Donald Mowat is one of the industry’s most sought-after makeup artists. As makeup department head/designer on such films as Blade Runner 2049, Stronger, Sicario, Nightcrawler, Prisoners, The Fighter and 8 Mile and as personal makeup artist for Daniel Craig on Spectre and Skyfall, Donald’s skill and professionalism have kept him in constant demand for the last thirty years.
Accomplished in every genre of film and television – straight and corrective beauty, character makeup, period drama, out of kit special effects/casualty – his awards include a Primetime Emmy, a Saturn award, two Hollywood Makeup Artists Guild awards and two Gemini awards. Donald has two British Academy film awards nominations for Nocturnal Animals and Blade Runner 2049.
Recent releases include Velvet Buzzsaw, written and directed by Dan Gilroy and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, and John Lee Hancock’s The Little Things, staring Jared Leto and Denzel Washington.
Upcoming releases include Denis Villeneuve’s highly anticipated adaptation of the Frank Herbert classic science fiction novel, Dune, for which Donald is Makeup Department Head/Makeup Hair and Prosthetics Designer. Dune will have its world premiere on September 3 at the Venice Film Festival, followed by worldwide release in cinemas and on HBO Max on October 22.
Donald Mowat with Ryan Gosling on the set of First Man
Damien Chazelle, director of First Man, on Donald Mowat’s work:
‘People know banged-up and bloody. I can do that in 20 minutes.’ That quote from Donald speaks to the brilliance of who he is and what he does with his art. When we first met to discuss our hopes for makeup in First Man, Donald showed me look boards for each of the characters I had discussed with him. I was stunned by the level of period appropriate detail and the commitment to authenticity in every decision he makes.
With his decades of experience in film, Donald instinctively sees how audiences instantly ‘get’ prosthetics, but that this film would never be about the performance of exaggerated makeup. The looks for the astronauts and their families had to speak to their reality in this decade – their highs and their lows. When Donald showed me his techniques for slight aging of Janet’s character over the course of the missions, I knew he felt in his core what we wanted to do to achieve realness. This was about the actuality of a family in the suburbs, not an unrealistic portrayal of glamour.
Donald Mowat on the set of Blade Runner 2049 with Denis Villeneuve and Ryan Gosling
Donald Mowat on the set of Stronger with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany
Donald Mowat on the set ofSicario with Emily Blunt
Donald, with his transparent makeup satchel, depicted on the set of Wim Wenders’ Every Thing Will Be Fine shot in Canada in sub-zero temperatures.
Donald on the set of The Fighter with Amy Adams
Donald on the set of The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg