We sat down with Ghazal Azarbad to find out more about her looks for Viola de Lesseps and Thomas Kent in Shakespeare in Love. 

Ghazal Azarbad as Viola de Lesseps | Photo: Tim Matheson | Costume/Set Design: Cory Sincennes | Lighting Design: Gerald King

1) Do you have any tips or tricks when doing your makeup for a theatre role?

I try to keep my look very simple. I take the designers inspiration for the character and I emphasize a few key things they mention about the character. With Cory Sincennes’ design, he really wanted Viola to “glow like the sun.” Glow and shine were inspired in all his illustrations and descriptions, so I made sure my eyes were highlighted with a MAC sparkle eyeshadow and highlighter. I would a little extra on my cheeks and collarbone just for fun. Otherwise, I really like a simple theatrical look: a little shine and liquid eyeliner on the eyes to make them pop, some modest blush, and a fresh lip. Unless the character requires something more bold, I tend to stick to simplicity.

2) In Shakespeare in Love, you play both Viola de Lesseps and Thomas Kent. How do you transition between the two looks?

My makeup look between the two characters was the same except for my lips. Because the moustache and wig were so convincing, I was able to keep my eyes as is and just ensure that my lips were bare for Thomas Kent. There was also no time to do anything other than wipe my lips!

Ghazal Azarbad as Thomas Kent | Photo: Tim Matheson | Costume/Set Design: Cory Sincennes | Lighting Design: Gerald King

3) What’s your favourite costume that you wear in the play?

Every single costume piece in Shakespeare in Love was to die for but I fell in love with the gold court ballgown the most. I would wear it every day if I could.

4) What do you keep with you at your dressing table?
I always keep the MAC shine highlighter/eyeshadow, the MAC smooth blush palette, liquid eyeliner, and a few different lip colours to mix into the perfect shade of reddish-pink.