Thursday, September 26, 2013

Siân Phillips and David Lynch

This picture shows Welsh actress Siân Phillips and cult film director David Lynch during the shooting of sci-fi flick, Dune (1984). Phillips played the role of Reverend Mother of the Universe. For the part she was required to be totally bald. At the time it was rumoured that Lynch had made her shave her head. Phillips, though, later revealed that she had in fact been wearing a bald cap throughout. Although her part in the film was quite small she was made to suffer for her art. Apparently, during filming, the lighting lamps were positioned so close that they burned her head. A sympathetic props boy from Wales had to hold a script between her and the lights between takes. She said: "I realised when I finally took it off (the bald cap) that the lamps had heated up the wire which was holding my hat in place, and had burned a line across the top of my scalp. So I really did end up losing my hair." There was further discomfort. Because she was required to wear heavy make-up she was not allowed to eat food in the cafeteria, just in case her face cracked. Instead she had to suck liquified food through a straw. She also couldn't go near anybody who smoked in case her silk headdress went up in flames. David Lynch said of the bald Welsh prima donna: "She's not on the screen for a great length of time so we had to make the maximum impact quickly. I think she succeeded in doing that." For no apparent reason, he added: "she was always off looking for someone to speak to in Welsh."