Awards Daily chats with art and set decorators, Martha Sparrow and Cathy T. Marshall, about their Emmy-nominated work in the Poker Face episode, “The Orpheus Syndrome.”
“The Orpheus Syndrome” episode of Poker Face (also directed by star Natasha Lyonne) begins with the revelation of a creepy, lifelike bust of the ill-fated character Max (played by Tim Russ).
“I think it was Natasha who said, ‘Okay, we have the bust, but I want it to be so lifelike that we expect you will see him breathe,’ said art decorator Martha Sparrow. “So she decided she wanted to use the actor in place of the bust, which meant that we had to come up with ways of creating furniture pieces for him to be inside. We made a little box that sat around his shoulders, and we fit it especially to him and made a little velvet piece that came up to him so he would be wearing this box on his shoulders and he would rest himself on the dining room table, for example.”
In addition to creepy busts, the episode also features a series of rich locales to play with, including Arthur’s (Nick Nolte) barn studio and Laura’s (Cherry Jones) minimalist house, each of which tells us so much about these characters and their history making movies together.
“We had to create a difference in the sensibility of design between Arthur and what the business eventually became, which was more futuristic with space monsters,” says set decorator Cathy T. Marshall. “His creatures reflected a different theme, more earthiness, and LAM’s (Light and Motion) creations after that were more Star Wars-y. You definitely gave each of them a different sensibility.”
I had a great conversation with Sparrow and Marshall about this episode, including how they pulled off the 1989 Dragonfish flashback. Watch the interview below!