“Everything Everywhere at Once” Hair and Makeup: Joy’s Bold Looks

Makeup Manager Michelle Chung and Hair Manager Anissa E. Salazar discuss collaborating on playful and emotional looks for many different versions of the film’s characters.

True to its title, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” performs about three conceptual triple Lutzes at any given time. Most of these revolve around Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) who is contacted by a parallel universe version of her husband (Ke Huy Quan) to save not just her world but all worlds from a tyrant out to destroy the to end existence. Said tyrant Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu) also happens to be Evelyn’s daughter Joy. Clear visual differences between all the different versions of the characters in all the different universes are crucial for us to follow what’s going on in Everything Everywhere All at Once. But that goes doubly for Jobu/Joy, as Hsu has to be an antagonist standing a bit outside of the movie, ready to snap it like a twig, and a desperate supporting character (even if she doesn’t realize it) for some support from her Family.

Hsu’s performance does much of the work here, but is enhanced by the film’s hair and makeup team, led by hair department manager Anissa E. Salazar and makeup manager Michelle Chung. “[Jobu] was really like an extreme version of herself, so it was really important to show that there was such a big difference between them [Jobu and Joy]’ Chung told IndieWire. But Chung also treated Jobu a bit like Joy’s inner teenager, acting out and wiping out security guards due to the extreme zero-sum pressure of her emotions.

The different versions of Jobu offer slightly different articulations of hopelessness and nihilism that gnaw at Joy, even if Jobu’s vibe is a little different every time we see her. But contrast is always important. Joy dresses in dark jeans and flannels, with unstyled hair and natural makeup – if she wears makeup at all – that tries to act as an invisibility cloak. Always loud, specific and almost furiously full of colour, Jobu’s looks draw attention with bold geometries through hairstyling and face sculpting – as in one of Chung’s favorite looks, where she turned Hsu’s face into a Picasso painting. The contrast not only makes it clear who Hsu is playing, but also that Jobu is an articulation of everything that Joy cannot say.

Stephanie Hsu in "Everything everywhere at once"

“Everything everywhere at once”

Allyson Riggs/A24

Salazar told IndieWire that bringing Jobu’s looks to life was an incredibly collaborative process. “Whether it was like a garment, of a texture or a colored fabric that Shirley had, or we knew there was going to be something like a certain light or a certain set decoration or just something small to give us an idea so we can then work,” she said. “This isn’t the kind of movie, like a period drama, that most of these characters fit into [a given aesthetic], and you can get the vibe from there. Appearance had to be vibrant to match those character traits [and] to carry the story.”

This type of collaboration would have been impossible if Everything, Everywhere at Once hadn’t made conscious decisions to bring the departments together. Chung and Salazar said they would get a sense of what worlds they would be entering on any given day based on a morning creative warm-up for everyone, led by directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. While it may have been stressful for the characters to be trapped in the same IRS office building, everyone on the crew who was together helped each department.

Stephanie Hsu as Jobu in "Everything everywhere at once"

“Everything everywhere at once”

Allyson Riggs

“Everyone was in the same building at the same time,” Chung said. “Compared to other shoots where the costumes might look like they’re in a different building or somewhere else, we could literally run from room to room and be like, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about this. What do you think?’ Shirley ran over and was like, “I’m thinking about putting beads on Temple Jobu and then she gave me some beads and I was like, ‘Oh my god, maybe I’ll put beads on her face.'”

This feel is important for all characters, but especially for Jobu. She has incredible and terrifying universe-changing powers, yes, but also hair and makeup that’s as emotive as the emo’s most expensive teenager and as crazy and playful as a little kid searching for the items laid out on a dressing table grabs. The inner child that Salazar and Chung subtly bring out through some otherwise bold looks helps the audience feel, as Evelyn does: that Jobu should be defeated, not killed; that Joy needs to be rescued.

The “Everything Everywhere” hair and makeup team gets their cake and eats it by making that sort of quiet emotional shift through gloriously insane styling that encompasses everything from Yeoh turning into a Chinese opera star to Hsu’s hair looking like a bagel. “Michelle and I both started out in horror movies and indie films, so we’re already trained to do a quick makeup or a quick hair change,” Salazar said. “So it was really, really exciting to emulate a lot of these looks, whether it’s that stunning Chinese opera look or our own, like the K-pop or Elvis Jobu – some glitz and glamor and Vegas, you know? It was amazing to just have so much creativity to run around with. It’s every artist’s dream.”

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/12/everything-everywhere-all-at-once-hair-makeup-joy-1234792588/ “Everything Everywhere at Once” Hair and Makeup: Joy’s Bold Looks

Lindsay Lowe

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