‘The Color Purple’: Emmy-Winner Lawrence Davis’ Role in Period Piece Perfection


Watching a movie may be a simple two-hour commitment to a viewer, but behind the scenes, it entails years of meticulous production — a factor often overlooked or underestimated, especially in the realm of hair and makeup

Lawrence Davis is a distinguished two-time Emmy-winning film and TV Hair Department head with more than 22 years of industry experience. After styling hair for 11 years in his hometown of Baltimore, he sold it all, moved to California, and never looked back. Most recently, he was the Hair Dept. Head of Warner Bros.’ 2023 musical adaptation ‘The Color Purple,’ starring Fantasia Barrino, Danielle Brooks, Taraji P. Henson, and Coleman Domingo. 

In season three, episode three of Volume Up, Lawrence reflects on how the pivotal decisions he made ultimately brought his journey full circle. He further delves into his experiences working on the set of ‘The Color Purple,’ detailing its challenges and evolution.

“The combination of the hair, the makeup, the costumes, my contribution–You know sculpting that wave and having the perfect dip… Gave you the total picture that put you right there in that space and in that time. So I want them to take away from all of what they see and know that each and every person who worked on this contributed to the look of this overall movie.”

This episode offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Lawrence’s invaluable contributions to the film, providing a candid reflection on the reality of being a hair and makeup artist in the entertainment industry. From diligent research and consultation to the creative process of surfacing ideas and workers with talent, it showcases the multifaceted aspects of his craft. 

“I love to collaborate with my actors, I don’t just go ‘This is your wig and this is what you’ll wear’. I like to go ‘Exactly how are you feeling about approaching this character?’ … Once we do the research and we collaborate, we come to a place, a meeting place, and everybody is happy and everybody is comfortable, and the story is being told.”

“I want people to walk away from this knowing that these hands were a part of the storytelling, it wasn’t just the actors themselves, but it was the entire image.”

Listen to the full episode here or wherever you stream, and head over to our Instagrams @Readthetease and @volumeupbythetease.

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Jas Sanghani

Jas Sanghani is a contributor for thetease.com. Jas is passionate about digital marketing, video games, and traveling. A fun fact about her is that she has been to all 7 continents!

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