Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Wheel Of Time's Davina Lamont Explains Why Hair Was Her Biggest Struggle For Season 2 - Exclusive Interview

Makeup and hair are two things that, when done right, can add an extra dimension of reality and depth to a show — and Davina Lamont is one individual who has been setting the tone for expert hair and makeup artistry for decades now. She launched her career by working as a hairstylist and makeup artist on all three of Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" films. In the intervening quarter of a century, she has put her name on a staggering number of additional high-profile productions: Lamont's list of entertainment accolades includes "Avatar," "The Last Samurai," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," and "A Small Light."

Most recently, Lamont brought her impressive cosmetic acumen to Amazon Studios' "The Wheel of Time," where she served as the Hair and Makeup Supervisor for Season 2. In a recent behind-the-scenes event, Looper was able to visit Lamont for an exclusive sneak peek at Jordan Studios in Prague. We sat down with the hair and makeup icon and asked her a few questions about her latest foray into Randland and what it's been like coming up with so many looks for such a diverse and gargantuan world.

Lamont's favorite headdresses

"The Wheel of Time" has a lot of very epic headdresses. You've made a lot of them for the show. Is there any specific one that is your favorite?

I have so many. It is true that the cast is huge, the crowd is massive, and for me, the biggest undertaking was definitely the Seanchan and the amount of detail that has gone into them. You guys have only had a little snippet of what is happening, but as the season keeps rolling out, you'll see more and more of ... Once all of those headdresses come [off], then you'll see what's underneath there and all the impressive hair and makeup. It's been a huge undertaking and a lot of testing that has been happening over a period of four to six weeks to get those guys off the ground, along with costume and what [costume designer] Sharon [Gilham] has been building within her team.

For us to try and make them as terrifying and visually impressive is probably one of the things that I have been most proud of. Rafe [Judkins], the showrunner, will say stuff like, "I want to see something I've never seen on television before," and then it's up to Sharon and I to come up with something impressive. I'm proud of the Seanchan.

The Seanchan challenge and the sheer number of wigs required for Season 2

What was the most challenging part? Would you say it's the Seanchan as well?

Yes, the Seanchan, definitely. Also the Aes Sedai — the fact that they're in the White Tower, all high fashion, avant-garde hairstyles and [showing] off each and every one of them. Sometimes, we'll have between 20 and 40 Aes Sedai in one scene, so therefore, they all have to be different. They all have to represent what Ajah they are, and all give a level of warrior empowerment within their hairstyles [that] is great for women. I'm happy with both of those.

That's great. How many headpieces would you say you've had to create for the show between the first two seasons?

I've had something like 560 fittings. With that alone, with that many fittings that I've done, I've got over 400 wigs in my repertoire that I can pull from. The majority of them ... Moiraine has four wigs alone for her character. Then you add in your stunts and riding doubles and stuff like that. 400 sounds like a lot, but in reality, it's actually not by the time you do a number of different hairstyles for each character.

The Amyrlin Seat — that's a lot of them right there.

Exactly. It's a huge, huge number, and it's a huge cast, so I have to have that many on hand.

The fun of the red-headed Aiel ... and what's up with Rand's hair?

This is kind of an anti-hair question ... Rand's hair in Season 2 — what is going on there?

He came from ... Looking at him for Season 1 and coming into Season 2, all the characters are starting to age. There has been six months, so they're all starting to become young adults. He's also in hiding. To cut off his hair was a big deal, and to show him growing up was really important. [Josha Stradowski] is not a natural redhead, so we have to continually color his hair every time we cut it. Although he looks like not much effort has gone involved within my department — he's not long in the chair — there are days where he has an hour of hair coloring every 19 days.

So red hair, Aiel ... Have you had fun working with a group that's always red-haired?

Oh my God, it is great. To find the levels of redness within the Aiel ... You'll see Aviendha slowly coming forward, and all of the Aiel will start to make a big impact near the end of the season. It's amazing how many redheads are out there.

The challenge of hair in different biomes

This is a huge world, a lot of different biomes — deserts, jungles, and whatnot. How has that affected how you have to create some of these hairpieces? They're in wet, they're in dry, they're moving around.

It's important — when we went to Italy, it was super hot, and then to Morocco as well where it's hot. Also, it is trying to keep the actors cool when they've got these hairpieces on.

When they are in rain, that's where I hold a lot of different wigs in the same look. Like Moiraine — whenever she's in a rainy scene, I'll have three more wigs standing by so that we can chop and change. It is a matter of having all of these elements in your back pocket [so] that it doesn't take long to do any hair changes.

Loial's beard and Episode 5's hairy surprise

Loial is a character who has been interpreted in a lot of different ways with fan art and all that. How did you come up with the hair part of his design?

Well, there hasn't been much change from Season 1. I wasn't part of Season 1, so what I wanted to do with him is also show that he is changing because he's on the road. He hasn't gone home. It was adding in a beard for him and tweaking the hair slightly. There hasn't been too much of a change when it comes to his look. It's impressive enough that he's in the chair for four hours with the prosthetic department, so he's good.

Do you have a particular episode, hairstyle-wise, that you're excited for fans to see?

Yes — going forward, these are huge. I am really happy or proud of Egwene in Episode 5, so I can't wait for the fans to see this scene. It is dramatic, and it blows my mind the effect of what she has achieved in the scene. Once the fans all see this, they'll understand why I like it so much.

Then, of course, there's stuff that I can't talk about yet. But in Episode 8 — the finale — there are some amazing hairpieces in this one, so I'm excited for people to see that.

What is your favorite part of the Robert Jordan universe now that you've worked in it?

I love the fact that it's a challenge every single script. I can't wait to get the scripts. I know that I haven't read the books, but I've been reading the scripts, and I've got a lot out of everybody else telling me what's inside the books. I love the fact that he builds these different universes, and the fact that I get to create them is ... I am humbled by it.

The first three episodes of Season 2 of "The Wheel of Time" are available to stream on Prime Video. The remaining episodes will premiere on Fridays through October 6, 2023.

This interview has been edited for clarity.