Michelle Perry, the owner of Jon Michel Hair Designs in Patchogue Village, has been a hair designer for over 25 years.
But during that time, she had never worked on a movie set before.
So you can forgive her if she was a bit nervous when she was recruited for the college comedy What Happened Last Night.
Perry and Jessica Tedaldi-Rund, a freelance makeup artist, were hired to handle all the hair and makeup.
But Tedaldi-Run had a little something more to be concerned about.
It was she who would be working with the famous model-turned-across Amber Rose. Since Rose has a shaved head — all part of her signature style — Perry was able to rest easy.
“Jess was freaking out the night before,” Perry said.
“She definitely asked her questions,” Tedaldi-Rund said of Amber Rose. “She basically wanted to know how much I knew about the type of makeup she wears. She was checking.”
“She was testing her,” Perry said.
Writer/director Candice Cain of Brookhaven Hamlet used mostly local talent to film What Happened Last Night (other than the actors) which was shot entirely in Brookhaven Town.
Many involved didn’t have experience in movies.
She said she was especially thrilled with how the hair and makeup artists rose to the occasion.
“I know the quality of work that Michelle does because she’s done my hair for years,” Cain said. “And I had seen pictures of the makeup that Jessica did, and she jumped at the chance. This was even before Amber Rose was cast.
“When I told Michelle I booked Amber they had a little panic attack,” she continued. “But they did great. I just gave them their space and completely trusted them.”
Perry said working on a movie set is world’s apart from the salon.
“It’s totally different because you’re on call all day,” she said. “You just hear, ‘Hair!’ and you need to come running with hairspray. It’s a different time constraint when compared with the salon.”
And of course, there’s workdays that stretch well beyond 12 hours.
That just meant more time for everyone to get to know one another and have a good time, they said. The crew shot in November and again in December.
“The crew was absolutely wonderful,” said Cain’s mother, Juliette Marotta, a 35-year resident of Brookhaven Hamlet who worked on set design. “There was such great camaraderie. And the actors, they were great.”
“It was definitely fun; you didn’t mind going to bed at 4 in the morning. and having to be back at 8 a.m.,” Perry said. “We became like this big family of crazy people.”
Top photo:Jessica Tedaldi-Rund working on actress Anastasia Scienski. (Marisol Farrell)