Fay Masterson is starring alongside Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman and Robin Wright Penn in “A Christmas Carol” directed by Robert Zemeckis, opening in theaters on November 6th. She plays not one, but three roles in the movie, thanks to the technology of motion capture. Fay was most recently seen on “The Mentalist” and has a list of credits that is most impressive. From “Eyes Wide Shut” with Tom Cruise, “The Quick and the Dead”, HBO’s “Big Love” and a recurring role on “The Starter Wife”. This British actress can do it all.
I met Fay at Aroma Coffee & Tea in Studio City, CA for lunch and a chat about “A Christmas Carol” and skin care. Enjoy!
My Skin Affair: Because “A Christmas Carol” is motion capture, you’re not wearing any make up when you shoot. Is this the first job you’ve had where you weren’t wearing any make up at all?
My Skin Affair: Is that liberating?
Fay: Absolutely liberating. But you are going through a period in make up where you are getting all of these points put on your face and that initially takes a long time because that has to be very precise.
My Skin Affair: How important would you say hair and make up is to you, aside from this film, for creating and bringing a character to life?
Fay: I’d say very important. I asked them to give me a corset to wear under my suit in the film because I had to have something to make me feel like I was in that period, back in Dickens London. So I wanted a corset because it makes such a big difference in how you sit, stand and move. Having the right hair and make up is so important normally. The whole look really does sort of dictate. I’m one of those people that works more from the outside in. I think about how that person walks and stands and moves.
My Skin Affair: So Gary Oldman and Jim Carrey…all of you wore the same suit?
Fay: Yes, same suit. Same points of light on our faces.
My Skin Affair: Now this is where I’m gonna be honest and say that if I were working with Gary Oldman…I’d want the beauty make up. (we laugh) I’d be asking for just a little bit of lipgloss.
(Fay is aware of my love for Gary Oldman, so we have a good laugh)
Fay: It was a great equalizer. It’s liberating. You wear skull caps, so your hair isn’t even showing. And you have these helmets on over that. So, everybody looks the same. It’s all in your facial movements. This is why people with Botox will not do well working in motion capture. This is one thing that makes me happy about motion capture. You have to be able to make expressions.
My Skin Affair: Did you treat yourself to a facial after the shoot?
Fay: I still need to treat myself, a year and a half later. I actually went right into another movie that was a period piece with heavy make up. So the facial wouldn’t have done any good.
My Skin Affair: You’ve worked more here now than you did in England and I’ve always heard that it isn’t so much about appearance over there. Actors have to be more polished and perfect looking here. This is true, right?
My Skin Affair: I love that. It seems more real, more truthful over there.
Fay: The most popular shows in England are the most relatable. Very working class, ups and downs, what life is like. That’s the difference. People want to escape in America where in England…people want to relate more, rather than escape.
My Skin Affair: I think that sounds fantastic.
Fay: People do want to escape there, but the relating is more popular. People here, it’s the can-do attitude, you want to believe that everything is great, the American dream. I think in the UK, and it can sometimes be a detriment, it’s “this is the way it is” and you “make your bed and you lie in it”. Suck it up, deal with life.
My Skin Affair: Tell me about your experience on “A Christmas Carol”.
Fay: It was one of the best experiences that I’ve had in a long time. Because, like I said, it’s great equalizer. Everyone’s dressed in these stupid goofy outfits, there’s no vanity, there can’t be. And Jim Carrey and Robert Zemeckis and his producing partners set the tone for a really awesome fucking atmosphere. And I don’t think that these movies will replace live action movies but I think they can be a great compliment. And what’s wonderful about them is that they still need actors and they need actors to be expressive. That’s the thing about doing Botox and all these things, women feel pressure to look so perfect and flawless and yet there is still very much a place for women who can…
My Skin Affair: Move the muscles in their face?
Fay: Yeah. And you can experience pain on your face that the audience can connect to because they can see that expression.
My Skin Affair: Considering you haven’t seen the film yet, are you anxious and excited or nervous to see what you look like?
Fay: Absolutely. All of those things. I’m obsessed with this movie. I love Christmas movies like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve seen a conceptual drawing of my character of “Caroline”, and it looked like me. But I also play “Martha Cratchit” who’s 14 years old, and I’m 35. So that’s 20 years younger.
My Skin Affair: Can I say you’re 35?
Fay: Yeah. I don’t care. There is one other character that I play that I have no idea what I will look like. That’s pretty amazing.
My Skin Affair: You might have a moment in the theater when you say ”Oh my god, that’s me”!
Fay: I know. It’s bizarre. So wild. That element of surprise.
My Skin Affair: That’s incredible, I can’t wait to see it!
Then I asked Fay about her skin care routine and favorite products.
Fay: All time favorite moisturizer is Philosophy Hope in a Jar. I love it, my face loves it. It takes make up really well. I’m trying to use paraben free products but it’s tough sometimes because they haven’t quite caught up with the quality. For years I used Cetaphil. Cetaphil is great.
My Skin Affair: I agree. I used Cetaphil for a long time.
Fay: I just started using Ren products. They are all plant based. My favorite foundation is Clinique’s Perfectly Real Foundation. I love it. I was doing a pilot, high-def video, they used it on my face and I loved it.
My Skin Affair: I’m using Clinique’s Lip Smoothie right now and it’s fabulous.
Fay: I use Kiss Me mascara. Kiss Me is great because it’s gel based, no smudging.
My Skin Affair: What are your “must have” products?
Fay: Kiss Me and Vasoline for my lips.
My Skin Affair: Do you have a favorite spa or treatment facility?
Fay: Face Place is the best place for skin care. I love their facial. But, I have to say, I love Burke Williams. Kinara on Robertson in West Hollywood is also great. My favorite spa treatment is a massage. We all need it. I can give myself a mini-facial at home.
My Skin Affair: What’s your best tip/advice for skin care?
Fay: Always take your make up off before you go to sleep. Never sleep with make up on.
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