James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and the main cast have called on hairstylists and makeup artists with experience working with dark hair and makeup to join the film and television industry.
Black actors have complained that they often have to pay for their own hairstyle, as the stylists on set are not able to work with Afro hair and skin tones.
Emmy nominated star Paapa Essiedu I can destroy you and and Hugh Quarshie, whose credits include the Stephen Lawrence drama Stephane, are calling on emerging stylists to apply for the new training program, created by ScreenSkills to encourage new talent.
The initiative is aimed at hairstylists and makeup artists currently working in areas such as black hair salons, photo shoots, wedding beauty salons, department stores, music videos, live events and theater.
Ms Broccoli’s support for the program follows her suggestion that a black actor could be cast as the new James Bond.
Lashana Lynch made history as 007’s first black woman in No time to die.
“We have a great need for diversity behind the camera as well as on screen and this program is a really exciting and practical way to find talented new hairstylists and makeup artists to support our actors of color,” Ms. Broccoli said.
Essiedu said, “When I first started acting, my white peers just had their hair cut and made up for their part. It was not the same with my hair. I had to take time out of my day and use my budget to go to a hairdresser – my time was not seen as being of the same value as my peers.
“It sounds like a great initiative. Hopefully this will attract people to the industry who have never known how to fit in before. It is really important that the process that creates greater equality in front of the camera is also replicated in the team, like the hairstyle and makeup. “
Quarshie, who stars in ITV’s new family dynasty drama Richness, called a ‘black estate’, said: ‘For years I have cut my own hair using an arrangement of mirrors to allow me to see the back of my head, partly for convenience but in part because I wasn’t always confident that the hair and makeup would style me well.
“Black actors may have to resist makeup that does not match their skin tone, at the risk of making a reputation as a diva. I have had good and bad experiences, although the bad ones are nothing compared to those of some of my fellow black and brunette women. Training that addresses all of this is welcome.
Candidates for the ScreenSkills course will need “significant experience working with dark hair or makeup for people of color”.
The program is designed to train them in all hair and makeup needs for film and television with a series of workshops led by highly experienced tutors.
Netflix and ITV Studios are among companies that have pledged to offer the 16 ‘graduates’ paid internships to work on ‘premium TV dramas’ costing £ 1million an hour starting next spring. .
Seetha Kumar, Managing Director of ScreenSkills, said: “We know how important it is for actors to have the right support to help them bring their characters to life.”
“We’re sure there are people who have experience in dark hair and makeup for people of color who would be brilliant for the movie and TV industry if we could speed them up – creating a greater diversity of teams behind the camera to match the changes happening on the screen.
Contestants could find themselves working on Bridgerton, produced in the UK by Netflix, which has cast leading roles to actors of color, including Regé-Jean Page, who is among those expected to be the next Bond.
Shona Kerr, co-chair of Netflix Black @ London, an internal forum for black staff, said: “With inclusion and diversity being key to our culture at Netflix, it is very important to us that all of our talent is there. ‘screen, regardless of their origin, look and feel better in our productions.
“We are excited about the potential this has to open doors for a variety of industry professionals, and also to ensure that on-screen talent from all walks of life feels respected on our sets.”
The 2021 Oscars Prize for Hair and Makeup went to stylists Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, the first black women to win in the category, for their work transforming Viola Davis into legendary blues singer Ma Rainey for the adaptation. from Netflix from Ma Rainey’s black stockings.
Dorita Nissen, a London-based makeup artist, said there was “no excuse” that a professional couldn’t mix the right shade of foundation for any skin tone.
To register for a free seat in the introductory evening which will discuss hair and makeup work on film and television productions and offer a glimpse into the world of production, visit hair and makeup transfer program on the ScreenSkills website.