disguises: Alias – Sydney as an old woman

Alias: Sydney in an old woman disguise

What can you say about Alias, there were just so many reasons to watch it: it was amazing; witty; dark; had a fascinating Rambaldi backplot; had Jennifer Garner; and brilliant makeup artists. The awards it collected (or is it garnered) were well deserved.

In the episode ‘Firebomb’ Sydney (Jennifer Garner), disguised as an old woman, tracks down a potential informer, Aliyah Kazabi, in the Vatican Embassy in Mexico City. But Aliyah refuses to get involved. Warned of a to blow up the embassy Sydney kidnaps Aliyah. As they speed away those in the embassy and its church appear to spontaneouly combust. Returning to investigate they find dozens of charred bodies. It’s enough to sway Aliyah, who decides to help.

This was an unusual disguise for Alias where the concept of the many disguises was ‘different versions of a beautiful Jennifer’. It was the only disguise in which Jennifer Garner wore significant prosthetics and one of only two episodes where characters supposedly wore pull-off masks.

The makeup

Angela Nogaro, the makeup department head worked closely with hairstylist Michael Reitz to create Sydney’s many looks:

Part of the whole concept behind her is not character disguises where she’s got a big nose or fake teeth – it’s character disguises in high fashion mode. Just different versions of a beautiful Jennifer.

The makeup and hair credits listed at IMDb include: Michael Reitz, department head hair stylist & wig designer; Katherine Rees, key hair stylist; James MacKinnon, makeup department head; Angela Nogaro, makeup department head; Diana Brown, key makeup artist; Rela Martine, key makeup artistl; Gil Mosko, special makeup effects artist; Margie Latinopoulos, special makeup effects artist.

It’s just a shame she spent so much time in either in dimly lit nightclubs and other darkened rooms or else running or fighting.