The FX show “The Bridge” has a powerhouse duo in Nani Velez (Hair Department Head) and Kris Evans (Makeup Department Head) who make sure each actor and every special effect is flawlessly gritty and perfectly fitting for the look of the show.
Nani Velez began her career in 2004 working on “Lost” in Hawaii and quickly became addicted to the creative and collaborative life of an on-set Hair Artist. She rocketed up the ladder and now is Department Head for two hit shows, “The Bridge” and “The Last Ship.” Her professionalism and personality have her zipping along at a rapid pace in the world of hair and makeup.
Kris Evans had her first client in 1980. After her studies in theater makeup she was asked to cover for Barbara Walters’ makeup artist, and ended up staying with the world-renowned journalist for the first two years of her career. Over the course of Kris’ 34-year career as a makeup artist, she has worked in every facet of the beauty industry with an impressive list of films and TV shows. She says that “The Bridge” keeps her digging in for a challenge every day. The intensity of the days is like nothing she has encountered in her more than three decades in the industry. Both Nani and Kris credit their own department staff and their professionalism for the ability to make everything happen. They agree that without the right support, they couldn’t make the show look so effortless.
I sat down to talk to Nani and Kris about their work on the fast-paced show. They say their creativity is supported by the actors as well as the show’s creator. The hair and makeup departments are encouraged to be a part of the process. They’re often challenged with days including up to 13 principal actors and one hundred extras. Each script is produced in seven days, and each episode is produced like a mini movie, well equipped with huge amounts of special effects. Kris says that every day she’s on set she learns something new from her crew of amazing support staff.
I enjoyed my day on the set of “The Bridge” and hanging out with the gals in the hair and makeup trailer. I loved hearing the actors go into depth about their characters. As you would expect, Diane Kruger was stunning but also incredibly thoughtful about her complex character. Demian Bichir was very easy on the eyes and helped us understand some of the intense preparation he employs for his character as Detective Marco Ruiz. When talking with Matthew Lillard, we learned that he is shadowing the director for that day’s episode in hopes of one day directing one.
WHAT’S IN HER BAG?
Aquaphor for lips, professional lip liner, found at CVS or the Beauty Supply in Auburn, Chanel Lipstick and Dermalogica Ultra Sensitive Tinted Moisturizer. She’s a huge fan of Chanel foundations and colors. She also loves True Match L’Oreal and Armani foundations. What she really got excited about was her Pure Illumination Lip Gloss. I had never seen this product and I have to admit, I’m a new fan. Not only does it come in some really great colors, but the packaging includes a mirror on the side AND a tiny LED light that illuminates the wand. It’s really a nifty little product!
*Thank you to Roslyn Bibby for taking me on to the set and to all the people who took me into the intriguing world of “The Bridge”.