BAFTA secrets revealed: SJP's hairstylist talks to HELLO! Online
Charles Worthington spent hours before the BAFTAs styling the hair of stars including Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Raine, Alice Eve and Emilia Fox.
Talking exclusively to HELLO! Online, he spills the beans on the careful preparations involved in getting stars red carpet-ready, revealing that no detail is overlooked. "It's funny watching them in the cars on the way down to the red carpet," says Charles. "They have to sit on one hip, virtually lying down in the car to avoid creasing anything so they look perfect… It's quite uncomfortable for them!
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"I travelled to the red carpet with Jessica Raine and Emilia Fox," he continues, "and they were all stretched out trying not to crease!"
He describes Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker as "lovely". "And she looked gorgeous," she added. "I wanted to give her a really smooth, sleek look because she's often seen with waves and curls but I just felt that London is a bit cooler."
The actress was wearing an Elie Saab jumpsuit that received mixed reviews, but Charles thought it suited the quirky style queen to a tee and his sleek 'do perfectly complemented the black ensemble.
Meanwhile, his good friend Emilia Fox, who had her hair styled while "wearing £3.2 million worth of diamonds around her neck", opted for a stunning 40s, textured updo.
Describing exactly how the styling process normally works at the glittering red carpet bash, Charles explains: "I have to look at the dress and their face shape before helping them choose."
And how much input do the stars have – do they come to Charles with a specific hairstyle in mind? "Generally, they're looking to us for inspiration so we help them choose," he replies. "They're usually very open-minded about the type of style that they have, but what they are very clear about is what doesn't work.
"They'll say 'my hair does not look good scraped back off my face', or 'my hair doesn't look good if I have a fringe coming forward'."
Charles, who has been the official BAFTA stylist for several years now, sets up a salon every year across three suites of the lavish Savoy hotel, meaning celebrities can enjoy luxurious surroundings as they are pampered and preened by his team of fifteen stylists. But SJP "had only just flown in that morning," he explains, "so we created her hairstyle in her own suite as we felt it would be more relaxing for her up there."
As a man with first-hand experience of the entire preparation process for the big event, we ask Charles to spill the beans on exactly what it takes for the stars to get red-carpet ready.
"The preparation time can add up to days," he admits. "The celebrities have meetings with stylists to go through the look that they could wear. Trying lots of different dresses on in itself can take up the best part of a day.
"Then normally, there'll be conversations that we have on the phone with the actress about what they're wearing and we suggest styles. Often we have the luxury of seeing the actresses two or three days before."
With his handiwork being showcased on an international stage, we wonder whether Charles gets anxious. "I have been doing it for many years now but I still get very nervous!" he admits. "I care about them looking fantastic and feeling their best."
What about the stars – does he sense any nerves as they prepare to step out in front of hundreds of cameras?
"They can get nervous," he says. "The world is looking at them and everything is so instantaneous nowadays. They know the minute they step onto that red carpet, within seconds it's being tweeted.
"So in that sense, it's very intense for them. But, once they are ready and they've got the gown and the jewels on and their hair done, they feel a million dollars. Rather than nervous, they're excited and they're raring to go – they can't wait to get on the red carpet and be seen."
With London hit by torrential rain, freezing temperatures and high winds, Charles' job of creating picture-perfect hairstyles was trickier this year.
"The pouring rain was unbelieveable!" he laughs. "But it didn't affect the styles that the stars chose, we just adapted the products we used to ensure humidity was locked out.
"The Instant Amplifying Volume treatment was perfect for prepping the hair. It has collagen in it which makes the hair more chunky and easier to work with. The Elixir Oil is also great at locking out humidity and defining the hair."
With the BAFTAs red carpet rolled away, the next big event in the showbiz calendar is the Oscars, which takes place on February 24th. And Charles predicts that classic hairstyles and waves will take centre stage at the glittering ceremony.
"There's more diversity at the BAFTAs because London is very cool," he explains. "The Oscars tend to play it safe so I'm sure we will be seeing lots of Hollywood waves and very glamorous wavy hair.
"For example, somebody like Sarah Jessica Parker would probably not wear smooth, sleek hair for the Oscars and I think that's where the difference lies – whereas the BAFTAs is brave, the Oscars is far more dressed up."