The first season of the CW's Riverdale is just about to come to an end with so many mysteries still unsolved yet the biggest mystery of all is how Hair Department Head Rosa Terracciano maintains all of those gorgeous manes of hair of various colors among the talented cast. From redheads to dark brunettes, Rosa works her magic with the help of her team to create the perfect coiffed hairstyle and color maintenance while also preserving the nostalgic look of the original Archie Comics characters. Here, we chat with her about working on a new show based off of her childhood fave comic books, what her creative approach was for creating the hair looks, and a little secret on touching up those neglected roots.
When you found out you were working on a live-action teen drama based off of the Archie Comics, did you have any idea how cool the concept really was?
Actually, I was a bit apprehensive. From the time I was a young girl, getting scolded for reading the comics past my bedtime under my covers with a flashlight....yes, that actually happened and now here comes an opportunity to be a part of my childhood memory but not in a way that I remembered them by. The sweet all-American teenage kids next door were being brought to the current realm. This was hard for me to digest, I'm not going to lie. But it was also intriguing as to how this was going to be done. Also, the fact that I would have a role in this creative process was too good to pass up. As I read each script and watched each cast member embrace and rock their roles, I was floored as to how many similarities there actually were. The transition between the 50's to present was so well executed and I am so proud and honored to be a part of it.
What was the collaboration process like on re-creating looks from an actual comic book?
The collaboration process on re-creating the looks was exciting. The creative team was great at expressing their visions and allowing me the space to work with each individual cast member. This allowed me to zero in on their style, personality, and what they were bringing to the role. I believe all this was essential in establishing the characters looks. It definitely was a team effort.
We’ve got to talk about all those redheads on the show. Some of them are clearly not natural. How do you maintain that color on the actors such as K.J. Apa (Archie Andrews)?
Oh boy... the redheads! Well, when I was told that there would be a few redheads on the show, I certainly wasn't expecting that many, and not to mention that we had to create a blu/black tone for Camila (Veronica). Oh and we can't forget that Cole's (Jughead) natural color is a sandy blonde, which we had to darken. However, K.J.'s (Archie) was the most work. I was handed Archie's "sacred" color from a colorist in LA that created it for the pilot. My first thought was great, easy peasy. Wrong! After doing the initial coloring on all the cast members, as well as haircuts, I quickly realized that I would not be able to do all that and be Head of the Hair Department. So I reached out to master colorist Calvyn Cass from Brush Salon. Calvyn and his partner Michael (who is also a colorist) were God sent! In collaboration with Calvyn, we had to tweak K.J.'s color formula. Vancouver doesn't have as much sun as LA and there were other different elements to consider in keeping K.J.'s hair integrity. We knew that KJ would be getting his roots touched up every two weeks and his eyebrows every 3-4 weeks and we wanted as little damage as possible. I had a separate binder that contained all the actors’ schedules so I could schedule their hair color appointments with Calvyn and their haircuts with myself. Boy, I needed an assistant just for that. The times when scheduling just didn't work, I would use a color match root concealer around the hairline to get us through those days of shooting -- tricks of the trade for film.
The aesthetic of the show seems to sway from 50’s nostalgia to present day with Lili Reinhart (Betty Cooper) sporting her trademark ponytail. How important was it to keep those nuances from the original comic book characters?
It was very important. We didn't want anyone to be unrecognizable. Archie is still Archie. Betty and Veronica are still Betty and Veronica. I'm sure the creative staff wouldn't want it any other way. Nor would I.