LaWanda M. Pierre Interview: ‘BlacKkKlansman’ hairstylist
LaWanda M. Pierre reveals that Spike Lee “is very secretive sometimes when it comes to projects.” When he first called her about serving as hair department head on “BlacKkKlansman,” the only thing he wanted to know was whether or not she could “do an afro wig for a male lead? When I asked him, ‘Well, what is this for?’ he laughs and just hangs up.” But it didn’t matter that Lee was intentionally vague. “When he calls I pretty much do it.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Pierre above.
This Focus Features release tells the true story of Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), an African-American police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1970s with the help of a white detective (Adam Driver) acting as his proxy.
When Pierre learned that the movie was based in fact she “really wanted to get everything right” and began vigorously researching the period. She looked for images and footage that “could give me an idea of authenticity to add to the film.” Because the characters were based on real people, “we didn’t want them to look like 1970s Halloween costumes.”
And when it came to the aforementioned hairstyle on Stallworth, Pierre wanted it to be “perfect” so that it would “go along with his personality.” Ron is “in-between two worlds,” a proud police officer who is also suddenly “coming into awareness of himself in the black revolutionary movement.”
Meanwhile, his girlfriend Patrice (Laura Harrier), a political activist, wore an afro that was “a little more unruly. She kind of represented more of an Angela Davis type of person.” Every hairstyle, therefore, “was very specific” to the characters.
Pierre previously collaborated with Lee on the films “Red Hook Summer” (2012) and “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus” (2014), as well as his TV adaptation of “She’s Gotta Have It” for Netflix. Her work will next be seen in Steven Soderbergh‘s upcoming “High Flying Bird.”