Hair in Film

Runner Runner

When the Ben Affleck-Justin Timberlake film Runner Runner hits theaters this weekend, hairstylist Anne Morgan will once again see her work on the big screen. Morgan has an impressive resume of films to her name, including Walk the Line, The Artist, Gangs of New York, The Truman Show and Charlie抯 Angels, working both as a key hairstylist and as a recurring on-set stylist to A-list stars like Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz, Jim Carrey and Jennifer Connelly. We caught up with Morgan to hear about her experience shooting Runner Runner in Puerto Rico, her favorite Oribe products to use on set and her upcoming projects.

How did you prepare for "Runner Runner"?
Before I start any film, I read the script and begin to collect visuals for things that inspire me. I also think of the actors, characters and overall material. I go in with an idea in my mind about the general feel.

For Runner Runner, I met with director Brad Furman, and he had some ideas, especially for Justin Timberlake. He wanted an archetypal movie star style for JT卻omething classically good looking, not trendy. I also really listen to the actors; some have a big opinion, while others focus more on their craft and not as much on the look. Justin was really open and wanted to do whatever Brad decided.

What was it like filming in Puerto Rico?
Even though it was super hot and humid, it was pretty awesome! It抯 so colorful there, which provided so much inspiration. The subculture of style in Puerto Rico was a catalyst for creating something with some mystery.

What was the overall aesthetic for the film?
The movie is contemporary and very stylized. I抳e worked with the costume designer, Sophie De Rakoff, before on Sweet Home Alabama and Legally Blonde 2, and we collaborate really well together.

You used Oribe products on set. Did you have any favorites?
Imperm閍ble was a lifesaver for Justin. His hair was quite short for the film, but very curly. We straightened his hair daily and needed something that would fight humidity; it was amazing. His hair is super fine, dense and curly and this totally worked梬e barely had to do touch ups thanks to Imperm閍ble (despite 14-hour days).

I used a lot of Original Pomade on Ben. We wanted to shake up his normal image, so we went with more of a traveled, European look條ike David Beckham on the cover of Elle. He was awesome to collaborate with.

Gemma Arterton抯 character travels a lot and is very stylish, smart and sophisticated; she knows what she抯 doing. She抯 gorgeous and has amazing hair to start with, and we wanted to give it a sun-kissed effect. We prepped her hair with Shampoo and Conditioner for Beautiful Color梬e were putting heat on her hair on a daily basis, and these kept her color shiny. We used Cr鑝e for Style to set, which really separated the curls and kept them soft.

Any fun stories from set?
It was a really fun shoot. Ben was hilarious梐 total jokester梐s was Anthony Mackie. Justin was so nice, and very focused when he was on set.

One of my favorite scenes was a big Electric Daisy-like party shot at the Fort of Old San Juan that Deadmau5 came in to perform at. We did almost 250 colored wigs for the scene. There were circus performers and the band was playing all night. We were shooting until 6am. We danced the night away even though we were working卙ard!

How did you get into movie styling?
I抦 from Los Angeles, but I grew up in the Middle East and Europe. I moved back to LA in the mid 80s and worked in a salon there for six years. I did a lot of work with fashion and editorial桰 even spent some time in London and Japan梩hen got the opportunity to work on a film called Less Than Zero. I had to make the decision between fashion and movies, and I chose movies. I love the creative process in film. I really enjoy creating people who don抰 really exist.

You抳e worked on so many incredible films; do you have a favorite?
I can抰 say I have a favorite梩hat抯 too hard! The most gratifying was Gangs of New York; every day was so inspiring and amazing and working with Marty [Scorsese] and those actors in Rome was incredible. It was genius匢 loved it.

I抦 most proud of Walk the Line. I only did Reese抯 [Witherspoon] hair, but being around everyone and seeing their processes was great.

Which movies do you think have the best movie hair?
Dangerous Liaisons had incredible hair; I love it so much. There抯 also Topsy Turvy, The Eyes of Laura Mars and Chinatown. I also think Private Benjamin had awesome hair; they had to create so many different looks.

You抳e worked with Reese Witherspoon, Jim Carrey, Hilary Swank and Jennifer Connelly multiple times梬hat is it like working with them on so many different types of films?
I love transforming them into different characters. I was recently putting together my reel, and I remember thinking I had certain actors in my reel too much卋ut they always look completely different! It allows me to stretch myself. It抯 great to have a collaborative relationship with someone; strong relationships are apparent in the work because your hands just know how to work well in that person抯 hair.

You抳e worked as both a department head and a personal stylist to a particular star on set. Do you prefer one over the other?
Both present challenges, but both can be very gratifying. When you抮e a department head, you have to look at the overall visual of ebb and flow for the cast; it抯 very schematic. When you抮e working with just one person, you can become much more specific, but you also have to make them integral in the film. If the character is in the forefront, you have to help him or her set the tone of the scene. Also, being a department head can be very administrative, which is hard (and distracting) when you抮e just trying to create great hair!

What抯 next?
I recently finished setting up Connie Britton for Nashville; I came in to give her character some different looks and a clear direction where to go. I did her hair for the first four episodes of the season, then passed her along to a hairstylist I抳e worked with who will continue creating what we came up with. She has incredible bombshell red hair, and she抯 such a doll. I don抰 use too many products on her hair, but I used Dry on her a lot, plus Gold Lust for shine and Grandiose on the front for root control and hold.

I also just worked as department head on the movie Focus with Will Smith and Margot Robbie; I gave her really pretty girl hair.

Now I抦 shooting True Detective, an HBO drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. It抯 very gritty and rough. I took the job partly because it抯 shooting in New Orleans, where I just bought a home. It will be nice to put down roots.

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