Have you ever been watching a movie or a television show and wondered how the stars have managed to get their hair looking so good or so weird? Us too! Well Diana Acrey is a hairstylist who has worked on movies such as The Hunger Games, Man of Steel and G.I. Jane.
While most of the people that Diana has worked with have been polite and well mannered, she does admit that there are those that have also been quite diffult, “Quite a few, and I try to learn from those negative experiences, and it usually gives me a thicker skin for the next one,” explains Acrey.
Diana was also kind enough to take some time to talk to FansShare about what it takes to be at the top of her game and the movies and television shows that she has worked on.
FS: What is your key role on the sets of movies and television shows?
DA: It depends on the job, I am a department head, a personal, I run background, and I also daycheck on different productions.
FS: How did you get into doing what you do?
DA: I did a few commercials, and a friend of mine Lori Berk, introduced me to Sharin Helgestad, who recommended me for a dept head position on a show called Silk Stalkings, which was a cult hit back in 1990. So my very first position was that of department head, and I pretty much had to learn on my own and it was a great learning experience, very nerve racking though!
FS: Have you always wanted to be involved in this industry?
DA: When I attended Charles Ross Hair Academy in Beverly Hills in 1982, I was so impressed and interested in a woman who came to the school to talk to us about her job in film and television as a Hairstylist. I went on to work in many salons, but was never a great fit in many of them because I just kept thinking about how exciting her career was. And now I'm doing it, and Im so glad I did! It has been very rewarding.
FS: You were the Key Hair Stylist on the Demi Moore movie G.I. Jane. There was not a lot of hair in that movie. Did you find that very challenging?
DA: So funny it looks that way! Demi had her own personal, and I was department head for the California crew. So when they came to shoot that portion, I had to match everyone's hair from what was previously shot, as it was 2 weeks later in the script. And unfortunately, not many pictures to refer to! A lot of military style haircuts on all the actors, plus blood and dirt in the hair, and then having to match all the action with that. I cut and styled Viggo Mortensen's hair, then shaved back his hairline so it looked like it was receding. I then had to delicately paint individual shades of gray at his temples and around his head every day, then wash it out. That had to match as well. So, there was quite a bit of hair work in that film. I also had to make sure all the background had appropriate military style cuts as well.
FS: Is there any difference between working on a television show and working on a movie?
DA: Television shows can shoot an average of 8 to 10 pages a day! film 2 to 5 roughly a day, so the pace is quite different. I enjoy both, and have been fortunate enough to be able to work in both.
FS: Who has been the easiest star that you have had to work with?
DA: Henry Cavill, star of Man of Steel, he is the new Superman, so incredibly sweet and patient, lovely to work with, has great hair. Hugh Laurie from House, the man thanked me in his acceptance speech when he won his Golden Globe! such a surprise, that was unforgettable. And for women, Olivia Wilde, Cynthia Nixon from Sex and the City. They were so fun to be around, and really open to my suggestions.
FS: You worked on The Hunger Games. What was your role and who did you work with?
DA: I am currently on the second film shooting in Atlanta! I am one of lucky ones to be able to create amazing futuristic hairstyles for all the background that you see in the films.
FS: You have also worked on Man of Steel. Was your role here any different to that of The Hunger Games?
DA: Yes, I was Key hairstylist on Man of Steel, and for a couple of days department head as well, so I was working directly with all the stars on this film.
FS: What were the actors like in this movie?
DA: Very professional. It was an intense shoot.
FS: You have been involved in a lot of television shows, as well as movies. What would you say is your favourite that you have worked on so far?
DA: For television I would have to say Angel and House. And for film, Man of Steel, Hunger Games, and G. I. Jane.
FS: Do days become repetitive or is every day different?
DA: There is repetition in every job. That's also what makes me better at my craft. And usually when I think I've landed a job that is easy, it always seems to surprise me still, when it turns out just the opposite, which is great. I work very well under pressure.. And being able to work in interesting environments like in the desert, or at the beach, or in pouring rain, in top secret locations, on top of tall buildings in the middle of the night.. in the middle of blocked off city streets, makes for an interesting job! As well as being able to create many interesting hairstyles from many different periods.
FS: Can you run us through a general day in the life of Diana Acrey?
DA: Well, right now, I am travelling a lot for work, which I love! When I am not working, I'm nesting, and making improvements on my home, being with my family, and dining out with friends. Playing tennis and of course, watching TV and films. Fun homework for me.
Being a part of the hair or makeup team on movies and television is one of the vital roles that people do not often get to hear about. However, there are people out there that aspire to follow in Diana Acrey’s footsteps and Diana was kind enough to give those people some words of advice.
Diana encouraged, “Be honest, work hard, never never be late! Don't bring your problems to work! Make an effort to look put together, take pride in your appearance, and don't get caught up in the gossip.. it can kill a career, I've seen it firsthand.”
You can see Diana Acrey’s work on the big screen in Man of Steel, which is set to be released on June 14, 2013 and then again in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which will be released on November 22, 2013.