Broadway Wig Designer Recreates Signature Hairstyle for THE KNICK Actress
Wigmakers at Charles LaPointe Studio recreated Suzanne Savoy's signature hairstyle when chemotherapy claimed 75% of her hair. Because she was on call for her recurring House of Cards role, Savoy knew she had to be prepared.
"You can't just show up on set with a bean-shave after you've shot scenes with shoulder-length hair." Store-bought wigs nicknamed "shake & bakes" by wigmakers didn't come close to her trademark look. Family friend Andrea Lauer, a Broadway costumer, hooked Savoy up with a top wig designer.
Charles LaPointe (Motown, Beautiful, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder) invited Suzanne into his Manhattan studio where technicians known as "ventilators" customize each creation strand by strand. "They were busy building several huge shows, and here I schlumped in with my scalp shining and an I.V. bag of chemo meds strapped onto me. They treated me like royalty."
LaPointe and assistant Gretchen Androsavich worked from photos to customize a human-hair wig purchased through a Broadway supplier. "Suzy's positive energy in the midst of what she was going through inspired me," says Androsavich. "I wanted to make every detail as close to her own hair as possible and give her one less thing to worry about."
When auditioning for Steven Soderbergh's The Knick, Savoy was told by casting that actors should keep their hair long for authentic turn-of-the-century looks. Her LaPointe design, swept into a Gibson Girl do, was convincing enough to help her land the role of Juliet Rylance's wealthy mother, Victoria Robertson.
Cancer-free and sporting her own hair again, Savoy is set for season two of The Knick and the premiere of ABC's How to Get Away With Murder. "Gretchen and Chuck got me back to work. I couldn't have pulled this off without them."