• Academy Award-Winning Film "The Fighter"

    February 28, 2011 / Share / comment

    Categories: Artist Spotlight
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    Photographs from the film and excerpts from Marnie Hanel's interview with Johnny Villanueva for Vanity Fair:

    ...The Fighter, the Oscar-nominated film about redemption, courage, and—you guessed it—hair. "David [O'Russell] was like, ‘Johnny, this is going to be a hair film, man.’ You’re going to have fun. These girls have big hair,' recalls stylist Johnny Villanueva of his first meeting with director David O. Russell to discuss the film’s look.

    "[Melissa Leo] came in with long, dark hair and didn’t want to cut it. I wanted to leave her hair long for her... It just wasn’t working. That’s always the way, right? When you don’t go for it, it doesn’t work. The third time we cut it, she was like, ‘Just do it. Here goes my vanity.’” So Villanueva bleached it, leaving the roots dark, and scissored a ‘do that’s 50 kinds of wrong—brassy, round, chunky, tiered—all at the same time. The Cheez Whiz of hair. “When David saw it, he was just like, ‘Yes!!!’”

    “That’s the classic scrunch. I remember banging those out all day at the salon. I’d throw her head upside down, diffuse it, scrunch it until it was almost dry and then spray it. Sometimes we needed products that would defy gravity. Stuff that gale-force winds wouldn’t penetrate. That’s when it was like, ‘All right, you’re getting Aquanet today.’”

    “By the end of the shoot, my bad taste was impeccable... There was no limit to my bad hair.”

    Villanueva factored in each character’s personality and set out to create a veritable history of late-80s, early-90s hair. Tomboy “Red Dog” got limp, straight hair. Bully “Tar” got Kelly Capowski big bangs. Pretty “Pork” got a peroxide-blond pre-Snooki pouf. Bulldog Donna got a block of heavy bangs. “Little Alice” got a picked perm. “Beaver” got gelled curls. And Sherri got babysitter layers.

    The Oscar Nominated film, The Fighter with lead hairstylist Johnny Villanueva as interviewed for Vanity Fair.

    To read the full article, visit VanityFair.com

    And for another inside look at hair in The Fighter, check out FashionMagazine.com

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