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Interview: Liliana Maggio on Creating the Looks of ‘The Politician’

THE POLITICIAN (L to R) JULIA SCHLAEPFER as ALICE CHARLES, BEN PLATT as PAYTON HOBART, LAURA DREYFUSS as MCAFEE WESTBROOK, THEO GERMAINE as JAMES SULLIVAN, and RAHNE JONES as SKYE LEIGHTON in episode 2 of THE POLITICIAN. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX/NETFLIX © 2020

When the Emmy nominations were revealed, one of the cited artisans was none other than stylist Liliana Maggio. Honored for her work doing the hair on the Netflix series The Politician, Maggio’s expertise helped give the show its distinctive look. Recently, we were lucky enough to talk to her about it.

Enjoy our interview with Liliana Maggio:

Awards Radar: Hi Liliana! How are you doing? Congratulations on your Emmy nomination! What does this Emmy nomination mean to you? 

Liliana Maggio: This nomination means so much to me! To be recognized by my peers means the world to me. I love doing hair and we had such a great opportunity to play with hair on the politician.

AR: What attracted you to The Politician

LM: I love doing modern fashion hair. So this was a great vehicle to be able to create looks that aren’t for average characters. This has a sense of fantasy; it’s a world where broke college students wear Gucci (for example).

AR: How many looks did you create for the season? 

LM: It’s hard to say. For example, McAfee had more of a signature look. Whereas Alice has multiple looks in each episode. We had an opportunity to play with hair every day.

AR: What are some of your favorite looks that you created for the show? Why? 

LM: I love McAfee’s “beachy waves.” They’re not the usual beach wave; I made them more angular than round. And Astrid had some fun texture; there was a day when the planned hairstyle didn’t work so we had 5 minutes to change it… I used about every hot tool I had and the look is one of my favorites. It’s the look with her red lip, side part and right side pinned back. The texture is cool East Ender.

AR: How did you prepare for the show? What goes into creating hair looks that reflect the characters own individual personalities? 

LM: I kept my eye on the runway and WWD. I knew the trend had been heavy in the 90s as we were filming so I kept trying to figure out the next trend…which would probably be the 2000s. I tried to mix that in if it fit with the character along with the cast’s own style. The cast are all so fashionable; they’re great inspiration as well. I would speak with the Costume Designer (Claire Parkinson), makeup department (Sherri Laurence), and the actors to find the right look for each costume.

AR: How do you collaborate with other departments when creating looks on the show? Can you speak more on what this process looks like? 

LM: Claire would send us photos of the fittings. We would think up and find looks for inspiration and present it to the actor. Then as we did their hair, we would decide any tweaks or changes.

AR: What was the highlight of working on the show? 

LM: The people! We had a great cast and crew. We not only got to do fun hair but we had fun doing it!

AR: Do you have any upcoming projects you can speak of? 

LM: I’m currently working on “And Just Like That,” which also gives us the opportunity for fun hair styling! I’m looking forward to watching West Side Story, where I got to work with Rachel Segler. Just wait for the voice! She is such a pleasure to work with! And all the dancers… Everything about that job was beautiful! Then I have Home Alone (reboot) with Ellie Kemper… we got to do creative hair!!! Creating hair looks for all the gags was challenging and a blast!

AR: Is there anything else you would like to mention? 

LM: I am honored to be in a company of talented hairstylists in the category. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Barry Lee Moe on Pose the last two seasons; it takes a lot of time and energy from us to create the looks we do and make it cohesive with the whole aesthetic of the show. I can’t thank the voters enough for the nomination! It’s truly a special moment in time for me.

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