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How Marion Davies Makes Up For Comedy Roles
It’s fairly easy for the makeup wizards at the film studios to take an ugly girl and transform her
into a screen beauty. They’ve |
done it time and again and they have at their finger-tips all the little tricks for making little eyes look big and crooked noses straight. But it’s another matter when these same wizards are asked to transform a lovely face into one that no man would voluntarily give a second look.
It’s another matter, too, for the lovely lady in question to put herself in the hands of the make-up men for the purpose of being made ugly.
Yet Marion Davies, one of the sereen’s most beautiful women, turned herself over to Pere Westmore, the makeup chief on the Warner lot, and told him to make her as homely as he knew how.
All this ‘‘uglifying’’ was apropos of Marion’s starring role in ‘¢Bver Since Eve,’’? a Cosmopolitan production which comes to the Seca homes PIOULIO: ON =. s..cc0c seas;
Not only did she ask to ion her face turned into the perfect example of what every girl does not want to look like, but she also had a heart-to-Heart talk with Orry-Kelly, famous style creator. ‘<Make me a costume that violates every rule of smartness,’’ said Miss Davies. The designer groaned, but went to work.
Miss Davies admits that occasionally it was somewhat embarrassing to have everyone on the lot stare at her with unconcealed amazement.
‘«But the disguise is essential to the story,’’ she explained. ‘‘In fact, the entire success of the plot rests on its effectiveness.’’
Art on this page available in mat form for one color reproduction. 2 column cut—No. 203—20c
Remarkable Transformation Of Beauty Into
Ugly Duckling For Dual Role In Bright New
Through much of the picture Miss Davies must wear the camouflage, which consists of an awkward straw hat shaped somewhat like an inverted fruit bowl, straight-haired brown wig cut Dutch bob style, horn-rimmed glasses, an ill-fitting suit, and ugly, low-heeled walking shoes. Her face, of course, is ‘‘flat-panned,’’ in the parlance of the make-up artists.
She portrays a stenographer in the picture, and as such, she becomes annoyed by the constant, unwelcome attentions of her employers. Learning of a publishing concern which employs only homely women, she obtains a disguise, gets a job and is assigned to act as Author Robert Montgomery’s secretary.
‘‘Naturally,’? Miss Davies explained, ‘‘the disguise must be so good that there can be no suspicion of recognition on Bob Montgomery’s part, and similarly, audiences must know that there is no possibility of recognition. So, it had to be good.’’
But how, many people have asked the lovely blonde actress, is such a transformation accomplished?
Let Westmore, head of the stu
dio’s make-up and hairdressing
‘CAs the homely stenographer, we had to make Miss Davies’ eyes look round and rather bulgy behind supposedly thick-lensed glasses. Since glass is seldom actually worn in eyeglasses in pictures due to light reflections, it was necessary to accomplish this effect purely with makeup.
‘*We got the round, bulgy effect,’’?’ Westmore explained, ‘‘by ‘highlighting’ or covering the corners of the eyes with whitish makeup. Also, to. deaden their sparkle, we put white makeup on upper and lower lids instead. of the usual shadow makeup which emphasizes the natural beauty of her almond-shaped eyes.
‘“Miss Davies’. eyebrows are naturally arched and rather thinnish. We pencilled them heavy and straight, which further detracts from her looks, and we gave her a pug nose by highlighting the whole frontal plane of the nose and also the entire upper lip.
‘*We enlarged her nostrils by drawing darkening lines with brown pencil around their edges and spoiled her mouth, one of her
‘loveliest features, by shortening it
with white makeup. Then, with the same material, we took away the fullness of the curves of her lips, making them long and straight. On
1 column cut No. 104—10e.
top of all this destruction we placed an ugly, straight haired brown wig, cut in rigidly square Dutch bob fashion.’’
How well Miss Davies was disguised was illustrated by the fact that Montgomery failed to recognize the actress the first time she came on the set in character makeup and costume.
And no wonder! Gone was all the tea rose beauty which he and all of the world have identified with the screen star. Instead there was an awkward-looking girl of nondescript features, which were in no way enhanced by the spectacles she wore. Her clothes were definitely frumpy, and she walked flat-footedly in her thick clumsy oxfords.
When Bob was let in on the secret of the disguise, he let out a long whistle. ‘‘I can’t believe it’s you, Marion,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m sure that if I were a_ beautiful girl, I wouldn’t want to let myself be seen on the screen looking like that.’’
‘“But do you really think I look as unattractive as it’s possible for a girl to look?’’ she asked him, as anxious as though she wanted an opinion on a new frock.
‘“‘T certainly do — but—’’ stammered Montgomery.
‘‘That’s all I wanted to know.’’ And Marion was happy!