Make-up and prosthetics artists in Bollywood are now getting their due recognition and being considered a crucial part of filmmaking, says acclaimed British make-up artist Clover Wootton…writes Mamta Aggarwal
Using the magic wand of make-up design and prosthetics, Wootton has created the looks of characters played by actress Anushka Sharma in “Pari”, Ranbir Kapoor in “Sanju” and the actors of “Zero”, starring Shah Rukh Khan.
Asked about the difference between Hollywood and Bollywood when it comes to make-up design and the use of prosthetics, Wootton told IANS in an email interview: “In Bollywood, make-up design is being recognised as a crucial part of how the film will look, its function in supporting a narrative and bringing characters to life. This hasn’t always been the case. Make-up artists are finally being appreciated for their creative inputs.”
Wootton has collaborated with Indian make-up and hair artists too.
“Collaboration is the best way to learn and grow and to build a community of fellow artists around you who can share work, support and guide you when needed. Many Indian make-up students are training or working abroad, and many foreign artists come here for film projects so, there is a lot of opportunity for exchange and learning.
To what extent can make-up add to a film’s narrative?
“When designing a look for an actor/actress, you not only think about who that person is, but also what their characters’ journeys are. Are they ageing? Do they become a mother? Do they get a new job? How the characters change throughout their journey can be reflected by changes in their hair and make-up,” she said.
Tantrums and big stars often go hand in hand in filmdom. Did she ever face any difficulty in convincing actors for a particular look?
“Actors have a brand image to maintain and in India in particular there are some actors who are known more for their star power than their acting ability. Pushing them to experiment beyond their normal image can be challenging. So you need to find a balance between the director’s vision and the comfort level of the actor,” she said.
Talking about challenges, Wootton shared: “‘Pari’ has been my most challenging film to date. There were a number of different looks and many prosthetics. Luckily, I had an actress who trusted me and was prepared to completely change herself.”
She will be next lending her expertise to actress Deepika Padukone.
“My next project will be with Deepika Padukone in Meghna Gulzar’s film. It’s a sensitive subject and I’m very much looking forward to working with this team,” she shared.