Once again, the Hospital Club in Covent Garden played host to the annual London Awards Celebration (Feb. 16). The event, hosted by Make-Up Artist magazine and M.A.C. Cosmetics, honors the make-up and hair teams nominated for both the Academy Awards and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (the Oscars and the BAFTAs).
With guests drawn from the industry, it was not simply a celebration but an opportunity for colleagues to catch up between hectic filming schedules. Held on the Friday before the BAFTA ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall, we took this opportunity to chat to the artists as they descended on the capital to find out how they feel about the nominations and find out how they deal with the pressures of awards season.
Last year Donald Mowat received his first BAFTA nomination for Nocturnal Animals, and this year he is again in the spotlight for his work alongside fellow artist and two-time nominee Kerry Warn for Blade Runner 2049. Mowat is thrilled to be nominated again and the BAFTA ceremony provides a brief hiatus between assignments.
“Work is the best way to stay focused during the madness of awards season. I’m just finishing The First Man with Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy. We’ve one day left they let me off early to be here tonight. Then I’m working straight away on an untitled Dan Gilroy project,” says Mowat.
Lucy Sibbick is part of the make-up team responsible for Darkest Hour, alongside David Malinowski, Ivana Primorac and Kazuhiro Tsuji. Their work has led to a nomination for both an Academy Award and a BAFTA.
“It feels amazing to be nominated,” Sibbick enthuses. “Usually people who are nominated have a huge legacy of work behind them and whilst I’ve spent a lot of years in the industry, it still feels a great honor to be considered among these guys. As for staying focused, I’m still working with Barry Gower FX on Game of Thrones so that’s keeping it real for me.”
First-time BAFTA nominees Arjen Tuiten and Naomi Bakstad were recognized for their exceptional work, alongside Robert A Pandini, for Wonder.
Bakstad paid tribute to the sense of teamwork that pervaded the production. “Wonder was an amazing collaborative group effort. We had such wonderful leadership with Lionsgate and our director Stephen Chbosky and of course our leading actor Jacob Tremblay, who was only 9 years old. Jacob wore prosthetics for 40 days of filming and was a true professional throughout. It was a really special project to be part of.”
Make-up designer Deborah La Mia Denaver is very excited to have been nominated for a BAFTA, alongside Adruitha Lee for I, Tonya.
“It’s been 22 years since I was nominated for Ghosts Of Mississippi. It’s easy for us to keep it real during awards season. Our film is so little and the competition is just crazy this year. To be just a part of that, standing next to these guys … it’s a real honor. I’m very excited and I’m going to enjoy the ride as long as I can.”
Unable to attend were Lou Sheppard and Daniel Phillips. Both have been nominated for their work on Victoria & Abdul. Paying tribute to the artists, who have been nominated for both an Academy Award and a BAFTA, Make-Up Artist magazine editor-in-chief Michael Key drew attention to the meticulous work on the wigs and facial hair in the movie.
Key went on to raise a glass to all the teams, calling the awards their “Cinderella moment.”
“It’s incredible to be nominated. We are the behind-the-scenes people and we are more used to making other people look good,” says Key. “This moment of recognition is rare but it’s very special and I would like to thank all the nominees for allowing us this opportunity to honor them.”
The BAFTAs were held on Sunday, Feb. 18, at the Royal Albert Hall. Lucy Sibbick, David Malinowski, Ivana Primorac and Kazuhiro Tsuji won for their work on Darkest Hour. This is a first win for Primorac following six previous nominations for Atonement, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Anna Karenina, The Hours, Cold Mountain and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
The 90th Academy Awards ceremony will be held March 4 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and broadcast around the world. Visit our Oscar Watch page for all the details.