Kaliardos: Yes, we tried a lot of different things. And you can’t say yes or no until you try and see. We tried the super curly…
Tomei: …we will try bangs.
Kaliardos: It’s my husband who likes to have long hair. It looks just right because it’s a nod to the ’70s. And you’ve got great classic platformers.
Tomei: I’ve had those shoes for a long time. They come from a flea market.
Kaliardos: They’re like the YSL shoes they’re remaking now. We realize that the face should go with that [theme] – 70s and shiny, with blush and a sculpted eye, eyeliner, really good eyelashes…. I find May’s beauty to be dynamic.
Tomei: We used the word “active” a lot. Because in the comics, May never leaves the house. We mean that she has a whole life beyond what we are seeing [onscreen]. We thought about her sex life and things like that. Things that you don’t see, we mean.
Kaliardos: She’s not just there for Peter [Parker’s] benefit.
Tomei: I think there’s a tradition that she’s been in the dark about what [Peter] doing. But the studio and [our director] Jon Watts doesn’t want May to be in the dark. There’s a lot of a motherly side to her and that’s great, great value, but keywords have made her active again. And that’s reflected in her hair and clothes – things like having a purse so her hands can be free and she can be involved.
Kaliardos: Even finding the right glasses is important, and of course also considering how the makeup will look on the eyes. It’s not just like, “Oh, I want this to be great eyeliner.“It has to be, ‘Well, how does it all fit into the whole picture? “
Tomei: And it won’t take too long. Because how much time in her day can there be? She is still a working woman. Her priorities are her values and her and Peter’s work. So we thought about that.
Kaliardos: It can’t be a drag either [for us] to deal with every day. I come from the fashion world; I don’t do many movies. It’s so intense, it’s really long. You’re in a place where sets are being built and taken down and there’s a lot going on and people are really working hard to get it done on time. So you don’t have to spend hours and hours editing everything. Sometimes we have so little time to change or make up, so you have to come up with something that can be done and goes on and is relevant all the time. But because we know each other so well and I know her face, I can actually put makeup on her when I close my eyes.
Tomei: We got it in under half an hour.
Kaliardos: It’s something I don’t often experience in my career, it’s the really intense, collaborative closeness that we have.
Tomei: You have a love of art forms. It was really fun to get into the character together.
This story originally appeared in the December/January 2021/2022 issue of Allure. Learn how to sign up here.
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