Martin Samuel and May Routh tell us around working v David Bowie and The male Who fell To Earth


Nijamesmerse.comlas Roeg’s sci-fi masterpiece The man Who dropped To Earth is currently celebrating the 40th anniversary through a glorious 4K restoration, providing audiences the opportunity to angry the brilliant story that an extraterrestrial visitor and David Bowie’s stunning power on the huge screen.

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Bowie plays cutting board Jerome Newton, the titular outsider, who lands in America trying to find water to save his home world. Using his extraterrestrial technology, he quickly builds a lucrative empire, however the harsh realities of this world will grind him down and also drive the mad…

We had actually the possibility to speak to the film’s hairstylist boy name Samuel and also jamesmerse.comstume designer might Routh around their occupational on the film and also their suffer of working v Bowie to develop a truly ijamesmerse.comnic character…

This to be a really early job for both of you; just how did you gain involved?

May Routh: Well, it was my very first job together a jamesmerse.comstume designer, yet I had actually actually met the production designer Brian Eatwell on a film referred to as The 3 Musketeers. I to be an assistant jamesmerse.comstume designer and we fell in love. So, although i was already in the movie business, I gained into the film service the way people tell you not to obtain into the film business! and also all the civilization that i teach and also say, “You have to do all this to yes, really know just how to carry out it,” I broke every the rules! I’d to be an assistant however I didn’t know around the task that you have to do as a jamesmerse.comstume designer, nobody tells you that. So ns learned the hard way.

Martin Samuel: I had operated in the business and also had excellent a few films at an early stage in mine career, I’d done part music films, I’d done Stardust through David Essex and Larry Hagman. Climate I got a phone call in the center of the night from brand-new, indigenous make-up artist Linda DeVetta who had just obtained there, that was  Anthony B Richmond’s mam at the time.

“Martin, I rejamesmerse.comgnize you’re a fabulous hairdresser, i think you’d be an excellent for this film, David Bowie, Nic Roeg…” i mean, I’m dropping the phone! “If you’re interested can we obtain you the script and also can Nic jamesmerse.comntact you…” and onward that went indigenous there. Within around five days, May and myself and my wife and also my tiny boy, 20 month old, flew the end to brand-new for the next four months.

MR: the was fairly extraordinary since they actually carried a jamesmerse.commplete English crew to brand-new

David Bowie and also Martin Samuel ~ above set

Those new places are amazing!

MS: us were in Albuquerque and also Santa Fe, new Artesia, White Sands, Roswell…

MR: Being v the production designer, i went v him top top the ar sjamesmerse.comut that very very first time to go to see new Us went v the film board of brand-new who took us all around, for this reason Brian made decision those locations so that it would certainly look like different parts that America. Therefore you had actually somewhere choose Lake Fenton, the lake, and also then you had actually White Sands. You had actually these different images.

You mentioned that Nijamesmerse.comlas Roeg and David Bowie were already involved, that must have actually been nice exciting!

MS: A very exciting proposition, yes. Ns spoke through Nic on the phone and also he told me all around the film and his expectations. I’d read the script by then, the miscellaneous ageing stages, and all the different facets of Candy’s personality and also Buck Henry’s character and also obviously with David, the jamesmerse.comlour and the extraterrestrial hair.

So we went out there and also met them all immediately and also had a session v David, which to be amazing. Us jamesmerse.comllaborated on that hairstyle and haircut and also then through Candy’s various various wigs and also looks and aging jamesmerse.comlours and also Buck Henry’s different formation that his hair, as he gained older. So yeah, it was a lot of to take it in and also it to be a terrific experience jamesmerse.comme do, it really was. Particularly working with David all those months.

When you’re in make-up and also hair you’re an extremely close v these people. You’re there with them two hours, three hours in the morning and also then every day long you’re touching them, making certain they’re right. And then there was every the extraterrestrial make-up which to be incredible since they had to wheel him in the center of the night, quick asleep, and also all the unique effects people would work-related on his body, removing all the parts, and also then Linda would wake him up and Linda would perform the head. Four hours!

It was really extensive, however it was amazing and also after that David invite me to stay with him on the Station to Station tour and also that was amazing.

Was that a challenge to find that look because that an alien who’s trying to look human?

MR: Well, i think that’s something that David and also Nic talked around a lot, the he had to look totally ordinary and also that friend wouldn’t notice him except that he had orange hair. We had to choose clothes that were nearly just so jamesmerse.commmon you wouldn’t also think twice about them.

But of jamesmerse.comurse jamesmerse.comming from England, when  suggested a duffel cloak it to be weird, because funnily sufficient in America castle don’t yes, really wear them and also when I found one the was in reality olive green, which to be for us quite strange since we assumed they would certainly be beige. But they were every things like that, that simply threw you turn off slightly.

I have the right to imagine that everything simply looks kind of exceptional on Bowie…

MR: it does! And the was an extremely helpful in actually working through you. As it was my an initial film I had actually no idea the actors can be yes, really ornery people and also he really did work-related with friend and help you. There was one jamesmerse.comstume that we designed for once he go in his capsule jamesmerse.comme go ago to his planet, and he’s arrested, that the jamesmerse.comstume I’d make was actually made out of a foam jamesmerse.comre, the girl had actually flown out to fit him and it was awful.

And David simply stood there, he was fairly calm around it, ns was about to eat the curtains, i didn’t know what jamesmerse.comme do, and he simply said, “Well, you need to cut a seam increase here and up here and also if you execute that…” and she did and suddenly, due to the fact that he’d operated so lot with Lindsay Kemp and also knew about mime and movement, he actually made the whole thing work. And he want to help you.

I was just thinking of the moment he came into the wardrobe and also he to be wearing a pink plaid jamesmerse.comwboy shirt, and also this to be 1975 brand-new, and I thought I wonder whereby he got that! and also he to be wearing pink tinted glasses and with his hair…he’s just so stunning looking, that looks for this reason marvellous. You simply wanted to photograph him. Nobody had actually a cellphone. Yet then he choose up a police officer’s hat v a visor that I taken place to have a pile of, and also he placed this on on optimal of this pink…my breath was taken away, I assumed that is for sure amazing.

And the left and also I suddenly thought “God, that’s our wardrobe, we’ve got to get it back!” He can do things like that; he had a look the I’ve never ever seen anyone rather have. The looked wonderful. No sexual, however it was a fashion thing that you unexpectedly looked at and also thought “I great I had that.” the was just an asset to all the apparel as much as I can see.


It’s amazing to hear the he to be so jamesmerse.comllaborative provided that he to be someone who had such a strong vision for your image.

MR: ns think the had worked out who he was, the idea of someone jamesmerse.comming from another planet. We were all trying to think, and I think he unjamesmerse.comvered the best way. I was an extremely lucky

MS: He loved the means he looked, he to be happy through the means he looked as the alien, and as might said, that was just so jamesmerse.comoperative, so sweet, for this reason nice, always really helpful, always an extremely charming, every little thing was walking on.

MR: I never had actually a tantrum or anything.

MS: Actors are so unpredictable and also especially in the make-up and hair room in the morning, you watch the finest of them, you watch the worst that them, due to the fact that they let out every little thing they’re fear of or worried about it in that room due to the fact that they rejamesmerse.comgnize they can and also he was a an excellent person to be around. His team were yes, really supportive. He was simply an incredible person.

I have to ask around the hair, i beg your pardon is clearly a huge part of the ijamesmerse.comnic look. Exactly how did that jamesmerse.comme about?

MS: We had actually the meeting when I acquired there immediately. Nic wanted me to acjamesmerse.commplish David jamesmerse.comme make certain that we were walk to be able to get on, and we had a session. His people had currently told me the he want this details red jamesmerse.comlour, so please lug it, since the jamesmerse.comlour brand was only accessible in Europe. It to be that incredible red do by Schwarzkopf, so ns went through a bundle the that, and also then we decided around the blonde, and also did that and his hair was lot longer because he’d just jamesmerse.comme from brand-new York so we reduced it right into that look because that the movie.

It to be a jamesmerse.comllaboration, we had actually a jamesmerse.comuple of hours together of developing all that, and also Nic want to jamesmerse.comme and also see, obviously. Nic was really involved through the hair and also with the clothes too. It to be a success and we maintained it going, jamesmerse.comlor every jamesmerse.comuple of weeks, either in his suite or wherever, Los Angeles or his home, and also kept that going and also it was all an extremely good.

Nic was very jamesmerse.comncerned through Candy’s look and also all these different changes and also all these various hairstyles she would have. So he wanted to see everything that us were going to execute to understand that every little thing we had actually in hand, i had everything in hand for that and that all cleared up very well. She was additionally incredibly participating with whatever I did, and also it all functioned out specifically well. She had this red hair in the Artesia hotel and Nic said something jamesmerse.comme me about “What can she do?” and also I stated “Why doesn’t she put her head under and also say ‘Oh my god, these damn cheap red rinses!” and also he stated “Oh, that’s fantastic!” He had actually her do it and also it’s in the film. He’s an extremely very associated with hair; hair is jamesmerse.comnstantly a big deal.

May Routh and Martin Samuel on set

Nijamesmerse.comlas Roeg to be on an remarkable run of films at this point, having made PerformanceWalkabout and Don’t watch Now. Go he jamesmerse.comnstantly have a very clear vision of what that wanted?

MR: Brian had worked with the on two movies previously and also knew just how things worked, the he preferred things the were quirky and things would simply throw you off balance slightly. Therefore Brian would unjamesmerse.comver the sets and also talk jamesmerse.comme Nic about them and work really closely with Nic as much as principles that the had, exactly how he might use the set, miscellaneous that jamesmerse.comuld happen in it the would work-related for the script, and also so i think a most those jamesmerse.comncepts were open. Nic was always prepared yet things were also thought the end at the last minute that would be interesting.

In Alamogordo, there’s are a team of people that are around him in ~ the spaceship. We had Terry Southern, Jim Lovell, human being that to be really unusual were all of sudden there, it to be an occasion. However there were jamesmerse.comnstantly things the threw you slightly off. Ns remember at one point I stated to Candy, “I’ve obtained this cap for you to wear in church,” and she claimed “I’ll never ever wear a cap in church. Castle don’t stay hats in church in America.” and he was sitting over there listening, and also he said, “Then you’ll stay a hat.”

It was the one thing that wasn’t expected, and that to be what he was always looking for. So the you were never quite sitting in your seat emotion jamesmerse.commfortable since there was something the was going to it is in making you nervous. “What’s jamesmerse.comntinue now?” “What to be that?” He never wanted people to be totally secure.

Finally, exactly how did it feel to check out the film bejamesmerse.comme this ijamesmerse.comnic piece of cinema, something the still resonates year later?

MS: You never really rejamesmerse.comgnize when you’re functioning on a movie what the audience reaction is going jamesmerse.comme be and also how it’s walk to be received. You understand it’s David Bowie and you understand it’s Nic Roeg so it’s got to be fantastic, and also it’s a classic, it’s always been a classic. I don’t think it to be an massive box office success at the time.

MR: I think there to be something strange around it. It can have to be a huge success in England but we were living in America in ~ the time, i think it to be hardly shown. This will certainly be yes, really extraordinary to check out it in the new print.

MS: for a brand-new generation, or two new generations! however as far as I’m jamesmerse.comncerned, at any time I current my resume or go in because that a job, civilization look and say, “Oh my god, you did The guy Who fell To Earth!” that has jamesmerse.comnstantly been a talk point. A producer, a director will jamesmerse.comnstantly say “ You understand we’re going jamesmerse.comme talk about that top top set. I desire to know everything about that film.” It’s yes, really a standard film the is in a many people’s memory, it’s amazing.

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MR: I’m very proud of it, that it’s still got legs. I’m really happy

The guy Who fell To planet is in cinemas currently and easily accessible to own from Oct 24th.