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Alias: The Hilarious Story Behind Jennifer Garner's Iconic Red Wig

It took $39 and a lot of charm

Sadie Gennis, Kaitlin Thomas

Even if you aren't a die-hard Alias fan, you're probably familiar with the image of star Jennifer Garner decked out as double-agent Sydney Bristow in all black and sporting a now-iconic red wig. But as it turns out, figuring out the exact shade of red for Sydney's first disguise in the ABC drama was almost as complicated as understanding literally anything about Rambaldi.

When a handful of Alias writers and producers reunited at the Austin Television Festival on Saturday, they revealed that they had to do an SD-6-level operation of their own in order to track down that perfect cherry red.

"[Creator J.J Abrams] wanted her to have red hair so we had three red hair wigs and none of them were good enough. [Abrams] was like, 'It's not the right red, it's not the right red," said producer Sarah Caplan. "We were out scouting at UCLA and this girl walks by and she had badly dyed hair. She has red hair but it was blonde at the top... So I go up to the girl and [I said] 'it's kind of a weird request, but could I take a little snippet of the bottom of your hair?'"

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"She says no. And I go really? And she says I've grown this hair and that hair's been with me for 14 years," Caplan continued.

Not ones to be dissuaded, Caplan and Abrams didn't give up. After a little back-and-forth (and settling on a cash price), the woman agreed to let these strangers cut off a piece of her hair. "I rustled $39 from various members of the crew and I give her the money and I'm allowed to take a tiny little sample... That's the color of [Sydney's wig.]"

We don't know where that woman is now, but if we did, there's only one thing we'd like to say to her.



Alias is now streaming on Hulu.