Candy Hair Stylist Katie Ballard on Jessica Biel’s ’80s Perm


If you’ve seen Hulu’s “Candy” limited series — or even spotted ads for it — you know that Jessica Biel sports a short, tight perm that’s light years away from her natural flowing mane. You’ve probably also seen Melanie Lynskey’s equally striking bob-with-bangs hairstyle. Both are styles that Katie Ballard, head of the “Candy” hair department, modeled on the real-life women the actresses play: Candy Montgomery (Bienne), a housewife from suburban Texas who, in 1980, murdered his lover’s wife, Betty Gore (Lynskey) with an axe. (Montgomery was tried for murder and acquitted, arguing she acted in self-defense.)

Because the limited series is based on a true story that received extensive media coverage, Ballard had many sources to draw on, including the 1984 true crime book on the case, “Evidence of Love”, by Jim Atkinson and Joe Bob Briggs. . The visual file was just as rich. “Robin Veith, our showrunner, already had quite a few photos put together for us,” Ballard told TheWrap. “And from there, I dug deeper into Google search to find as many photos as possible of the people we were recreating, as well as details about the lawsuit. So we just pulled as many photos as we could and went through videos of the people we were recreating. I really wanted to do direct matches whenever possible because at the time there were people watching all of this news coverage. I wanted to make sure that everyone who was involved in this story saw things that felt familiar and accurate.

Here, Ballard explains how she created some of the hairstyles for key characters.

Candy MontgomeryJessica Biel

For most of the limited series, Biel’s Candy wears her hair permed, courtesy of the show’s wig maker, Stacey Butterworth. Every other day, Ballard would put the wig in rollers to get the tight curl. “I had to put it on rollers either the day before or with plenty of time to put it in the wig dryer. So to get the curl there, it took about an hour and a half from wet to dry.

Jessica Biel in “Candy” (Hulu)

Each day began with Ballard wrapping Biel’s long, thick hair under the wig cap. “It was a big part of our process in the morning,” Ballard said. “She would just come in with her natural hair and I would dampen it. Then I spent some time detailing her hairline smoothing it down with a product called Gaf Quat which feels like a very strong gel. I would also detail her part so you could see that skin showing through the wig and then I would put clips all around put her wig cap there and then it was a process of layering water and conditioner without rinsing through her hair, then carefully wrapping it as close to her head as possible.

“It worked really well that we were able to use the leave-in conditioner because by the end of the show most actors are used to their hair being messed up with heat or hairspray or whatever,” continued Ballard. “With Jessica, because we did this leave-in conditioner every day, her hair was just luscious, beautiful and healthy.”

Biel sporting his “Candy” wig (Hulu)

All of “Candy’s” wigs were made from human hair. When it came to filming the murder scene, there was no fear that the soap-based fake blood would cause permanent damage. “Most hairstylists are pretty crazy about the blood that gets put on the hair because we don’t want to have traumatic hair coloring experiences,” Ballard said. “So if we know what blood we’re working with, we know how to get it out.” (Ballard knew about the fake blood: she was head of the hair department on the Shudder anthology series “Creepshow.”)

Bienne wore her “hero wig” (a character’s main piece of hair on a TV or movie set) for most of her screen time, but she had stunt wigs to film the scene of the murder. “I had two doubles that had a stronger base so that if the hair was pulled or something, it wouldn’t rip the nice length of his hero wig,” Ballard said.

Biel on the set of “Candy”, after her character committed murder

For her essay, Candy replaces her curls with a more polished look that Ballard achieved by straightening and drying the hero’s wig. “The blowout, as far as our timing goes, was a lot less to do. It was about 20 minutes,” Ballard said. “I really wasn’t sick of the curly look, but it was fun to spend to something different, which is a huge thing that also plays into the story, because as far as we know it was (Candy Montgomery’s) legal team who recommended that she dry her hair for the court case.

Ballard adjusts Biel’s wig on the set of ‘Candy’ (Hulu)

“And it really changes her appearance from that kind of carefree, heartbreaking, popular person to a more serious person. She is fighting for her life at this point. When we walked into the courtroom, the whole tone of the show changed and the whole vibe on set changed. I think if she had been in the courtroom with her hair curly, it would have seemed completely out of place.

Why Jessica Biel and Melanie Lynskey spent months rehearsing the ax attack in

Betty Gore (Melanie Lynskey)

Lynskey’s character is less outgoing than Candy and struggles to find joy in her life. “I studied photos of Betty throughout her life and I could tell she basically had the same style most of her life,” Ballard said. “For the most part she had a round, graduated bob – similar to how Dorothy Hamill used to wear her hair. As she got older, she got longer and sometimes she looked a little more unbalanced and less of a precision haircut, like she might have maintained it herself. One photo in particular of Betty Gore stood out for Ballard: she’s sitting on the couch with her kids, her hair isn’t perfect, and her locks are obvious. “She has a cowlick up front that we really put a lot of effort into maintaining because it seemed like such an important part of her character,” Ballard said. “So you’ll see throughout the show where maybe if she was in school she probably would have blown her hair out and slicked her locks down. But if she’s at home vacuuming, you’ll see the cowlick has started to seep in.

Melanie Lynskey and Pablo Schreiber in “Candy”

Initially, Lynskey hoped her own hair could work for the character. “After some deliberation, her other production, ‘Yellowjackets,’ decided they were nervous about her cutting her hair, just because of the delays with her return for next season,” Ballard said. “So we ended up making the wig for her.”

Allan GorePablo Schreiber

Pablo Schreiber plays Betty Gore’s husband, the man who has an affair with Candy. According to Ballard, her wig was the most delicate of all. “I worked very closely with him because his wig was the one where you could see his entire hairline,” she said. “So it was a time when it was really important to make sure her hair shape stayed organic and natural. We had a certain place for forgiveness with everyone, where part of their hairline was hidden. by their hair, but with Pablo you could see all of his hairline. And on men’s wigs, we really have to keep a close eye on naps and all that to make sure everything lays in a natural way. Throughout during the day, I absolutely had to keep an eye on his.

Pablo Schreiber and Timothy Simons on this revealing blue leisure suit in

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