Have you ever been curious how the hair and wigs are designed on AMC’s terrifying series Creepshow? We chatted with Hair Department Head Katie Ballard about creating the various characters and collaborating with a team to help bring these characters to life.
If you haven’t seen Creepshow yet, it’s a horror anthology series and a Shudder Original that functions as a continuation of the films of the same name from the 1980s. The series first airs on AMC’s premier horror streaming platform, Shudder, before later airing linearly on AMC. Season 2 just began airing on AMC earlier this month, while the first three episodes of Creepshow Season 3 are now streaming on Shudder.
Katie has done a lot of fantastic work throughout all three seasons of the show, developing unique characters through her hair design. Find out more details of the specific looks she’s created throughout the show’s second and third seasons!
1428 ELM: Let’s start by talking about that cool “old Hollywood” fight scene between Mummy and Gillman in the Season 2 premiere episode?
KATIE BALLARD: I actually had a moment when we started filming that episode and that scene where I was like, “I just need to go and sit on set for a minute and soak in what’s happening.” Because, you know, we’re all monster fans, we’re all monster kids at heart.
Working with Ted Raimi on the Evil Dead tribute episode in Creepshow Season 2
KATIE: Ted Raimi was so wonderful to work with, and he was very excited about his wig, which made me love him even more. It was a period episode, so we were doing everything we could to pull that look. I got a Zoom call from Greg when he was meeting with Ted, and they were just asking what they could do to make the character exciting and help pull the look.
Ted’s natural hair is pretty modern-looking. And I said wigs always spice things up, so let’s do it. We tried a couple of things on Ted, and I think it was the first thing we tried on Ted was in love with. He said it really helped him get into character, and I love anyone who loves wigs. [Laughs]
1428 ELM: What was the inspiration behind Marissa Hampton’s afro for that episode?
KATIE: Kathleen Cleaver was the first that came to mind for me. She was not only one of the women of the Black Panthers but a fashion icon and a big advocate of the natural hair movement, and that is something I absolutely love about her. Claudia, Marissa’s character, is a boss lady, so I did tighten up the style a little bit, so it was a bit more business.
In my mood boards for her, I had found some photos of Kathleen where she wore her hair just a little bit tighter than what we’re used to seeing her in. Then I also had a photo of Barbara Easley-Cox, another woman in the Black Panthers, who wore a similar afro that was cropped a little bit which I loved because it made it look like a business afro.
Creepshow: Incorporating Hannah Fierman into The Horror Express
KATIE: It was so much pressure for us. You can’t really work on this show unless you love a challenge. We were really excited to get that episode, but it was a big challenge for us. We had pulled together a few other things that actually didn’t make it to the final episode. There were things even from the train depot where we matched some of the background, like a woman with a little blond wig. Just so many little details we all pulled together.
But for Hannah, we were told we were never going to see her face, but Greg was so excited that we found someone he thought was a really good match if we needed to show her face. We made sure we matched her as best as we could, and Hannah did a great job with the acting and all of that, especially when we just saw her from behind when they were next to the monster in the crate. I was really impressed with how everyone’s work came together.
Creepshow: Creating Gabrielle Byndloss’s look in the ’60s space episode “The Right Snuff”
KATIE: I was so excited about Gabrielle’s wig because I would say the ’70s is my favorite decade, but I don’t think we’ve ever done the ’60s on Creepshow. So with Gabrielle, I had prepped her wig before I had met her in person. I pulled a wig that matched her natural hair texture, and that’s just a minor detail that I like to add to try and make sure we keep the wigs looking as realistic as possible. A fun little detail people might like to hear that it’s actually a highly-textured wig that I smoothed out, curled, and did some refinement to the hairline to make sure it was hyper-realistic.
However, African-American women in the ’60s wore a lot of wigs, so there is a little less pressure for realism there, but it is something I wanted to do. And then Gabrielle walked into the trailer, and she has the thickest head of hair, and it’s long. So she had a pretty big afro that I wet and put a lot of product into to get it as small as possible, and then I was able to do a creative little wig wrap to fit it all under her wig.
There is probably 20 inches of curly hair underneath that wig, but it came together really nicely, and I was so happy with how she looked all around. Her makeup was incredible, and her acting too. She had a very strong presence, and there was just a strong team in that whole collaboration.
Molly Ringwald’s cameo in Creepshow Season 2
1428 ELM: I feel like Molly’s strawberry blond locks are really recognizable, so how did you guys come up with the plan to style her hair?
KATIE: We only had Molly for a day. We were all so excited to work with her, but we didn’t have her for a large chunk of time. We did our test with her, and she, luckily, has been wearing her hair in the strawberry auburn color.
When I did my research on her, she’s gone through other colors before, so when I found her most recent photo, I was glad to see she has it an auburn color now. I just talked to her, and she had been growing her hair out from a shorter bob. We didn’t change the shape a lot, just to maintain her length, but I wanted to have something that made her feel like she looked really good but kept her in her conservative character.
We did some modern waves and tucked one side behind her ear because I thought that was a really flattering look on her. In the end, it all came together, and it was such a blessing to work with her.
Looks from Creepshow Season 3
1428 ELM: I know we’re still early into the season but are there any looks from this season you can talk about?
KATIE: In Season 3, Episode 1, I was really excited to work with Ethan Embry because I’m a big fan of his. And we didn’t do a ton to his hair because his hair had been growing out from lockdown, and I was glad he had done that because it was perfect for his character. Our makeup head Addison Foreman put a great mustache on him, which I was a huge fan of. I loved his look and character, and I’m a huge fan of him as an actor. I think his acting was so strong in that episode, so it was great working with him.
Then we had Erin Beute, who played Bloom. She has a very dark head of hair, but her character was scripted as a redhead, so we had an opportunity to do a red wig on her. Working with hair that dark can sometimes be tricky because you want to put their hair under the wig.
We took things a step further with her wig wrap, and every morning we airbrush her hairline to make it a bit lighter. That helped conceal her hairline to showcase the beautiful hairline we added to her wig. I like to add detail to the part in her hair. I think that helps wigs look realistic, to see a natural-looking part.
Then we actually colored Brayden [Benson’s] hair, so he had a look reminiscent of Bloom’s. It was a detail I felt was necessary to show their connection to each other. We didn’t go fully red with him. We did a dark auburn color, so it just had a hint of the red in there. But it was a detail I thought helped pull the story together. I did some of the hair work on the Bloom creature as well and I’m always excited when I get to work on some of the campy monsters because I am a monster kid for sure.
And then I did “Queen Bee,” and I was excited to work with Kaelynn Harris. She’s such a little powerhouse of energy. I was really excited to do something fun for her. You don’t see a ton of her hair in the episode. I think in the script, you actually saw a clip of her performing at one of her shows. They were watching it on the phone. The way it was scripted, it looked like you might see more of that, so I had an incredible wig planned for that, that we didn’t get to do. I will have to stash that idea away for another one.
It was like, how do we make her look like a huge pop star? I have to give her some queen hair. I gave her 40-inch extensions. We put those in, and we made some videos of her in the creepy hallway with her pregnant belly whipping her hair around. I’ll have to pull them out. I’ve never seen someone able to work their hair like that girl did.
The first two seasons of Creepshow are now streaming. Creepshow Season 3 is currently airing, with the first three episodes now available exclusively on Shudder.