‘Lessons in Chemistry’ Team Had to Craft 3 Different Decades of Sets, Hair and Makeup: ‘It Was Always About Realism’ | How I Did It

In putting together the world of the Apple TV+ limited series “Lessons in Chemistry,” the show’s craftspeople had to accurately bring multiple decades of the past to life while spotlighting Brie Larson’s lead character and building an entire set for a fictional TV series. But through it all, realism was front and center.

“The prep for the overall show was huge. We worked in the ‘20s through the 1960s,” hair department head Teressa Hill said in the latest installment of TheWrap’s How I Did It, presented by Apple TV+. “LA’s a bit of a character in the show as well. It was always about the period, the realism in the show and the characters involved,” production designer Cat Smith added.

One of the biggest challenges of making the series, which is based on the bestselling book by Bonnie Garmus and follows a chemist who creates a popular 1960s cooking show, was switching between time periods throughout the shoot – sometimes in the same day.

“We would get a shoot schedule and we would be doing maybe three decades within one day, so we had several wigs that we would actually put on one background artist then we’d switch her over to another look, and we had to do the same thing for Brie,” Hill explained.

The makeup for Larson’s character also evolved owing to her character’s journey throughout the series.

“She lost the big love of her life, went through such a hardship, and to become a TV show host was like the moment she kind of discovered herself again,” makeup department head Miho Suzuki said. “It was like the money afforded her the opportunity to be able to do that,” Hill added. “She created her own separate persona on ‘Supper at Six.’”

When it came to designing the sets – in particular the labs that play a key role throughout the series – set decorator Lori Mazuer said she and her team put a lot of work into finding labs that were as accurate to the period as possible. “And if we didn’t find it, we just ended up making it,” she revealed.

Another key set was the kitchen set for “Supper at Six,” the cooking show that Larson’s character hosts.

“The window treatments were very difficult because they were all from the ‘50s so everything had to be fabricated,” Mazuer said. “I used a form of architecture at the time, Hollywood Regency style, where everything was kind of exaggerated and then I exaggerated it more because TV does that.”

Watch the full installment of TheWrap’s How I Did It in the video above.

“Lessons in Chemistry” is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

The post ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ Team Had to Craft 3 Different Decades of Sets, Hair and Makeup: ‘It Was Always About Realism’ | How I Did It appeared first on TheWrap.