Tech Support Interview: Hair and makeup designers Marese Langan and Mark Coulier on turning Meryl Streep into 'The Iron Lady'
Transforming a well-known actor into a well-known political figure on the screen is tricky business. The visual familiarity with both can be a huge challenge, leaving viewers scrutinizing the work more than they might otherwise.
In the case if "The Iron Lady," one of the most recognizable actresses in the world, Meryl Streep, had to undergo such a transformation as prosthetics designer Mark Coulier and hair designer Marese Langan were tasked with turning her into former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But beyond just the physical transformation of one visage into another, "The Iron Lady" is a decades-spanning effort that sees a gradual shift in appearance for the character throughout the movie.
And even then, it wasn't just a single actor undergoing this kind of work. "We had a cast of 70 playing mostly historical characters," says Langan. "Therefore we had to give a nod towards the physical appearance of these real-life figures, and in many cases, this required the use of wigs and hair pieces."