11:40 AM PST 2/23/2021
For the film, the hair and makeup team was tasked with transforming several actresses into the feminist icon at various stages of her life.
When Gloria Steinem finally came to the set of The Glorias, the Amazon movie chronicling her life and directed by Julie Taymor, hair and makeup artist Judy Chin wasn’t sure she’d have the guts to meet her. Chin, along with Miia Kovero and Adrien Morot, had never met the feminist icon but had been studying her face for months. “It felt so strange to have been staring at her images from her entire life, and then suddenly have her there,” says Chin.
Chin, Kovero and Morot are on the shortlist for The Glorias, which joins nine other films up for a makeup and hair nomination. The trio worked on four actresses — Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Lulu Wilson and Ryan Kiera Armstrong — who would play Steinem through the years. “They look very different from each other, but I tried to tie them together a bit, bring their skin tones a little closer together,” says Chin, who added freckles to Wilson that then carried through to Vikander. “Julianne’s face shape is very different, so I would contour her face to try and mimic Gloria’s a bit more. And Julianne has really arched brows, so I camouflaged her brows and made them more straight.”
Steinem is well known for her signature appearance, which included flowing, straight locks with a middle part, which Kovero was able to re-create. “It was really fascinating to research all her looks, from the Playboy bunny look to after she had the blond streaks put in,” she says. “I loved playing with all those colors and changing the style.”
Moore also had to play Steinem, who is now 86, for her later years, which required that Morot create prosthetics for about 60 percent of her face, including neck, cheek, eyelid and jaw pieces. “It’s always a balancing act of giving her the essence of Gloria while not taking away from Julianne,” he says.
And while the trio haven’t spoken directly to Steinem about her impressions of the film, they’ve heard that she was happy with the way she was captured onscreen. And it turns out Chin did get to meet her that day on set: “At one point, she was standing completely by herself, and I thought, ‘This is my cue,’ ” Chin says. “I worked up the nerve to say hello, and to thank her for all that she’s done. And she was completely lovely.”