Donald Mowat on the set of Stronger with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany
Donald Mowat is one of the film industry’s most sought-after make-up artists. He has served as make-up department head and designer on such films as The Fighter, 8 Mile, Sicario, Nightcrawler, Prisoners, Nocturnal Animals, Stronger, Blade Runner 2049, and as personal make-up artist to Daniel Craig on Skyfall and Spectre. Recent work includes John Lee Hancock’s The Little Things, staring Jared Leto and Denzel Washington, and Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of the Frank Herbert classic science fiction novel, Dune, for which Donald was Makeup Department Head/Makeup Hair and Prosthetics Designer.
With a career that spans over 30 years, Donald is a longtime member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, IATSE Local 706, Hollywood Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild and Local 798 New York, Local 873 Toronto.
Donald has received numerous awards and recognition for his make-up work, including, most recently, 2022 Oscar and BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) nominations for his work as Makeup Department Head / Makeup Hair and Prosthetics Designer on Denis Villeneuve’s Dune (2021). His other honors include BAFTA Award nominations for Nocturnal Animals and Blade Runner 2049; a MUAHS Award win for Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals (2017); Saturn and MUAHS Award wins for Prisoners (2014); a Special Achievement Gemini Award for CBC’s The Sleep Room (1998) and a Primetime Emmy Award win for Enchantment – Mark Twain and Me (1991-1992).
Internationally, in 2012, he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to the film industry and various charities and, from 2008-2014, was on the board of directors of the Actors’ Fund of Canada – a charitable organisation that helps Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health and dignity while aiding them to return to work.
While Donald’s career in major studio features enjoys an international reputation at the highest level, both as Head of Department and Personal Make-Up Artist, his credits also include independent art house projects. Donald continues to work in editorial, print, and theatre as a consulting make-up designer.
Donald has pledged continuous support and is an active member of BAFTA’s Los Angeles chapter. Through his BAFTA LA membership committee, Donald volunteers his services providing students with the opportunity to learn about his craft. Donald has been especially involved with the BAFTA LA’s program at Washington Prep High School in south-central Los Angeles, where he mentors several inner-city students in what is considered an underserved area. At the end of 2018 Donald was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, a Canadian decoration intended to honour volunteers who have made a significant and continual contribution to their community.
Donald continues to display his skill as an exemplary leader through mentoring along with speaking engagements with aspiring film makers.
Donald with Daniel Craig on-location shooting Spectre in Morocco and at Daniel Craig’s inauguration into the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Donald at the 2022 BAFTA Film Awards
1982/83: Joined SNC Montreal Union (now AQTIS) – Assistant Makeup.
1987: Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, Donald’s first credit as Head of Department, gained him a nomination for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup.
1989: Admitted as Journeyman member of IATSE Local 798 New York.
1989: Joined NATKE/BETA (now BECTU) – UK Film Makeup.
1989: Accepted as full voting member of BAFTA London.
1990: Admitted to IATSE Local 873 Toronto and IATSE Local 798 New York.
1992: Donald won his first major award, a Prime Time Emmy: Outstanding Individual Achievement in Makeup for Enchantment – Mark Twain and Me. He also won a CableACE award for the same production.
1998: Admitted to the Hollywood IATSE local 706 Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Guild; Special Gemini Award for Achievement in Makeup for the CBC production The Sleep Room.
1999: Donald was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences where he has served on the Makeup branch executive committee for many years.
2000: Nomination: Three Kings – Hollywood Makeup Artists & Hair Stylist Guild Awards
2003: Nomination: 8 Mile – Hollywood Makeup Artists & Hair Stylist Guild Awards
2004: Nomination: The Human Stain – Hollywood Makeup Artists & Hair Stylist Guild Awards
2006: Gemini Award, Achievement in Makeup: Prairie Giant – The Tommy Douglas Story
2007-2011: Board of directors of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (ACCT) as Art Department representative, leading the way to create an annual awards category for Hair and Makeup
2008-2014: Board of directors of Actors’ Fund of Canada (AFC)
2011: Nomination: Repo Men – Saturn Awards
2012: Awarded Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
2013: Nomination: Skyfall – Saturn Awards
2014: Winner: Prisoners – Hollywood Makeup Artists & Hair Stylist Guild Awards; Winner: Prisoners – Saturn Awards
2015: Nomination: Nightcrawler – Hollywood Makeup Artists & Hair Stylist Guild Awards
2016: Nomination: Sicario – Hollywood Makeup Artists & Hair Stylist Guild Awards; Nomination: Sicario – Saturn Awards; Winner: Nocturnal Animals – Grand Jury Prize 73rd Venice Biennale
2017: Winner: Nocturnal Animals – Hollywood Makeup Artists & Hair Stylist Guild Awards; Nomination: Nocturnal Animals – BAFTA Awards
2018: Nominations: Blade Runner 2049 – BAFTA Film Awards:Best Makeup and Hair; Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards:Best Period and/or Character Makeup; Saturn Awards:Best Film Make-up
2018: Awarded Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers.
2022: Nominations: Dune – Academy of Motion Picture Arts awards (Oscar): Best Makeup and Hairstyling; BAFTA Film Awards:Best Makeup and Hair.
2022: Appointed as Member of the Order of Canada.