Q&A: Makeup Designer Joyce Tu

Editor’s Note: We culled your questions from Facebook and Twitter for this week’s Q&A with a Dirk Gently crew member. This week, it’s head of the makeup department, Joyce Tu.

1. BBCAmerica.com: A lot of fans loved this Season 1 look and wanted to know how to recreate it.:

Joyce Tu: I’m glad you guys love it! This was definitely one of the hardest make-up to do from last season. Hannah and I had a lot of fun turning her into the galaxy goddess in the trailer.

It was created for Amanda’s psychedelic vision. It took me a really long time to create this even though it was only on TV for a few seconds. It’s just like painting. I had covered Hannah all over in dark blue, then added highlights and shadows. The forehead part is a small prosthetic piece (we call them Bondo Transfer) that I sculpted to make it more dimensional. The cool thing about this was that Amanda had to submerge herself in a dark pool, therefore her makeup had to be fully waterproof.

2. Simona H. via Facebook: what was the hardest makeup to do? (ps, this is so cool.)

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JT: The hardest makeup is definitely Wygar’s makeup on Season 2. Wygar has a lot of scars and cuts, and… he has a beard with buttons sewn onto him. His makeup and hair all together probably takes three hours, and as you know when you work long hours and have to come in at 5 a.m., it’s hard to concentrate on all the little details — there’s just so much going on.

3. Kara C. via Facebook: Any tips for how to do makeup with hand and face muscle tremors?
JT: I think makeup is art. it’s creative and fun. It’s all about creating your own style — not on canvas but on faces — and have fun. Perhaps you can create you own special type of art that doesn’t require finessing.

4. Grace I. via Facebook:  What’s the design process like for creating a makeup look for a character?
JT:
Prior to creating any makeup look, I work side by side with the creator, producers, and the director to figure out how they see their character in their story, then bring the characters to life. I would read the script, write down my notes about each character, research and find many images, and do some quick sketches that help to provide them a better idea and some input on how I picture these characters. Then we would have a makeup test and test it out. If everyone likes it, then it’s a go!

5. Erick L. via Facebook: do you apply any cream or lotion before make up?
JT:
It really depends on the makeup application. If it’s beauty makeup then most of the time you would, depending on what type of skin your actor has, like dry or combination to oily. If it’s for a prosthetic application then you would want to clean the actor’s skin and not moisturize so prosthetic pieces can adhere better throughout the day.

6. @bdtodorova via Twitter: How do you go about linking makeup and the state of mind a char is in? in love with Amanda’s transformation from scared girl to full rowdy

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JT:
A lot of times, Max Landis already knows what he want the characters to look like. So my job is really bringing what’s in his head to life. I try to provide lots of images at meetings and make sure I’m on the same page.

7. @gentlyoakley via Twitter: who’s the hardest to do makeup for?
JT: We have a really great lovely cast every season. Everyone got along really well. Actually it was my first time doing makeup on a dog… so, Bentley! I had to make him dirty but never had that experience before. Turned out well though.

8. BBCAmerica.com: Can you tell us about Suzie’s “makeover” look — makeup is a big part of her transformation! 
JT:
Suzie’s transformation in this season is huge! She is definitely my favorite character from Season 2. We go from her mundane, boring Suzie look with uneven skin tone, dull skin to this beautiful full-of-confidence woman. All I can say is there is a lot more surprises to come. You guys will love the story, makeup, hair, and wardrobe! It’s just such a fun character and we all got to be creative!

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