The early images and video out of Inhumans have caused a lot of consternation. (Check out our podcast on the topic if you are interested in some of that consternation.) A major point of contention has been Medusa’s hair. From the very announcement of the show, we knew that the digital effect for her power would be difficult. Could ABC possibly have the budget for it? EW photos with a less than superb wig have not helped things, nor have the images in the trailer which seem to consciously avoid showing her face. How will this look? We don’t know yet, but Serinda Swan is trying to help us all calm down.
One of the cool things playing Medusa is her hair and learning how to use it through the wig but then also through CGI. So there are moments where you’re in fights or in intense situations and you have to know how to use your face at the same time as you’re using your hair. So there’s been a lot of really amazing scenes where I’d have to sit down and go ‘Okay if it was my arm, how would I do it if it was my arm? What would my face do and have the duality between the two?’ because it’s another appendage for her. I love to do my own stunts but I’ve never thought of my hair as a weapon or a protection system or even something as easy as getting water coz she can do everyday things with her hair. But that was sort of the fun playing her; bringing that to life and honoring what’s in the comic books because it’s a huge part of her. The length and size of the wig are also quite phenomenal.
There is some good news here for fans of the property. It sounds like the show is not shying away from the power. They aren’t skipping this visual as part of the show. Hopefully those “amazing scenes” will blow us away. When these comments are put together with the lack of imagery in the trailers it seems to confirm what many have speculated (and feared): the VFX are still in the works. As the deadline for the show looms, it seems like the work should be done by now. On the other hand, kudos to ABC for not premiering half-baked VFX work. (One only wishes they could have done the same with some of those wig pictures.) The reality of these kinds of projects is that they often don’t look great until they are fully finished. There is still real hope that in the end, Medusa’s hair will look great.
Swan goes on and shares a little more of how the power shows character:
You will definitely see her hair have moods. There will be some moody hair because that’s her. It’s the same as when you’re having an argument, your fists curl. When you meet somebody you’re nervous about, your hand’s sweat. It’s a little less when she’s out in public because she’s very much ‘I am queen,” because it would be distracting. So she controls it when she’s out in public but you’ll see a much more intimate side with her hair with Black Bolt.
A lot of fascinating comments there. What exactly does “intimate” prehensile hair look like? How much special effects will they do with her hair? Somewhat skeptically I’ve been thinking only a couple of fight scenes, but Swan makes it sound as if the hair is going to be active in conversations or other moments as well. Also, those who have been concerned that Swan has been too demure (or just plain old silent) in the trailer can see here that the role will have swings. It sounds like some of her cold regal affect will melt away as the show goes on and the demands of royalty subside.
What do you most want to see with Medusa? Is there hope that the VFX will come through in the end? Share your thoughts in the comments below.