The Hospital Club in Covent Garden, London was the venue for this year’s third annual London Awards Celebration, held Feb. 10. Hosted by Make-Up Artist magazine and sponsored by M.A.C. Cosmetics, the event honors the make-up and hair teams nominated for Academy Awards and British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards.
Before the speeches began, we had the opportunity to chat with the guests of honor and gauge their reaction to the nominations. Donald Mowat is currently prepping The Darkest Minds, a teen supernatural movie based on the novel by Alexandra Bracken. “I actually heard about the nomination for Nocturnal Animals with Yolanda Toussieng when I was with Ryan Gosling in Paris. We’d been working together since Blade Runner 2049 and he made quite a fuss about the nomination.”
“It’s always exciting to get a BAFTA nomination,” exclaimed Daniel Phillips, and he should know. He has been nominated five times, but so far, an award has eluded him. Phillips continued, “My nomination this year alongside J. Roy Helland is for Florence Foster Jenkins starring Meryl Streep and directed by Stephen Frears. I’ve worked with Frears several times, including The Queen and Victoria and Abdul starring Judi Dench, which I’ve just finished.”
Sydney-born Shane Thomas had just arrived home from vacation when he got the news of a BAFTA nomination for his work on Hacksaw Ridge. “I’d just got home and I was sitting in my garden with my partner, waiting for the announcements online. When it came down to it, I couldn’t look at my phone because I was too nervous. It was a great way to end a holiday but at the moment, I’m not working on anything. That’s the life of an artist, I guess.”
Scott Jones, senior director of Make-Up Artist magazine and IMATS, welcomed the crowd and thanked M.A.C. Cosmetics for joining them for the celebration. “One of the things that Make-Up Artist magazine and M.A.C. Cosmetics have in common is a passion for creativity and artistry. M.A.C. does a tremendous amount to support the artist behind the scenes. They don’t just care about a product, they care about the art and artist. They care about relationships.”
When Make-Up Artist magazine founder Michael Key took to the stage, he too spoke of the need to celebrate the behind-the-scenes people. “Tonight we are here to honor these artists in their Cinderella moment. We don’t get to do this often enough so if you see somebody here whose work you admire, make sure you tell them. They don’t get to hear that often enough.”
Key invited each nominee onstage to offer congratulations and ask a few questions about their work. Academy Award nominees Eva von Bahr and Love Larson flew in from Los Angeles to chat about their movie A Man Called Ove. “We are overwhelmed by the nomination and it’s always great to visit London. At the moment, we are in preproduction for the Lars von Trier movie The House That Jack Built, starring Matt Dillon.”
Closer to home, British make-up artist Amanda Knight took to the stage to chat about her work on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, for which she and fellow artists Neal Scanlan and Lisa Tomblin had been nominated for a BAFTA. “Rogue One was not part of the dynasty of Star Wars movies, it’s a spin-off, so it can be whatever it wants to be. Director Gareth Edwards wanted it to look very dark and gritty, like a war movie. Sometimes Disney fought that, so you’re caught between the two but I think it’s paid off. Star Wars, as opposed to say, Star Trek, has got to be simple and yet still be iconic. Getting that simplicity is key.”
The BAFTA Awards were held on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the Royal Albert Hall. Helland and Phillips won for their work on Florence Foster Jenkins. It was Helland’s second BAFTA win and his third nomination, and Phillips’ first win and fifth nomination.
The 89th Academy Awards ceremony will be held Feb. 26 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and broadcast around the world.