Viola Davis Reveals It Took 45 Minutes to Take Off Her 'Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes' Makeup

The prosthetic nose was the hardest part

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Viola Davis.
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

We've seen how dedicated Viola Davis is to her roles on screen, but sometimes the 58-year-old star spends just as much time sitting in the makeup chair as she does in front of the camera.

During a new interview with Jimmy Fallon, the How to Get Away with Murder actress revealed that it took 45 minutes to remove all the makeup she wore for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

“The makeup in Hunger Games took four hours,” she revealed to Fallon. “Four hours. And then it took maybe 45 minutes to take it off, and the hardest part to take off was the nose.”

In the movie, Davis plays the fictional Dr. Volumnia Gaul, the person who originated The Hunger Games and who acts as the head gamemaker of the 10th games. (If you've never seen the series or read the books, The Hunger Games are a televised fight to the death among twelve adolescents who are picked at random from their respective districts.)

For her role, Davis wore a prosthetic nose that was apparently quite difficult to remove. “It was so hard that the makeup artists literally had to brace their feet and just pull it,” she said, jokingly adding, “It was like an anal probe. I mean stretching it. You have no idea.”

When Fallon asked if Davis liked going that deep into a character, the Woman King star said, “Absolutely, because I always want people to see me different.”

She added, “Now, I love when people love me. I love when people see me as maternal and warm and fuzzy. But there are times that I just want to scare the sh*t out of them.” (In response, Fallon and the audience burst out into laughter.)

You always masterfully transform into any character you play, Viola.

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Joel Calfee

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Joel is the Associate Editor for News & Entertainment and has been reporting on all things pop culture for over 5 years. Before working at PureWow, he served as a Features...
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