Cut Down


By Ann Hodges, Houston Chronicle, 1/19/00

Pasadena, Calif.- It was a really bad hair day, the day Felicity's Keri
Russell cut her hair.

How bad was it? So bad that "nobody is cutting their hair again!" Susanne
Daniels, the WB's entertainment president, vowed.

"The e-mail alone was so overwhelmingly negative about the haircut. Do I
think it affected the show at some level? I really do."

The ratings have dropped a full point this season.

Russell is already growing her hair out, but it's taking time. It's not even
shoulder length.

"We're giving her vitamins," Daniels quipped, only half-joking.

"When the mail came in, we discussed how fast we could bring back the hair,"
she said. "But Keri's against wearing extensions or a wig, and I didn't want
to force her to do it."

As Daniels recalls that fateful decision to cut: "She wasn't (really)
planning on doing it," she said. The producer proposed the idea, and she
loved it.

"Looking back," Daniels said, "Keri as Felicity was becoming an icon in
American culture, and part of that image was the shot of Felicity, in
profile, by her window in the dorm, talking into the tape recorder. I could
not foresee it, but when you cut the hair off you diluted the image."

So is the hair really to blame for the drop in ratings?

"It was a rocky start for the season," Daniels said. "They made a mistake
when Keri was left alone at the dorm, isolated physically and emotionally,
fighting with her friend and not dating either of the male leads. The new
love interest did not work, I believe."

Thanks to Cynthia Bowen for transcribing this.