It would unnerve most people to witness the suicide of their doppelgänger, but con artist Sarah Manning (Tatiana Maslany) knows an opportunity when she sees one. This is how the BBC America series Orphan Black begins, with Manning unwittingly witnessing one of her many clones jumping in front of a train, then absorbing the identity of the jumper.
So, what does a storyline like this mean for a make-up department? Many looks for one actress, for starters. Department head Stephen Lynch treats each clone as her own person, with make-up looks to match their varying personae.
It helps that he enjoys it. “For me, working on a project like Orphan Black with a talent such as Tatiana Maslany represents a kind of make-up artist nirvana,” says Lynch. “I’m required, with hairstylist Sandy Sokolowski, to create multiple looks for one actress playing genetically identical clones—no digital effects on her face or body—each, hopefully, distinct and fully realized. And I have nearly complete freedom.”
Pictured here is clone Rachel. “Rachel is our ‘Proclone’—rigid and self-conscious to the extreme,” explains Lynch. “I feel that Rachel doesn’t wish to condescend to wearing obvious make-up—let the middle class do that. She has the desire and the means to embrace the flawless-complexion approach to putting one’s best face forward. Therefore, Tatiana and I agreed that Rachel most likely has a team of estheticians and consultants on call 24/7. Perfection, polish and an immaculate appearance is Rachel’s signature.”
Here are Rachel’s products.
Editor's note: This breakdown originally appeared in Issue 109 of
Make-Up Artist magazine.