Cara Hannah Sullivan talks to Northern Magazine about her Emmy, the SNL cast, and Conan O’Brien’s hair.
What makes a good SNL host?
I kind of feel like the show can only be as good as the host tries to give themselves over to it.
A few of her favorite hosts: Justin Timberlake and Zach Galifianakis because of their energy; Rosario Dawson and Taylor Swift because of their kindness.
You’ve also worked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Did you get to do his hair?
No, I worked on special guests and the band mostly. Conan told me, “I’ve been doing this mess (brushing his iconic red hair) since I was in the womb.” I’ve heard he is very protective of his famous locks. And rightfully so!
Do you make the SNL wigs also?
All SNL wigs are built during the show week by special order from a wig studio on 47th Street called WIGFITS. The turnaround from order to delivery can be as short as 24 hours. It’s quite incredible considering it takes 40 hours to build a full wig.
Which cast member is easiest to wig?
Jason Sudeikis has a great face for wigs.
If you could wig one cast member from all time, who would it be?
One was Ana Gasteyer, but also probably Molly Shannon. That would be a real big one because she’s awesome and she wears wigs well. Gilda Radner too, I guess. That would have been an honor.
Do you ever get star struck?
When I first started working there, when Kristen Wiig walked in or Tina Fey or Amy Poehler – any of these people who I always watched on TV – I was like, “Oh, my gosh! Holy crap; that is them!” But it’s very important to keep your composure and not freak out...because you would instantly get fired for acting crazy and unprofessional.
Where do you keep your Emmy?
It’s on my IKEA TV stand above my TV. It was really funny because my husband [Daniel Sullivan, a successful Broadway actor and author], who’s been my biggest fan forever, couldn’t wait to put it up there and run to IKEA to get back lighting and light it up.
What is your favorite hairspray?
Probably Helmet Head from Chi. I also like Session Max Unite. That’s an awesome hairspray. And if you want to get a really fun one that is accessible to people, it is Hold It from Sally Beauty Supply. If you want that hair to stay and never move, there you go right there.
Bill Hader and Fred Armisen recently announced they won’t be back next season. Is it hard to see cast members leave?
Personally, yeah. Because they’re your coworkers and you’ve worked with them for years and years. And to see them go, you’re happy for them, but you’re also sad because that’s a big change in your life too. On the work side...every cast member has a bazillion wigs that are custom made to them. It’s a little daunting to think of all the wigs we have to restock. We’ll miss them too. But the show must go on.