disguises: Frances Tuesday

Frances Tuesday

After giving evidence against her lover – who turns out to be a violent gangland boss (rather than just a dodgy wheeler-dealer) – Frances West (Tamzin Outhwaite) has to disappear completely through a witness protection programme: her death is faked and she is given a new identity, Frances Tuesday, and a new face through plastic surgery.

But then her former-lover is released in exchange for he seizes their daughter and Frances has to risk everything to get her back.

Tamzin Outhwaite talked about the role and her transformation:

I was a bit shocked at first when I looked in the mirror. I thought I looked a bit of a freak, like someone who has had too much plastic surgery … Frances doesn’t want to look better, she just wants to blend in. She loses her identity and the good looks she’s traded on to become anonymous … It was very strange but it was good. I enjoyed the whole disguise and the process of the transformation I found fascinating … It’s a dramatic transformation. The new teeth were especially strange. They let me have them at home before we started so I could get used to them and talk without lisping too much.

The makeup

Trefor Proud was the makeup designer and prosthetic makeup artist. The two-hour makeup application involved applying a prosthetic nose, changing the lift of Tamzin’s eyebrows and cheekbones, putting in a dental plate, together with coloured contact lenses and a wig. Chris Lyons of FangsFX provided the dentures.

Trefor Proud described Tamzin’s transformation:

The first thing we would do is wrap her hair in a stocking cap then the nose would be applied and the edges blended away. The nose was moulded from a cast of Tamzin’s face and a fresh one was made every day – sometimes two a day. The nose itself was cast into a mould made out of gelatine. We made it slightly longer than Tamzin’s own and more turned up at the end. We matched it to Tamzin’s own skin tones and then she was made paler afterwards.
A pale base was applied to make her look slightly washed out. She had face pulls applied to above her eyebrows, which lifted and pulled the whole shape of her eyebrows and upper eyelids. I completely changed the shape of her top lip.
Her eye makeup after Frances undergoes plastic surgery was the complete opposite of before. She started with blacks and browns to give her a sexy, bright look but in part two it was lavender and only on the top lid, with no mascara. She started with glossy, bright colours and afterwards changed to dark, matte colours. We deliberately switched the emphasis on to her mouth because as Tamzin the most noticeable thing is her eyes.
I put in a dental plate because it alters the shape of her front teeth and gives the impression of higher cheek bones. It was a process of trying things out and we went through a variety of different looks until we found one everyone was happy with.
Sometimes when I looked after her on set I didn’t know what to check first. Her contact lenses would make her eyes run and she couldn’t touch her eyes or scratch her head. Even though we got it down to one and a half hours by the end, it was a difficult makeup for her both mentally and physically. But she never complained once.