“Us,” “Captain Marvel,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “The Hunger Games,” “The Hateful Eight.” They all have one thing in common: Camille Friend.
Friend has been a celebrity hairstylist for over 20 years.
This year, she’s nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling on Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
“It feels fantastic — fabulous, exciting, exhilarating,” Friend told KUOW arts and culture reporter Mike Davis. “It’s something that I’ve dreamed about, I’ve prayed about, I’ve meditated about and I’ve worked towards, and for it to happen, it feels like a dream.”
Friend says that creating the hairstyles of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” posed a particular challenge. The film depicts characters from a Meso-American-inspired civilization. To make sure the hairstyles of those characters accurately represented their culture, Friend worked with Professor Gerardo Aldana of UC Santa Barbara.
“Because there is, you know, no 1-800-Mayan Wigs,” explained Friend. “It’s something that truly has to be created with our hands and with our vision.”
The film also proved a challenge because of its many underwater scenes. Regular hair products would cloud the water, so Friend had to get creative.
“What we ended up using was a spirit gum, and we just ended up really liquefying it with alcohol to make, I call it, a glue hairspray,” she said.
Friend added that experimentation is part of why she loves her job. She said she enjoys the challenge of creating a story through a hairstyle, and helping the actors she works with get into character.
“Angela Bassett has said many times, you know, once she gets on the hair, she gets on the wardrobe, that’s where she can really imagine the character,” she said.
Friend has also created a series of master classes, called “Hair Scholars,” to help new people enter the industry. She said one of her hopes is that more people of color become Hollywood hairstylists.
“It is important in front of the camera and behind the camera,” Friend said. “It’s really important that we should have those opportunities to elevate through this business also, and become even, you know, a hairstylist to a director, a hairstylist to a producer. Like we should be able to step into those roles also, and grow our careers.”
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