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Concentration faces: Queenstown's Davina Lamont prepares Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush for the set of Genius PICTURE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC /DUSAN MARTINCEKIT'S

It’s one of the most iconic hairstyles in history – and might land a Queenstowner an Emmy.

Makeup designer Davina Lamont has been shortlisted for her work on Genius, the National Geographic Channel drama which charts the professional and personal life of legendary physicist Albert Einstein.

The series stars Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, of Australia.

Lamont is in charge of makeup, hair and prosthetics for the whole series, which was shot between last August and March in Prague, Czech Republic.

“It was brilliant.

“I’m pretty lucky – and the second season starts up in a couple of months, so I head back over to Europe.”

The series follows Einstein from the late 1800s through to his death in 1955, she says.

“So we had two actors Johnny Flynn and Geoffrey Rush – and lots of prosthetics, wigs and facial hair to age them as they went.

“Both the guys wouldn’t feel like Einstein until they had their moustache on.

“And they both had blue eyes, so I had to put contacts in as well.

“It’s pretty cool to watch – Geoffrey Rush, who is always playful and funny, you put on a moustache, he looks up and he’s Einstein.”

The German-born theoretical scientist was in his 40s before he sported his famous halo-hair look, but Lamont had to design styles from 16 to 70.

“Then there’s also all the iconic people of the era they met; Edgar Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Marie Curie, other great scientists.”

But designing the look of such a show is a challenging business.

“With TV, you get a new script every 10 to 15 days – there’ll be characters that require new wigs, moustaches, ageing.

“With Hoover, I think I got three weeks’ lead-in time to pull him off.”

Lamont says she needs a large group of staff and freelancers who can pull together wigs and prosthetics at a moment’s notice.

Winter temperatures in Prague, which can reach -18 degrees C, also didn’t help.

“It was a constant touch-up all day every day.”

The show’s been nominated for 10 Emmy awards in total – with the awards announced next month.

Award-winning Lamont’s worked on dozens of film and TV productions over her 23-year career – from vampire flick 30 Days of Night to Sherlock Homes, Avatar, historical mini-series Sons of Liberty, and The Lord of the Rings

She’s worked with the best directors in the business, including Steven Spielberg, Sir Peter Jackson and Jane Campion, and Hollywood stars such as Jude Law, Kate Beckinsale and Viggo Mortensen.

paul.taylor@scene.co.nz