Behind the Scenes in Hollywood: Michelle Ceglia


AE: That’s a lot of heads.

MC: I’ve had a huge workload this year! In
general, I’m with Michael, 24/7, and then I’m kind of running around between the other actors.

AE: Do people fall asleep in the chair?
MC: Yes, absolutely. With the early
call-times and long hours, it’s very tiring. I always said I don’t know
how they all go through hair and makeup, which is very relaxing, and then
to have to wake up and work. It all usually starts at 5AM. I
don’t understand it.

AE: How long does it take to do Michael C. Hall’s hair?

MC: Between 20 and 30 minutes.

AE: Is that a standard amount of time for a male actor?

MC: It is. A lot of people think, “Oh it’s just a guy. They don’t need as much attention. You throw some stuff on their heads and they walk out the door.” But you have to create the character, so it takes time.

AE: How much input do you have regarding what the character will look like?

MC: In my experience, the actor and I will discuss it and collaborate.
Sometimes, producers feel something should be completely
opposite of what we’re thinking, I’m made aware and we all come to that
decision together.

AE: Have you ever given an actor a style they liked so much, they adopted it for their everyday look?

MC: Well, Julia Stiles has extremely curly hair, but I turned her onto wearing it straight. For Season 5 of Dexter, we decided on a straighter, more relaxed look for her character. And she liked it so much, she tries to keep that look now. She didn’t even own a blow dryer until —

AE: She got Ceglia’d.

MC: [laughs]

AE: Sounds as if the hair department has a certain amount of discretion when creating a style for a character. Anything you personally try to avoid?

MC: There’s something about braids that never feels glamorous, unless you’re incorporating it into something [for a character.] Julie [Benz] and I would get into Tweet wars about her braids.

She would tweet, “@michelleceglia won’t give me a braid.” And I would tweet, “There shall never be a braid on Dexter.”

And her fans would write back, and say how they felt about seeing her in braids. It was all in fun.
And then, my girlfriend at the time would chime in. Julie pushed her phone in my face, “Your own girlfriend just said to give me a braid.” Oh. My. God.

So, I gave [her character,] Rita a side pony with a three-quarter braid. I was like, “Fine. There you go. That’s yours. Wear it well, have fun. You’re not getting it again.” Then she would come in requesting anything and everything Rita would never have — beehive, afro, whatever she could think of. Julie is a lot of fun.

AE: There’s so fun to be had with the women’s hair. What about the guys, though? They have different needs. Do you have tricks you use for thinness, balding, receding hairlines, and stuff?

MC: There are a few products and techniques I use. It depends on what the situation is but most of the time I use powders, that are like fibers and chopped hair they adhere to their own hair. But there’s also a product that I love, even for guys who are not thinning. It makes the hair thicker and you can style it a million different ways without any shine or finish to it.

AE: Sounds like something some lesbians might like, too. What is it?

MC: It’s called Schwarzkopf Dust It. It’s powdered clay that’s the craziest thing, ever. You can use it on women, to lift up their roots for more volume. When Kate guest starred this year I introduced her to it.

AE: Kate?

MC: Kate Moennig. Because of the way she wears her hair, she can mess it up, and it doesn’t ever look heavy, greasy or shiny.

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