the film, tell us about their looks.
Heba Thorisdottir: A French actress, Melanie Laurent plays the part of Shosanna Dreyfus. She’s Jewish but is undercover as a French citizen. She doesn't want to draw attention to herself so she doesn't wear makeup on daily basis and downplayed her beauty. She's a beautiful girl so I just kept her skin clean and glowing with SENSAI foundations with Brightening cream underneath. Taupe eye shadow and a cream blush in Peach tone and Total Lip Treatment on her lips and she was ready to go. For the end scene however, we got to go all out! She actually puts on her makeup on camera! It was a very specific scene and Quentin knew exactly what he wanted in the scene so we didn't exactly follow the period. Quentin wanted a cream blush but a lot softer consistency than are on the market so I actually had to sit down and make it! The color had to be very specific as well so, I dragged Quentin in the makeup trailer and sat him down and we had a lot of fun with making the color just perfect!
Diane Kruger’s character Bridget von Hammersmark is the opposite of Shosanna. She's a very glamorous German movie star who loves attention. Her character wouldn't go out without makeup and those red lips! We had a couple of different looks for her as well. Day to day look and a "premier" look. There isn't much room to change the 40's makeup so I had to create a look that was a little bit more settle to have a contrast for the premier look. Bridget still wore the eyeliner and the red lips but I used browns and taupe and Kanebo's SENSAI 38 Degree's Mascara, the volumizing edition. The staying power is amazing. It is one of my favorite tools, and one the actresses always request. I used a cream blush in light beige color on her cheeks from MAC. For the premier look, I used black liquid eyeliner from MAC as well and deeper browns shadows on her eyes from Jemma Kidd and an extra layer of mascara. For concealers I used SENSAI Concealer in #1 light for Diane to keep her look fine and porcelain like. I also used the concealer in medium and dark (#2 and #3) on the men for a natural look.
SENSAI Advisor: You worked for several months with these actresses, how did you combine skincare with cosmetics every day?
Heba Thorisdottir: Well, for instance I did work a lot with the SENSAI line. Daily, I would start and end the day with cleansing the skin with SENSAI. After cleansing I would use a moisturizer and eye cream from SENSAI as well. I would combine the SENSAI SILK Brightening Cream followed by the SENSAI Smoothing Water Make-up Base before foundation. The brightening "wakes up" the skin and makes it glow through the foundation and gives the face "life" and the Water Base is a great prep/primer for the SENSAI foundations. I even used the Brightening Cream on the guys—give it a little bit of brightness to stand out a little bit behind all the dirt and blood. For concealers I used SENSAI Concealer in #1 light for Diane to keep her look fine and porcelain like. I also used the concealer in medium and dark (#2 and #3) on the men for a natural look.
I still get excited when one of the movies I worked on comes out in theaters. Going to Cannes in May was amazing! I always wanted to see one of the films I worked on at The Palais and this was the right one to see there for sure. The French respect the directors and Quentin got an 11 minute standing ovation even though he didn't walk away with The Palm this time.
SENSAI Advisor: Thank you Heba!
Heba Thorisdottir: My pleasure!
Credits: Sensai and Vanity Fair