LP Investigates: Scott Williams

Head hairstylist Scott Williams confesses his behind-the-scenes role for CSI: Miami.

Hairstylist Scott Williams has cracked many tough styling cases since he began working in the entertainment biz back in ’88—including stints on Dharma & Greg, Big Love and Ugly Betty—but none could have prepared him for his current assignment: hair department head of CBS’ hit show, CSI: Miami. Williams gives Launchpad the exclusive scoop on what it’s like to coif the actors—dead and alive—for this drama-fueled show.

Please share the reality of styling hair for a crime drama, where the oftentimes violent material can be very intense.

Working on an episodic crime show is a different kind of energy than the norm—a bit of a strange energy, with all of the “deceased victims” running around the set! But it’s amazing to be a part of a show that’s so loved by its fans. Plus, everybody I work with is great!

Does the show’s heavy subject matter ever make it difficult for you to keep your head on straight?

It takes me a while to get used to working on the actors who play the victims—there’s something surreal about styling people with fake blood in their hair. But then I become almost paternal; I feel like I really need to take care of them once they’re in my chair! I remember one episode in which I had to style an entire family that had been killed, and they were covered in blood—including the children. Working on "young victims" is the hardest on an emotional level. But then the actors smile at me because they’re just so excited to be on the show; that makes it better.

How’s the mood on set once the cameras stop rolling?

The actors tend to lighten the mood backstage between takes. David Caruso, who plays Lieutenant Horatio Caine [shown in above image], is hilarious! He makes everyone laugh and brightens the whole atmosphere.

What’s the pace like behind the scenes?

We move at breakneck speed! When we’re filming a season, our schedule typically consists of 12-hour days, five days a week. And, I’m always carrying loads of CHI products for on-set touchups—especially the Flexible Styler Active Paste from the men’s line.

You have an extensive background in both film and television. Which medium best matches your working style?

TV. I like working with the actors and crew on such a consistent level that a definite camaraderie is formed, as well as enjoying the long-term development of story lines. Plus, when you’re working on many different film sets, you’re always traveling—that’s one of the main reasons I like to work on television. It’s nice to have a place to call home.

Alyson Osterman

Caruso image: Robert Voets/CBS©2010/CBS Broadcasting Inc./All Rights Reserved

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