Movie Makeup Artists Spill Their Behind-The-Scenes Secrets

Photo: Courtesy of Maverick Films.
In a colloquial sense, you know what it means to “look the part.” Now, meet the people whose job it is to take that expression to a literal level: They’re movie makeup artists, and they’re responsible for everything from gruesome special effects to the seemingly poreless complexions of your favorite big-screen stars.
This weekend, three of the industry’s best — Greg Cannom, J. Roy Helland, and Robin Mathews — gathered at New York City’s Directors Guild Theatre to discuss their illustrious, Oscar-laden careers in on-screen makeup. The panel, one of nearly 60 such events hosted in conjunction with the New Yorker Festival, did double duty as a crash course in filmography: These artists have had a hand in everything from Titanic to Twilight.
While Mathews regaled the crowd with tales of her Academy Award-winning work on Dallas Buyers Club, Cannom, a special-effects expert, told anecdotes from the sets of Mrs. Doubtfire and A Beautiful Mind. Helland shared an insider perspective on Meryl Streep’s remarkable career — he’s worked with the actress on every movie she’s filmed since 1982.
Needless to say, these pros have amassed their fair share of behind-the-scenes beauty secrets. And, as they spilled their stories, we feverishly recorded each and every one of 'em — because who doesn’t like feeling like a Hollywood insider? Click through for all the juicy tidbits.