‘Nope’: Keke Palmer’s Character Emerald Almost Had a Green Wig

Actor Keke Palmer stars alongside Daniel Kaluuya in Jordan Peele’s new film Nope. In the movie, her character is invested in learning about the secrets of her town. But her character almost looked very different from what she looked like on screen.

headshot of 'Nope' actor Keke Palmer
Keke Palmer | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK

Keke Palmer stars in Jordan Peele’s movie ‘Nope’

Ahead of Nope‘s release, Glamour spoke with Palmer’s on-set makeup artist, Tym Buacharern, about the artistic choices they made together for Emerald.

“We tried to do something that was totally different from what you’ve ever seen of her on camera,” he said. Buacharern has worked with Palmer before with more high-glam looks, but her character in Nope has a notably pared down look.

“She’s a horse trainer,” Buacharern said. “She’s a total hustler. She will take any job and do any job. So I think that dictates it a little bit.”

Before the film started shooting, Palmer had gotten lash extensions just for fun outside of filming. “Basically what happened was, Keke came in with lash extensions,” he said. “She’s like, ‘I’m gonna get the shortest ones.’” But as the lashes fell out as the movie’s filming progressed, it added to her character’s journey.

“What you’ll probably notice is a deterioration of her look,” he added. “Just get ready for a roller coaster. It’s such a ride.”

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Keke Palmer’s character could’ve had a green wig

Besides her makeup, Palmer also almost tried a very different look for the movie: her character almost ended up having green hair and a face tattoo. The tattoo was just a fun idea they wanted to try, while the hair color was intentionally done to match her character’s name.

Ultimately, they decided to not move forward with the out-of-the-box look for Palmer’s character. “I tried [the green hair and face tattoo] on her, and we looked at each other and we go, ‘Nah,’” Buacharern said. 

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Keke Palmer is an accomplished actor

Before the movie’s release, one Twitter user created a thread analyzing Palmer and Zendaya‘s career trajectories from child star to adult actors. In her own tweet thread, Palmer declared that her career is beyond compare.

“A great example of colorism is to believe I can be compared to anyone,” she said. “I’m the youngest talk show host ever. The first Black woman to star in her own show on Nickelodeon, and the youngest and first Black Cinderella on Broadway. I’m an incomparable talent.”

“I’ve been a leading lady since I was 11 years old,” she continued. “I have over 100+ credits, and currently starring in an original screenplay that’s the number one film at the box office #NOPE. I’ve had a blessed career thus far, I couldn’t ask for more but God continues to surprise me.”

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