Monday, August 19, 2013

What's Up Doc:Actor Chris Brennan Spills on What it Takes Style Wise to be an Actor

I always find it interesting on how much movies and television influence our lives day by day. That especially rings true when it comes to fashion and beauty. Heck, as soon as I saw Leighton Meetser's character on Gossip Girl, Blair Waldorf, wearing an array of headbands, I was given this immediate and eager inspiration to do the same, with all my ensembles, at the time. To this day, it has become an American staple for people to have their personal style reflect outside influence's. "Did you see what whats her name wore on the red carpet last night?" and "OMG did you see him in that movie? He looked so hot and his hair---why can't more guys  do their hair like that?" are two of the many predictable comments and questions said. Point is, we sometimes rack our brains on how to get their signature looks. That's why I decided to discuss this very topic with  actor himself, Chris Brennan, to inquire on what it takes to get that famous Tinseltown hair, makeup, and wardrobe. Sure he's a guy, but surprise surprise men in the Hollywood world require just as much cover up as the next gal! It is after all, for entertainment purposes and to paint a fantasy that, although seems relatable, can only truly exist in the world of the screen. 

Brennan, a young, but already accomplished actor of his own sorts, is a juggler of priorities when it comes to his busy life. While balancing classes in New Jersey and taking acting gigs on the side for current income, he has already been involved in a slew of productions from the small stage of his former high school such as "Some Like it Hot" to almost having a feature on a new CBS show "The Ordained." Unfortunately, the network did not pickup the pilot, but Brennan calls it "one of the most exhilarating experiences" so far. Head held high, he persevered and will now be seen in a number of projects, including the upcoming seasons of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, the CW's The Carrie Diaries, and will be acting alongside Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider Man 2, in which he will play one of Gwen Staci's graduation friends. One he is definitely excited about, is his main character status in the upcoming Web Video "Don't Be a Creeper".

Impressive for such a young lad? Pretty much! That's why interviewing him on his career and how style effects it, was such a wonderful experience. I learned that to get that picture perfect look from film, it takes a couple of hours in makeup,  time costume styling, and lots and lots of hair gel. Yup, I said it... hair gel!  

Just to get things started, paint me a picture of what you do on a day spent on set. 

Depending on the production – more or less, I show up to set and first go through wardrobe. Then I’ll get my hair and makeup done. Afterwards, I either go to have a quick bite of breakfast (if it’s early) or to get a coffee until I’m needed on set. Once there, they will check the lights, camera, sound, ‘last looks’ and “Background… and action!” Cut. Reset. And do as many takes as it takes.

Sounds like an arduous process. How about hair and makeup? How long do they take for a typical day of shooting, and are there certain products they use that are definitely the best for both?

About 2 hours for both hair and makeup. No products out of the ordinary. Pomade, gel, hair spray and/or water for hair and cover-up for blemishes to even skin tone.

I'm a girl and not an actress, but taking makeup off is a pain. After so much time in the makeup chair, at the end of the day, what do you use to remove all of the makeup, from work, from your face?

Honestly, there’s not that much makeup that it’s a hassle to take off. So, for me, just a facial cleanser does the trick.

Besides hair and makeup, what about costume design? It's like Halloween all the time, being able to dress up into almost anything as your career. Do you enjoy it and how important do you think costumes truly are for film, stage, and show productions?

Costumes are absolutely critical. In my opinion, they can make or break the scene or ambiance the director is trying to create. Authenticity is what makes period sets and character wardrobe believable. I find immense joy out of being able to dress up for work!

Many actors say that they prepare a lot for a role, but once they wear their costume, they finally feel like the character they are playing. Do you feel that way?

I would say so. Preparing for a role is no easy feat. It can be arduous, toll taking, even grueling since it takes a lot, but it’s also a great journey. Having said that, the journey –at times– can feel like it comes full circle once the costume is on, depending on what the role is and what the wardrobe calls for.

Speaking of, you have recently filmed for a show that involves an immense amount of costumes and such. Being a part of the Boardwalk Empire production must have been very thrilling. How were the costumes, makeup, and hair while working for them?

The answer is amazing for all of the above. I have not yet been on a set that pays as close attention to every little nook and cranny. The attention to detail is unreal. My hair is slicked back with this pomade and gel mixture that gives it that wet look while also giving it the ability to be kept in place for a long time. Seriously, a long time.

Brennan on the set of Boardwalk Empire

On a more personal note, what do you wear while auditioning? Any style suggestions for aspiring actors everywhere? Is the way they dress an important part of looking professional and getting that dream role?

I wear whatever I feel comfortable in, mainly nice jeans and a button down or t-shirt. My suggestion would be to wear what makes you, “you.” And the answer to that could be yes or no. Getting that dream role really means knocking the casting directors off their feet, the decision doesn't lie so much in what you choose to wear.

Great advice! Auditions do take actors to the next level. With that said, what's your ultimate dream for your blossoming career?

I want to give others the gift of entertainment. I want people to see my work and be inspired, to walk away with a sense of realism, appreciation and enlightenment. I go to the movies and watch TV shows not just because I like to, but because it’s an escape to a different realm in which I want people to be captivated by.

Photo Credit For All Images: Getty Images

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