Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.
Margot Robbie portrays Queen Elizabeth from age twenty eight in 1561 to age fifty three in 1587, when Mary was executed.
Jenny Shircore was the hair & makeup designer; Sarah Kelly & Hannah Edwards were the principal hair & makeup artists; Jessica Brooks was the principal makeup artist.
Jenny Shircore was interviewed about creating the look of Queen Elizabeth for the second time:
What was exciting was that Alex Byrne was going to put a modernist twist on it, with the costumes. I loved the idea of that, and the idea of pushing the hair and makeup in that direction. When you do a film about Queen Elizabeth, you’ve always got to end up with that iconic look of hers, the red wig and the white face. We’d done that with ‘Elizabeth [The Golden Age]’, and I thought, ‘How do I do the same thing? How do I get to the red wig and the white face?’ But of course in this story, Elizabeth gets smallpox, so I thought, ‘Ah, that’s going to be my route to covering her face in white makeup, and using a wig at the end.’ With smallpox, you are left with a very badly scarred face, and your hair falling out, so I used that route to try and change Margot Robbie’s features, by placing the boils of the smallpox along her bottom lip.
It would mean that there were scars left there, which she’d need to cover, which would mean she wore a thick white makeup, blocking out that wonderful bottom lip of Margot Robbie’s. And of course, I used the same technique [with] her eyebrows. Elizabeth had very fine eyebrows, whereas Margot’s got lovely, big, dark eyebrows. So again, it was placing the blisters and the boils along the areas that I wanted to eventually cover with makeup, thereby changing Margot Robbie’s face, and getting her to the iconic look.