Updated Feb. 25, 2013
Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell took home the 2013 Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar for their work on Les Misérables. It was the first Oscar win for both.
At the 85th annual Academy Awards ceremony, held Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, presenters Jennifer Aniston and Channing Tatum announced the results.
“I don’t know. It’s quite overwhelming,” Westcott said in her acceptance speech. “I must pay a huge tribute to the team who worked so incredibly hard and were so talented. And I feel that I own only a little bit of this and the rest goes to them. Thank you very much.”
The 85th Academy Awards marked the first time the make-up category name included hairstyling (follow this link for details). Backstage after winning their Oscars, Westcott and Dartnell were asked to speak about the cohesiveness of the two departments working together.
“Well, the hair and make-up thing in England is not an unusual mix. And we are ex-BBC so we are always trained to do both,” Westcott said. “And so, for me, I would never, ever even accept a job that would separate the two, because the very nature of the job and the very essence of the job is to create characters, and to create the character you need all the tools in the box.
“For me, you need the hair and the make-up, which are really powerful bedfellows. And, for me, I would never do just one or the other. They very much go together. It’s like walking around with one shoe it seems, to me, weird not to have those two elements that completely chime with each other.”
This was the third Oscar nomination for Westcott, the film’s make-up and hair designer, who was nominated for Mrs. Brown (1998) and Shakespeare in Love (1999). This was the first Oscar nomination for make-up and hair artist Dartnell.
Westcott previously won a British Academy Film Award for The Madness of King George (1996) and a British Academy TV Award for Wives and Daughters (2000), Our Mutual Friend (1999) and Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House (1986).
This was the second honor Westcott received for her work on the film. On Feb. 10, she won the award in the Make-Up and Hair category of the BAFTA’s 2013 EE British Academy Film Awards.
During the backstage interview after their acceptance speech, Westcott and Dartnell were asked how the live recordings of the songs in the film affected their work.
“Well, it was different because all the songs were done in their entirety, usually with about eight cameras. So from start to finish, your work is there,” Westcott said. “So if anything happens within that long run, sometimes you’ll sit there watching thinking, ‘Oh, no, that’s done, that’s not done.’ You can’t go and rectify it. So for that reason, for us, you know, it was very important to make sure that everything was spot on before the cameras turned.”
ABOVE (left to right): Les Misérables Oscar winners: Andy Nelson (Achievement in Sound Mixing), Lisa Westcott (Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling), Simon Hayes (Achievement in Sound Mixing), Anne Hathaway (Actress in a Supporting Role), Mark Paterson (Achievement in Sound Mixing) and Julie Dartnell (Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling) at the Governors Ball after the 85th Academy Awards. Photo by Todd Wawrychuk/©A.M.P.A.S.