Hair Department Head of the FOX-TV hit series, Empire, Melissa Forney is a mane expert when it comes to creating iconic hairstyles. Forney has created some of this season’s most talked about TV looks for the Empire cast, but has also worked behind-the-scenes of the big screen’s Selma and TV favorite True Jackson, VP and more.
HER START ON EMPIRE: “I received a call from one of the producers saying that director Lee Daniels was interested in talking to me in regards to the show,” Forney recalls about being sought after. The lead hairdresser for the series now creates memorable looks on your favorite A-listers, including Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson (shown here with Forney), Naomi Campbell, Grace Gealey and Serayah McNeill.
ON STYLING THE STARS: The top stylist says that each hairstyle is a collaborative effort. “Lee Daniels has his hand in everything and he knows what he wants as far as looks,” says Forney. “I’ll sit down with him first and then the actor has input as well. So we all just put it together and make it work.”
PATH TO SUCCESS: Forney’s amazing career can be attributed to following your dreams. Her advice? “Follow your dreams,” she says. “If you want to do it, I feel like you should go after it. You have to be positive and professional. If you follow your dreams, you can do it.”
Melissa Forney works with leading lady of Empire, Taraji P. Henson.