Stranger Things Season 4 The make-up artists of the series in an interview

The make-up artists of the series in an interview Diamond-encrusted cock rings, headphones to match shapewear and more in our fashion news of the week

Stranger Things Season 4: The series’ make-up artists talk about realistic characters and challenges on set

Stranger Things season 4 left a lasting impression on the charts and on viewers. From 80s looks to blood-smeared fantasy slime, the make-up team in particular has contributed to the hype surrounding the current season. But what is behind the looks of the characters? Here the bosses of the team talk about their favorite looks, secret fan theories and tattoo templates.

Anyone who has felt an emptiness in their hearts since the Stranger Things season 4 finale, like me, knows how difficult it was to replace this series on the watchlist. Even in the broad field of television and streaming, it’s difficult to find something that has everything that’s Stranger Things to offer – from sci-fi horror and ’80s nostalgia to prison thriller action scenes and Teen Jokes. The series covers a lot – and has a great soundtrack to boot. Or maybe you haven’t considered what it takes to make every character in every scene look like they belong in all these different genres that somehow flow effortlessly into each other.

stranger things staffel 4 make up

Stranger Things Season 4: From ’80s Makeup to Battle Wounds

This massive task is entrusted to the makeup team behind Stranger Things Season 4, led by directors Amy L. Forsythe and Devin Morales. Their work on the final season earned them a nomination for Outstanding Period and/or Character Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) at the 2022 Emmy Awards, due out next month. It’s easy to see why these two have earned a place in the premier league of TV makeup artists. Especially when you consider the variety of effects they have to portray on screen – from ’80s makeup to battle wounds and everything in between. To mark their nominations, we spoke to Forsythe and Morales about creating realistic characters, their biggest challenges on set – and, of course, interdimensional space slime.

How did you initiate the design process for the makeup this season? Did you read all the scripts beforehand?
Amy L. Forsythe: No, no, no. (laughs) Basically, we shoot in consecutive blocks. The first two episodes usually come first and then the next two episodes. This season we started with episodes three and four, so we went to Lithuania first and then went to Atlanta to shoot. Eventually we only had the scripts for episodes one through five – when the bats attacked Steve – and then I was left with nothing. And I was like, ‘Oh my God! Did they just kill Steve?” How can you let me down like that?

Inwardly you even had the same tension as the audience.

ALF: One hundred percent, and even more. We are so close to these characters because we created them and we are close to the actors. So we know we’re going to watch them go through all those emotions. It’s very hectic reading through all of this.

Where do you start when creating new characters? What did you start with in Season 4?
ALF: In the earlier seasons we started making references to the 80’s – magazines, posters, yearbooks, even. I’m 42, so I asked friends for family photos too. It’s fun because everyone’s photos are in the trailer and we laugh and say, “Wow, that’s what we used to look like.” But that makes it easier to get pictures from the middle of the US, with that Midwestern Hawkins vibe.

Let’s say Eddie, new this season, was scripted as a heavy metal, “Dungeons & Dragons” dungeon master with tattoos. So I reached out to Jeremy Sutton, my tattoo artist, and started the process. I said that my motif was a doll’s hand with a kind of ghoul. Red.] wanted to have. Then he sent me a picture and I said I wanted it to be a little different – and that’s how I kept guiding him back and forth. [You can think of it this way: I suggested a group of bats as a motif – I just shout things out into the room and he writes everything down and flashes me a [tattoo-themed poster, ed. Red.]. So that’s it for Eddie. And then comes the costume design and Eddie wears a coat the whole time (laughs). But I knew that Joe Quinn really loved wearing [the tattoos] even if you couldn’t see them.

However, we did get to see some of them on the show.
ALF: Well, that’s because we made sure of that. I said, “If we did see the tattoos, when and where would that be?” And [the crew] decided that it would be in the forest scene with Chrissy in the Dungeons and Dragons game, because then he wouldn’t be on guard. He takes off his jacket to make her more comfortable or when he is with his friends.

Do any of you have a favorite character that you most enjoy working on?

ALF: They are all our little babies. But it depends on the script and what the actors are given. Steve has become so valuable because he cares so much about the kids. This dynamic makes you feel attracted to certain characters. Nancy is such a badass person – but she looks so reserved. Those little nuances between what you expect a character to be and who they actually are is what I find so brilliant about this series. She shows that strong people can be soft and soft people can be strong.

I have to say that Yuri was one of my favorites this season design-wise. The actor [Nikola Djuricko]….everyone was fighting to get him in the chair. He’s very funny and exudes a new kind of energy. We gave it teeth that were gold and yellowed by coffee, made it look weathered and wounded. He was up for anything.

Devin Morales: It was great working with everyone. It was super fun introducing a lot of the new characters, bringing them to life. You know, Fred and his scar or Jason and the jock guys and all the different stereotypes we’ve been playing with this season. We did it in a very real way and it was just fun to bring a lot of new energy to the screen.

ALF: The beauty of this series is that the further you go, the more 80’s it intertwines. Now we are in ’86. There are even more characters, so this year we can show more stereotypes. We decorated Susie’s house with all these crazy kids with war paint.

Which character did you spend the most time on this season?
ALF: I think Joe Keery has been the longest in the makeup chair because we have to keep holding the scratches and dirt, the cuts and bruises. But also to make him look kind of like an action hero. So it’s a fine line and you have to remember where the little details go.

DM: I agree. But there are also so many things that we had to learn quickly. We often worked with several people on a character to make it go faster. Especially when there are minors on set – their hours are limited. We had a great team and we were busy every day trying to get things done as quickly as possible.

ALF: We were about eight people. It’s so important to have enough people around who are always up to date. There aren’t many characters in our series that everyone hasn’t touched at some point. We really had to be very flexible and not be too considerate of our actors. Whoever designed the look passes that look on and makes sure the other person knows.

How do you keep the looks consistent?

ALF: We have monitors that you can use to take screenshots while we’re shooting. Everything revolves around pictures and documentation. If you don’t have time to write down what you gave the character, take a picture of what you used. Because once someone has cleaned up, you will never remember it again! When we had to mix up all the lard and slime… obviously none of us could do the math – because each version looked completely different.

How do you make these things?

ALF: The only thing that we really had to do from scratch was the lard and slime, the bat blood and so on. It’s all on the same base and then you just color it in with makeup or food coloring – depending on what you’re using it for. You have to calculate how many drops of whatever you’re putting in, and then you write it down. We have a small recipe box for that.

DM: That definitely makes for a bunch of funny labels on the bottles. Something like “Interdimensional Slime Lard #1” or “Demogorgon Spit” because we have so many things that are specific to our series and the color palette and products are not pre-made.

ALF: I got so much blood from Eleven. It’s crazy. We have a slow drip nasal drip. We have a fast drip nasal drip. We have a non-drip nose drip. Basically you choose where in the scene you want the drop to fall because once it hits the lip it becomes ugly. So you have to estimate how long the scene is and where it should end.

The series is so popular that you must have received a lot of feedback. What did you notice the most about it?

ALF: I love all the [fan] theories. Everyone has a theory about something. If anyone knows I worked on the show, they say, “Oh my god, my theory is…”

DM: A lot of fans get [Eddie’s] tattoos. right amy

ALF: The second the season came out people were trying to get the tattoos and take pictures of them. Being a heavily tattooed person myself, I hate the idea of ​​people getting bad artwork inked and having to cover it up later. So I figured I’d release these designs one at a time, and it was kind of a little food orgy. Everyone was so excited, and then went on about what they meant.

DM: Like everyone else, I see the funny memes and the comments and they’re all just really cute and entertaining. I love all the comments on the pictures of Eddie’s wounds where people are like, “They don’t look that bad. I think he could have survived!”

What was the craziest or most difficult look you created this season?

ALF: The makeup isn’t the challenge – it’s the time we have. We developed the make-up, we know what we’re doing. We test things for a reason and we test things again for a reason. So that it’s easy on the deadline.

I think the hardest part [in the horror sequence] was when Chrissy’s father was tied to a chair [in episode one]. It was a thing because this actor had to be tied to a chair with no sight and no way to talk to us. So we needed as much time as possible because if he has a panic attack, we won’t know. We had to try it on him and make sure he was comfortable. So we gave him the choice – either he can see or talk to us until the last minute. He chose to cover his mouth because he could use his eye to see and to write things down on a blackboard. And then about 20 minutes before they needed it, we painted on the other eye effect. We brought him in and put him on the chair. The five of us worked feverishly – we had cards from our test [that showed us] how to tie the threads – sewed it into the chair, and then it was a spin. Then [the crew] called for lunch and we got him out asap.

Is there anything you would have liked to have worked on on the show but haven’t had the opportunity?
ALF: The sheer content that the show gave us for this season was just astronomical, you know? From the roller skating rink to the Gulag prison and labor camp and a laboratory to the Creel house from the 1950s. what kind of dream is this It’s not like working on a sitcom that I did – I love it, there’s a really nice pacing there – but it’s so different. As creators and as leaders of other creators, we really want people to get involved and have fun. [The team] comes in one way in the morning, transforms at work, and at the end of the day they’re themselves again. It just feels very rewarding.

Text & Interview: Sam Neibart

Are you already done with Stranger Things Season 4? Then you might be interested in these posts:

Maya Hawke and Priah Ferguson: Everything you need to know about the new ‘Stranger Things’ stars

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Larry Brown

I graduated from Yale University, Department of Television. I have been a professional news writer for 3 years. I am continuing my career here by establishing site 3 months ago.

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