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S2E56: “From HAIR To Eternity”


PAUL ABASCAL went from being a super talented, highly sought-after movie set HAIR STYLIST (he was MEL GIBSON and SLY STALLONE’S hair guy!) to being a super talented MOVIE AND TV DIRECTOR whose very first dramatic directing credit was the “Oil’s Well That Ends Well” episode of “TALES FROM THE CRYPT”. Paul saw hair architecturally. That’s one reason he took to directing so well.

Good directing, like good hair, is all about structure.

Teasing Hair To Teasing Stories

So, how do you go from teasing hair to shooting movies and TV shows? It always helps if you’re observant, eager to learn and capable of thinking outside the box. It helps, too, if you know how to tell a story – and that Paul absolutely does.

The quintessential Hollywood hair stylist character is George (WARREN BEATTY) in Hal Ashby’s classic “SHAMPOO”. But whereas George was simply riding the wave of his own charisma, Paul approached hair styling with a perfectionist’s drive.

We talk about learning the hair trade from VIDAL SASSOON’S MASTERS (which Paul did), how knowing how to do one actress’s hair exactly the way she wanted it done got Paul hired onto “STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK” and into the union (vital if you want to work in Hollywood), how he and Mel Gibson became tight, and how Paul eventually got the Crypt episode that launched his directing career. Then we’ll talk how directing that Crypt episode changed Paul’s life.

Stories With Style

Well, kind of. Paul also tells a great story about handing STEVEN SPIELBERG his Crypt episode while giving Spielberg’s wife KATE CAPSHAW a perm. The payoff’s pretty awesome, too.

We’ll trade MOLLY RINGWALD stories (Paul worked with her on PRETTY IN PINK (which is revered among hair stylists), DICK DONNER and JOEL SILVER stories. Paul will tell his own “How NOT To Make A Movie Story”. He was hired to take over directing the Mel Gibson movie PAYBACK and more or less saved it.

And, finally, Paul tells a story from the DIE HARD set that we hadn’t heard before – about a location shoot in CENTURY CITY, a catering worker who got drunk (and fired for it), a stolen prop machine gun and a visit from the President and his SECRET SERVICE detachment.

By the time we’re done, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled from hair to eternity!

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