But when Fredriksz’s son was born in 2006, Diaz and Barrymore flew directly from the wraps of their respective films to be with her in the hospital. The four women are now so close that they take vacations together. And that helps explain why personal hair and makeup experts end up with such a crucial—and lucrative—role on movie sets, one that goes far beyond ensuring hairstyle continuity in scenes shot two months apart.
“They are the first people that the actor sees in the morning and the last people she sees at the end of the day,” says producer Jonathan Glickman (27 Dresses). “They set the tone for the day.” They can also do an actor’s dirty work (insisting that a driver be fired, for instance) or serve as a diplomatic go-between in sticky situations. It’s that kind of intuitive understanding that makes Julianne Moore so attached to her makeup artist, Susan Reilly-Lehane. “She acts as a buffer,” Moore says. “She can sense when I don’t want to talk.”
But besides being a security blanket for a top-billed star, hair and makeup experts are also insurance for movie producers and studios, which is why the suits are ultimately willing to ante up. “If you lose a day on a set, it can cost anywhere from $80,000 to $250,000,” says producer Barry Josephson (Enchanted). “You want things to run efficiently. And the better relationship these people have with the actor, the quicker days move along.” Gardner agrees: “We have made $7 million and $40 million movies,” she says, “and both have employed [the stars’ personal] hair and makeup. We would never dream of questioning it.”