Orange Is the New Black‘s skinhead Helen goes through a crazy transformation to get into character. In fact, she’s pretty much unrecognizable in real life. Francesca Curran, the actress who plays Helen, recently opened up to Insider explaining the stark differences between herself and her OITNB character. And if you’ve taken a look at Curran’s Instagram, you’ve probably seen the shocking differences for yourself:
Describing herself as “so feminine” to the source, Francesca’s process of being transformed into a violent, bald, white supremacist is no small feat. “I’d come in, in the morning, and I was always the first person in and the last person out of the make-up chair. I would see the whole cast come and go.”
Not only do they reshave her head each day, but they have to intricately apply various star tattoos. What used to be a three-and-a-half hour process when she first landed the role, has now been whittled down to a more reasonable amount of time: “I have usually three people working on my tattoos at one given time. So, they get it done, in I’d say, about an hour.”
Still, the transformation is nothing short of amazing. “Even fans of the show coming up to me in real life will say, ‘Are you sure it’s you?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m positive.’
“It’s kind of fun because I’ll sometimes be out to lunch with the other girls on the show and they’ll be getting recognized, and then they’ll [fans] say to me, ‘Who are you?’…And you know, then it becomes a long, long wave of, ‘No you’re not.’ And, I’m like, ‘Okay.'”
Check out season 5 of Orange is the New Black streaming now on Netflix.