Hair & Makeup Artist Annie McEwan on the Challenges of ‘Outlander’

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There is no denying the immersive feeling of Outlander. From performances to sets, and even Claire’s wild curly hair, the show does a fantastic job of creating an engaging world for the viewer and hair and makeup artist Annie McEwan is part of the reason the audience gets swept away by the show. In a recent interview with Below the Line, McEwan discussed the challenges of working on Outlander (Rain, and wind, and beards! Oh my!), as well as the research that goes into creating the look of a character. Below is a small portion of the interview, which can be read in its entirety here.

There were many interesting discoveries during the research process. One was finding the highlanders clean shaven. This led to much thought and consideration in deciding what the highlanders should look like on the show. “It is always assumed, encouraged by Victorian depiction, that highlanders were bearded. This is a time when beards were not encouraged, in fact actively discouraged in Europe. We did give some of the highlanders beards because it had been referred to in the books and expected by an audience. This also helped separate them from redcoats and the English who were always clean shaven,” explained McEwan.

Besides difficult creative decisions, there were also other challenges. The schedule was very demanding so it definitely keep things interesting. “We had to prep and fit while we were filming so there was never a dull moment,” McEwan said. Another thing she had to always be aware of was the weather in Scotland, which was always unpredictable. “Especially for hair that had to be dressed in the knowledge that it was likely to be rained on and wind blown. To keep a curl in Caitriona’s hair was the greatest challenge. Cait has straight hair and Claire has wildly curly hair, which is depicted in the book.” There were also over 400 wigs used, some double and triple fitted to be dressed and redressed many times over the shoot.

Source: Below the Line