Penny Dreadful’s Key Prosthetic Make-Up Artist Sarita Allison is a double BAFTA winner and a fan favorite among Dreadfuls. Interactive, mysterious and gracious to fans, each Dreadful awaits in bated breath for her social media updates on what’s happening on set of the show. While in the middle of production for season 3, we caught up with Sarita for an exclusive interview to chat about her career, Penny Dreadful and working with Eva Green. Get to know the London-based genius behind The Creature, Witches and The Werewolf as she takes us behind the scenes of the show and tell us what to expect on season 3…
A lot of Penny Dreadful fans already know you by name but could you tell us more about yourself?
I am the Key Prosthetic Make-Up Artist on Penny Dreadful and I work closely alongside Nick Dudman, the HOD. I apply the prosthetic makeups with Nick or by myself with the exception of Sembene’s facial scarring which is done by the make-up department.
The design and look of the characters is a collaboration between Nick and I. The final look and maintenance of the actors on set is all part of my job. I am a Make-Up Designer in my own right and I have the versatility of also being a beauty make-up artist. That skill has proven extremely beneficial whilst working on Penny Dreadful. Nick wanted someone to work with him who had that versatility because we were not creating rubber monsters. We were creating characters. I am incredibly passionate about my work and always strive to improve and be the best I possibly can. Trying to have a work / life balance is really important as this type of job can all consume if you allow it. Practicing yoga is part of my life and helps me focus and switch off from work at the same time.
Eva Green says wearing lipstick helps her feel “comfortable”.
The 35-year-old actress is known for her glamorous appearance and always brings out her inner femme fatale when she hits the red carpet. A major part of her look is sultry make-up and the stunning brunette reveals that she could never go au naturel with her pout.
“I’m a huge lipstick fan,” she confided in the British edition of InStyle magazine. “It’s the one thing I always wear. I can go out with very little mascara and just red lips and feel totally comfortable. YSL Beauty has beautiful strong, bright shades.”
Just as Eva doesn’t mix up her make-up look too much, she stays faithful to one fragrance. For many years she’s used Santa Maria Novella’s Melograno, even feeling it’s become “a part of” her. When it comes to looking after her body, she sticks to moisturiser from Sisley.
But Eva isn’t just stylish off screen; in action flick 300: Rise of an Empire she went gothic glam with kohl-smudged eyes and full battle gear. While she loved the look, Eva admits that some of her character’s outfits weren’t practical for her energetic scenes.
“I always try to take a hand in the costumes because you have to be comfortable,” she previously explained to UK magazine ShortList.
“But my hair actually got caught in one of the outfits I wore. I was in the middle of this huge fight scene and had to go, ‘Oh f**k, wait a second.'”
On the subject of the lead character Vanessa Ives played by Eva Green, Logan was unequivocal.
“To me, Penny Dreadful is a dance with Eva Green. Vanessa Ives is my muse, no question about it. She is a good metaphor for me coming to accept ‘the beast in me’.
“As soon as I get on set, I speak to Eva, and we go over all the scenes in detail.”
Read the rest of Mr. Logan’s masterclass coverage HERE.
By Vatsala Chhibber
There’s a dreamlike quality about Eva Green. Her stunning dark looks and impenetrable smoky eyes appear almost unreal, belonging in a whimsical fairy tale, or a Tim Burton set. Her on-screen characters only elevate the intrigue, from James Bond’s wayward lover in Casino Royale (2006) to a creepy clairvoyant on TV’s favourite horror-drama,Penny Dreadful. In Green’s make-believe world she’s always confident, alluring and not without an evil streak. “But I wouldn’t call myself self-confident in real life,” she admits. “It’s always been a fantasy for me to play powerful women — with some cracks in their personality — because I am not like that.” And though she’s found firm footing as Hollywood’s go-to femme fatale, she’s not entirely thrilled about it. “I don’t like being put in a box,” she says. “I’m many things.” Here, she gives us a glimpse of some of those things, as well as her inner demons, her beauty rituals and the big, bad Hollywood beast.
On inhabiting Tim Burton’s universe
“He’s like a child; happy and easygoing with a passion that is contagious. In Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children [out next year], my character is like a dark Mary Poppins. It’s a beautiful story set in the ‘40s and all the other roles are played by children — this was my first time working with children, and that was a bit of a challenge. The movie is slightly bonkers, but in a poetic way.”
On her red-carpet ritual
“The last thing I do before stepping onto the red carpet is put on some perfume. I’ve been very faithful to this brand called Santa Maria Novella. They have a fragrance called Melograno that’s very simple, and very me.”
On being the new spokesperson for L’Oréal Professionnel
“My hair is thin, fragile and tortured every day. My hairdresser always uses L’Oréal Professionnel hair products. I tried their deep moisturising Pro Fiber treatment, which is magical, and their new Wet Domination by Tecni.ART styling range. I also love oils, both for the body and the hair. I use L’Oréal’s Mythic Oil twice a month — leaving it on overnight and shampooing the next morning.”
On surviving Hollywood
“It’s a tough business. As an actor you have to keep your vulnerability for your roles, and at the same time, you have to build an armour around yourself because there are so many… I have to find a polite word… arseholes. You have to have faith in yourself and remain strong. And, if you find that you’ve lost your passion one day, I think you should move on to something else.”
– Magazines & Newspapers > 2015 > Mujer Hoy (Spain) – July 25, 2015
– Magazines & Newspapers > 2015 > Glamour (Spain) – June 2015
Mujer Hoy seems to think that Algeria and Nigeria are the same country… Come on, folks! In this day and age, journalists can do a little research with the help of the Internet before posting n’importe quoi… The fine people from those two diverse and culturally rich countries would appreciate it. And so would be, Eva Green fans.
Eva talks about her shyness, being cast as Isabelle in The Dreamers, how it didn’t work out between her and von Trier and why she didn’t star in The Antichrist, dying her hair as a teen, and L’Oréal.
She’s got dark hair and mesmerizing blue eyes: Eva Green know how to captivate an audience, whether she’s playing a Bond girl, a dark Tim Burton character, or a very gloomy Vanessa Ives on Penny Dreadful. There’s a sense of mystery to her beauty, an essence I try to decode in this candid chat with L’Oréal Professionnel’s new international spokesperson.
1) How important is hair to an overall look?
Everything. I mean, skin of course is important, but a hair do can define who you are and what you look like. For me, as an actor… it’s major. It defines the character. It helps you define the role. In everyday life I’m terrible with my hair. I can’t do anything, so I let it down. It’s very straight, so a side-parting is all. If you go to the hairdresser, it makes you feel confident. Good hair makes you feel confident.
2) How does it feel to represent a brand like L’Oréal Professionnel?
It’s such a cool, iconic brand. Since I was very little I’ve seen L’Oréal Professionnel products at hair salons. It’s quite a weird feeling, but I’m happy that I’m now on board!
3) Could you describe you style in one word?
(I’ve got to say, I’ve never received an answer like that before and it just goes to show how versatile the actress really is.)
4) Why did you choose to go from being blonde to black at a young age?
I wasn’t exactly blonde. I was in the middle and I don’t like being in the middle. I feel like my mom had dark hair, pale skin, and blue eyes, so I thought let’s try that. I didn’t tell my mother. I went to the hairdresser when I was 15 and dyed my hair. It was a strong statement.
5) What is your favorite feature?
Oh god, I don’t know. My hands.
5) Three beauty essentials that you always have in your bag?
Contact lenses, because I’m completely blind, a fragrance (Santa Maria Novella), and red lipstick.
6) Have you ever been to India?
My god, no! It’s my dream to go there. I was in Sri Lanka last year, but I couldn’t make it to India.
7) Is there something you’d like to do when you’re here?
I need 3 months to explore your country. But yeah, I want to go to Rajasthan. There’s so many places… it’s another world: the spices, the colors. It’s a whole other world. It’s magical.
8) What is your favorite red carpet hair do?
I would say the safest for me would be side-parting and hair on one side. It’s always a safe option.
Eva leaves us wanting more! We’re excited to see what she and L’Oréal Professionnel are going to do together.
Miss Malini’s Audio interview with Eva:
By Deanna Barnert
Penny Dreadful star Eva Green reveals her favorite fascinations
I don’t have a purse; I have a Tumi backpack.
Essential jewelry piece:
A vintage spider brooch from the 1920s that I bought on Portobello Road in London. It’s a good-luck thing.
Best beauty product:
MAC red lipstick. Avène, the French skin-care brand, is very good. Shu Uemura for hair.
Santa Maria Novella eau de cologne.
By Irène Schäppi
Eva Green is the new face of L’Oréal Professionnel’s Haircare brand. At the interview in Paris, the French actress told us what she thinks about beauty hype and social media.
We met Eva Green in a hotel suite in Paris where she’ll be presented as the new ambassador of L’Oréal Professionnel Haircare brand. The stunning beautiful actress wears a floor-length black Gothic-robe and massive silver rings on her fingers, looking like a mixture of Hell’s Angels jewelry and Harald Glööckler’s clunkers. With this styling, Eva Green, 34 years old, looks less like the Femme Fatale role she often plays. She looks like a vulnerable young woman. Is that intentional? I don’t think so. The French actress is considered very shy and often gestures while speaking with her hands as her rings rattle constantly together.
Q: Eva, you are one of Hollywood’s mega brunettes. What are your hair care secrets?
A: Each role brings a new hairstyle with it. This may damage the scalp or the hair can get dull. I take care of my hair every weekend with special masks and scalp treatments.
Q: Any other beauty tricks?
A: My mother taught me early not to rub dry my wet hair. It splits the hair ends. My mom is so great with hair she could also have a great career as a hairdresser.
Q: Your mother, Marlène Jobert is an actress too. What was her reaction to your career choice?
A: At the beginning, she didn’t know about my choice. My mom didn’t really want me to be an actress.
A: Because she knows how hard the film business can be sometimes. She was right. Shortly after my first movie “The Dreamers”, studio bosses and agents said that I was fat and advised me to lose weight because I wouldn’t get roles.
Q: That’s hard. How did you handle these critics?
A: I instantly went to my mother to comfort me. It’s still that way. She is my refuge and she takes care of me when I doubt myself. When I’m down, there’s no better place than to go to her house where she cooks for me. I’m a real Mama’s girl.
Q: Is she okay now that you’re an actress?
A: Yes, my mom has resigned and supports me when she can. She travels a lot around with me, comes often to visit me on film sets and accompanies me to premieres.
Q: How do you handle the beauty and fitness hype in Hollywood?
A: It’s not easy and it scares me. Nevertheless, as an actress I must stay in form. My body is my expression. I work together with a personal trainer who forces me to do push-ups etc. and I try to eat healthy food. But I am French. Red wine and cheese are must haves.
Q: Many stars posts their food on Instagram…
A: Social media makes me sick. In my opinion, these self-expressions simply suck. It’s so much better to stay mysterious. The world out there doesn’t have to know everything about me. What is so exciting about how I look while shaving my legs or in the toilet?
Q: But you like to present yourself on the red carpet. Smokey eyes are your trademark. How do you put on makeup privately?
A: Really? I had to adjust but now I see every red carpet appearance as a film role. Privately, I don’t often use makeup. Maybe because I absolutely have no talent for it. But when I go for dinner, I use red lipstick.
Thanks to Marijan for translating this interview!
By Julie Schott
Why the French actress is “becoming very LA.”
Sometimes Penny Dreadful star Eva Green wishes she could switch places with her twin sister and enjoy the luxury of anonymity. “She has an amazing life in Italy. She’s married to a count,” Green says. “I wish I could be her sometimes. She’s more down to earth.” When the French actress wants to disappear–a difficult feat after her mega-sexy turn in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For–she puts on her “teenager” uniform: “black t-shirt, black leggings, no makeup.”
But her signature jet-black hair, red lips, and, let’s be honest, cleavage make it impossible to blend in. We want to know all of her beauty secrets. Here, Green shares her thoughts on hair, nutrition, and nude scene prep.
ON THE PERFECT RED LIP:
I would do a red lip [on the red carpet], a flashy red lip, bada-boom. Otherwise, I’m useless. I love M.A.C or NARS pigments. Ruby Woo or Lady Danger.
I’m a vampire; I use a lot of sun cream. Skinceuticals Ultimate UV Defense is very good. The less you go in the sun the better. I moisturize with Avene. It’s a French brand that’s really good.
ON HER HAIR REGIMEN:
I wash my hair quickly. L’Oréal Absolut Repair has amazing conditioner and shampoo; it makes your hair thicker and shiny. I’m not just saying that because I’m a L’Oréal Professionnel ambassador! I dyed my hair for the first time when I was 15 and it stayed. I like dark because it makes my skin pop and it’s more me. I work with Orla Carroll for hair on shoots.
I’m becoming very LA. I drink lots of water and eat lots of green vegetables. I’m doing lots of juices at the moment. I kind of do apple, kale, carrot. I’ve got a fancy juicer. I started feeling very tired and everybody was like ‘You should try the juicing,’ but I really love it. I felt very weak. It was a revelation. And only organic fruit and vegetables. There’s so many pesticides and shit. I discovered the book by Dr. Fuhrman where he talks about juicing and eating mainly vegetables.
ON NUDE SCENE PREP:
As an actor, it’s not like a porn star. The role is not gratuitous and I kind of detach myself if I have to do a nude scene. For the sequel of 300, I did a lot of core training and that kind of work because my character was a warrior—[it needed] to be believable [that I could] kick some ass. Two or three months of training for five hours a day and I loved it. Your muscles are getting stronger. It’s like a drug almost, you feel addicted, but then on your own it’s so hard. You don’t have somebody kicking your ass every morning. I go for a run every day, I do elliptical, I do stretching. I run like 30 minutes—it’s for the head.
ON SOCIAL ANXIETY:
I’m like a cave woman. I wish I could hang out in a big social place and being very open, but I’m not like that. Being shy was a real problem in school. I don’t feel very comfortable. I have force myself to go out. At events, it’s part of the job. I see it as a game. Otherwise I’m very invisible. I prefer to float around.
By Ruben V. Nepales
Eva, with the charming, intense eyes, smiled as she heard John’s introduction.
She lost no time sharing what’s happening with her character: “When we start Season Two, Vanessa is very vulnerable, very lost. She feels like she’s been abandoned by God. She’s still haunted by the devil but she thinks she’s managed to tame him. But in fact, the devil has sent his servants to capture her soul. They’re actually witches, these servants. They’re very scary so she feels very scared and feels a bit trapped.
“Evelyn Poole (Helen McCrory) becomes involved with Sir Malcolm (Timothy Dalton). Right in the beginning, Vanessa senses there’s something much more to this woman than meets the eye. She just senses with her sixth sense, Oh my God, there’s something odd. Little by little, we discover that Evelyn is actually the head of the witches and her mission is to deliver Vanessa’s soul to the master, the devil. She’s Vanessa’s enemy, that’s for sure. Helen McCrory is absolutely wonderful—she’s a very sexy, dark, beautiful actress.
“Vanessa is still wrestling with her inner demons all the time. It’s much more internal this year, I would say. There’s also a beautiful love story with the character of Ethan. They’re both fighting with their own demons and they try to suppress their desire for each other.”
“It’s a dangerous, spicy relationship,” she added with a grin, her blue eyes lighting up. “They’re afraid that if they give in to their desire, they will destroy each other. It’s a very beautiful relationship.”
Asked about the elaborate sets, Eva answered, “My favorite is my character’s bedroom because it’s very simple and plain. It’s just one bed and a cross and yet all the drama happens there. The true Vanessa is in that bedroom. She can unleash all her demons there.”
Professional dancer, model turned actress Nicole O’Neill is one of Penny Dreadful’s new additions this second season, playing a witch out to get Eva Green’s Vanessa Ives. We caught up with Nicole to talk about working on Penny Dreadful, observing and working with Eva Green and her hopes and dreams for her young career.
You’re a film and television actress, professional dancer and commercial and print model. How did it all come about for you in terms of being casted as one of the witches? Was there an audition process and how was it like?
Ahh yes, I am quite the grafter work-wise, and enjoy having a good mix of professions to keep me on my toes. However, it is safe to say that acting is my real passion! Yes, I did audition for my role. But it is how I got this amazing opportunity in the first place that will be forever humbling!
This game changing experience really all came about for me because of the wonderful Sarita Allison. Penny Dreadful’s Key Prosthetic MUA. I had the pleasure of getting to work with this exceptionally talented lady 4 years ago on X-MEN: First Class. After which, through the various forms of social media we thankfully stayed in touch. As I am sure you know being great fans of the show, Sarita has a BIG input into the design of new “creature-esq” character looks… the witches, really being her “big project” for season 2 so to speak!
In August last year, casting was already well underway but there was some struggle I believe to find actresses 1) who would do partial nudity, 2) full body prosthetics, (it is really not an experience for everyone!) and 3) who had, if any some kind of combat or stunt experience ideally.
As Sarita relayed it to me…One day while sat in her kitchen reading the new season 2 scripts, she was trying to envision which actresses she could see playing the witches… and amazingly, I apparently sprung to mind. Like WOW, what a compliment!!!
Next thing I know, she blows me away with this random phone call out the blue. Asks me to send my CV and showreel to the Penny Dreadful producers in LA! Just CRAZY, and all over the space of an intensely nerve-wracking 5 days, I was given an audition scene, was put on tape by a top casting director and after a nail biting 2 day wait, I got word from across the pond that I had gotten the part!
I literally cannot express how much I owe Sarita for believing in me enough to put her own personal judgment on the line! I could, of course completely fallen flat in my audition. Totally flaked! As let’s face it, I haven’t had a ton of acting experience, and this was no small audition! Yet, I enjoyed it so much! I felt I had absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain, and most of all this “Little Monster” was not about to let her “Head Witch” down!!!
By Jennifer Weil
Eva Green is a multitasking maven. She recently took time out from filming the Tim Burton movie “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” to appear at the press launch in Paris of the new L’Oréal Professionnel Pro Fiber line. Green might have been named the international face of the L’Oréal-owned professional hair-care brand just a few months ago in late January, but hair has played a leading role all her life. The actress, sporting a long black Hervé Leroux dress, sat down with WWD at the Le Meurice Hotel to have a discussion.
WWD: You first dyed your hair dark around the age of 15. What made you do that?
Eva Green: I wanted to change something. You know, like when you go through your teenage years. I hated school. I was a good student, but I just wanted to breathe in something new. I was in awe of a friend of my mum who had dark hair. She was quite weird, beautiful. I was like: ‘Oh wow, I’ll go to the hairdresser and try that.’ So I went there, I dyed my hair blue-black and came back home. It took me a while to get used to it, and then I actually really liked it. I felt more like myself. It’s weird.
WWD: Has hair played an important part of your character creation at work?
E.G.: Hair defines your character, your state of mind. At the moment I’m in a Burton film, and it took weeks and weeks to find the right hairdo. It’s kind of a weird character. Her name is Miss Peregrine, so there is a bit of a birdlike hairdo in her. It helps you to create the character when you find the hairdo. It’s also like a costume.
WWD: What have been some of the interesting hairstyles you’ve had during your career?
E.G.: In “Dark Shadows” I wear a blonde wig. I was really worried at the beginning, … I was not sure [but] Tim Burton was like: ‘No, no I want you blonde.’ That made total sense for the character and actually was a very good idea, kind of a trashy Barbie. And that helps you tremendously to find the character.
I dyed my hair red six years ago, seven years ago for a role that I ended up not doing, but you feel different. I had a fringe, as well, a year ago for a movie called “White Bird in a Blizzard.” I kind of loved it. It’s a tiny detail, but you feel different. It’s funny.
WWD: What have been some of your favorite roles?
E.G.: I loved a movie called “Cracks” by Jordan Scott. It’s a small film, lots people haven’t seen it, unfortunately, but it’s a beautiful, passionate love story between a swimming teacher in the Thirties, that I play, and one of her students. I really loved that story. It was kind of a gift for an actor.
WWD: Are there any sorts of roles you’ve not gotten to play that you’d like to try?
E.G.: Yes, of course. It’s always hard as an actor because you’re being put in a box. Lots of journalists ask me: “Oh my God, why do you just play evil characters or dark characters?” I feel like I’ve played other characters, maybe that’s what you’ve seen only of me. I like complex characters, complicated people. In darkness you have light; you have different facets in the darkness. So maybe a comedy or something that people don’t expect me in — but the comedy is always a challenge, and it’s rare and it’s quite funny. But yeah, I’d like something kind of [like a] dark comedy.
WWD: Any directors you’ve not worked with yet that you’d like to try?
E.G.: I don’t know where to start. So many. Something simple. I’m sick of people saying that I do femmes fatales or I’m sexy. So I think I have to be careful now and play dirty hair, raw, a Mike Leigh movie or something, you know. No lipstick. I don’t know. Dirty hair for L’Oréal.
Something not too sophisticated, that’s what I mean. In “Penny Dreadful” I’m not very sophisticated. It’s not glamorous, let’s say.
WWD: What about stage acting?
E.G.: I’ve done plays. I get very nervous. I had a few blanks on stage so now I’m like, “Oh my God.” But it’s very electric, and it’s true that there is something kind of magical because there is a direct response with the audience. You’re not cut in the editing room. You are your own master, so that’s great but that’s really scary at the same time. I have to gain confidence again.
WWD: Back to beauty, what are your secrets?
E.G.: Sun cream, protection, food — what we eat is the most important: lots of green vegetables, raw vegetables, organic. Everything has to be organic.