Leading West End and Broadway actor Hayden Tee has released the first of a series of makeup transformations videos. Harrison Fuller spoke to Hayden on behalf of West End Wilma to find out more…
In your video you transform into a 60 year old while lip-syncing to 7 Years. Where did the inspiration come from to blend the two art forms?
I was approaching my 37th birthday and I really wanted to face the idea of aging head on and challenge myself to use as many of my skills as possible. Acting, singing and makeup.
When did you first develop an interest in make up and what is it that appeals to you so much?
As an actor I love how I can use makeup to transform into different characters subtly or dramatically. I first developed s real love for beauty makeup whilst working for MAC whilst studying at drama school.
Having worked as a professional makeup artist as well as leading musical performer, how would you compare the two?
They are surprisingly similar, it’s about being decisive, making creative choices and commuting to them.
One of your most notable roles was your award winning portrayal of Javert in Les Miserables and you have also understudied for Jekyll and Hyde. The characters undergo transformations throughout the shows. How much does the make help with the performance?
A huge amount, I try to never create the same look for two different characters, and luckily with makeup there are so many techniques I’m continuing to learn I think Mt artistry will be able to grow more as I get older and appropriate for different roles.
What advice would you give your seven year old self?
Don’t try to please everybody, do what makes you happy and don’t avoid the things that make you different, which make you feel vulnerable and alone in the world. One day these points of difference will be things you can celebrate about yourself.
You are an active LGBTQIA campaigner and have recently been raising money for the Polished Man initiative. What has the response been like?
I try to get involved with as many charity initiatives as I can and certainly support my friends who are getting behind any. In a recent production of Only Heaven Knows in Sydney (June this year) we raised $20,000 for amnesty international specifically to help the persecuted lgbtqia in Chechnya.
Polished man is a wonderful charity and one I feel very passionate about. Men around the world are challenged to paint one nail with nail polish to represent the 1 in 5 children affected by domestic violence. I enjoyed wearing the nail polish at stage door of les miz because people would often ask about it while I was signing programs and it gave me an opportunity to raise awareness and I doubled my personal fundraising target doing so mostly thanks to people from stage door.
What do you hope people will take away from your transformation series?
My transformation series is about creative expression, each one will be different and will hopefully mean different things. 7 years is about embracing aging and embracing yourself.
Can you give us a flavour of what else there is to come?
Ooh there are two more in the works currently, the next track is a 90’s rock song and a rather confronting makeup examining the idea of stalking. The second is reworking of a Certain queen of r&b’s song with a message that anything is possible if you dream it. That’s kind of all I can say right now 😉