SPOILER ALERT You should not read anything you haven’t seen. “Don’t Worry Darling,”In theaters now
Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling”It is set in the idyllic utopia of Victory Project in 1950s. Alice (Florence Pugh), Jack (Harry Styles), are residents of the desert town. Husbands drive off to work every day, while wives wave goodbye, take ballet lessons, and cook dinner. It’s a “Stepford Wives” scenario.
But all is not right, as the women must stay away from their husbands’ office building, Victory HQ, and aren’t allowed to know what they do for work. Soon, Alice begins to suspect that there are more hidden secrets beneath their idealistic lives. After a neighbor disappears, she digs deeper.
In the film’s second-act twist, viewers learn that the Victory Project is a present-day VR world where men can control women and turn them into “perfect wives.” In the real world, Jack is unemployed and sits at his computer all day, listening to a cult-like podcast as Alice works long hours in the emergency room — until he takes her captive and forces her to enter the simulation.
Victory Jack’s Incel Jack is quite different. His dapper, smooth style is gone “Mad Men”-like look. Instead, he’s unattractive with ill-fitting clothing, long hair that’s limp with grease and a face full of acne.
Jaime Leigh McIntosh (hair department) and Heba Thottir (makeup head), spent two hours creating Styles’ look that has made the internet abuzz.
McIntosh said that the key was not to force Styles to the point that his new appearance would be absurd. “It was about finding that balance and a fine line of pushing him in a different direction, but not so far,” says McIntosh.
Her first challenge was the singer-turned-actor’s thick head of hair. “I wanted to make it lank and more lifeless,”She said. McIntosh laughed, even though he flat-ironed his hair. “I fucking couldn’t. Harry’s hair is just so full of volume.”
In the end, she decided to get a wig. “When it’s long and scraggly, that was two pieces stitched together. When he has the short back and sides, I used the top of the wig and trimmed it to blend with Harry’s own sides and back,” explains McIntosh.
Thorisdottir was blessed with a blessing by the pandemic. Styles was forced to grow a beard after production was shut down for two consecutive weeks. Thorisdottir claims she would “cut into it to make it look scraggly and sparse. We just cut holes into it.”
Wilde often came up with ideas for Wilde’s future. The idea of giving Jack an injury was quickly abandoned. Thorisdottir says, “It’s so obvious to do that. We felt that if there was a scar, we would need a backstory about where he got it from and how it happened, and you would not understand why he did what he did.”
While brainstorming, Wilde suggesting giving Jack acne, but Thorisdottir suggested going one step further and giving Jack’s character acne scarring instead. Thorisdottir: “I know people with acne scars, some are super insecure and self-conscious. So, I called Jason Collins.”
Collins, an Emmy-winning special effects makeup artist, created the acne scars that riddled Jack’s real-world face. “He put them together really fast, and we tested them on Harry and he went for it,” Thorisdottir says.
Again, it was about finding a balance of just how much acne to give Jack’s character, staying within Styles’ comfort level and making sure it wouldn’t distract from his acting. Thorisdottir tried different methods to make her acne-scarred skin look better. She recalls: “One [version] was worse than the other. I remember he didn’t say anything, but I remember feeling, we might be going too far with it.”She continues, “I feel we were able to tell the story with it. We were not trying to make Harry look bad, we were explaining his insecurities and why Jack is the way he is.”
Arianne Phillips crafted the outfit’s costumes. Thorisdottir said that discussions revolved around the size of the clothes. “It was always hoodies and baggy clothing, like a person who doesn’t want to be noticed,”She said.
Adds McIntosh, “Harry loved it. He really leaned into the character makeup. He had a lot of fun and was really up for it.”