The Crown’s makeup artist says transforming cast is not a ‘Stars in Their Eyes moment’

The hair and makeup designer for The Crown has revealed that transforming the cast of the fifth season of the hit Netflix show wasn’t a “Stars in Their Eyes moment”.

Speaking during a livestream on Monday (7 November), makeup artist Cate Hall said: “I think people think there’s a kind of Stars in Their Eyes moment, where [the cast] suddenly walk out and it’s like they see themselves for the first time.

“But actually it’s a bloody long process that goes over months and months where you make these very incremental steps.”

Hall, who has worked on The Crown’s previous seasons, explained that sculpting the wigs can take “hours and hours”.

“They [the wigs] go through awful phases of, like, weird other characters,” Hall said. “You know, looking like a kind of Amish Sunday school teacher or a crazy cleaner and eventually you get to the point where your work comes together with all the different departments, but it isn’t really an instant moment.”

The Crown’s costume designer Amy Roberts added: “You’re painting a picture. Portrait takes time and trust and development. They need to know where they’re going as well don’t they?”

Elsewhere in the livestream, Hall revealed what it was like trying to depict the “Sam McKnight haircut-era” of Diana, Princess of Wales as she was in the early to mid-Nineties.

Elizabeth Debicki in The Crown (left) and Diana, Princess of Wales (right) (Netflix/Getty)
Elizabeth Debicki in The Crown (left) and Diana, Princess of Wales (right) (Netflix/Getty)

“This is not a kind of fragile young debutant who is thrust into the limelight,” Hall explained. “This is a woman who’s reclaiming that space and saying, hold on a second. I have a voice. I can do this, I can carve my own niche. I’m valuable and I have something to offer.”

Of the transformation of Elizabeth Debicki into Diana, Hall added: “That haircut is pretty difficult to pull off in a wig.

“And then you’re talking like this, top to toe transformation. Elizabeth is much paler than Diana was, [so there was] constant tanning and and and makeup to try and push her towards the kind of Diana that we remember.”