BAFTAs 2015: Lancôme’s Elite make-up artist Laura Pye on the biggest event in the British film calendar

Laura Pye backstage at The Royal Opera House on Sunday

WHAT WAS YOUR JOB ON THE DAY?

Lancôme has been the official BAFTAs beauty partner for 15 years, so we’re responsible for making sure all the famous faces look amazing. Everything has to be perfect – there’s no second chance to fix any smudged lipstick in Photoshop: once they’re in front of the cameras, that’s what the world is going to see. Thankfully this year everybody looked fabulous. I was backstage, and by that time most people have already had their make-up done, so my job is last-minute touch-ups. A lot of the actors are really nervous so it’s your job to put them at ease, tell them they look fantastic.

WHAT IS THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE BACKSTAGE?

Nobody acts like a diva, it’s all very polite, but really tense – the actors are all waiting to present the awards, getting themselves pumped for when they go on stage. Some of the actors who were presenting in pairs were hilarious, winding each other up, building up rapport so they looked natural when they went on stage.


Laura Pye

WHOSE MAKE-UP DID YOU DO THIS YEAR?

I was looking after Nimrat Kaur, whose movie Lunchbox was nominated in the Best Film Not In The English Language category. She was stunning and looked amazing. It’s great working with someone who’s so naturally beautiful – it makes my job easy. I also do a lot of make-ups in the build up to the big night, including Portia Freeman for the Lancôme Loves Alma event at Cafe Royal. As a member of the Elite team, you’re constantly on call – you can be sitting at home one minute and the next you’re in a cab to someone’s home. It’s a strange experience, being there with these celebrities as they are choosing their party dresses. You have to get the balance right between making sure they’re happy with your work and blending into the background.

DO YOU EVER GET STARSTRUCK?

Tom Cruise presented the Best Film award, which was collected by Ethan Hawke – seeing the two of them walking backstage clapping each other on the back was quite a moment. But you have to be so focused, you don’t really have time to be starstruck. Afterwards it’s a bit like “was I really just touching Jesse Eisenberg’s face?” I must admit I had butterflies when I saw Nick Cave though – I’m a massive fan of his.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM YOUR BAFTAS EXPERIENCE?

Always be prepared. Last year Leonardo DiCaprio asked me for eyedrops and I didn’t have any on me – now I never leave the house without them!

TOP BAFTA MOMENTS

We pick out the top moments from the weekend’s big event


Stephen Fry

#1 The BAFTAs never disappoint when it comes to cringeworthy displays of loveydom, but Stephen Fry raised the bar this year when he descended from the stage he’s graced for (a few too many) years and kissed Edward Norton and Michael Keaton.


David Beckham

#2 Surprisingly, this was David Beckham’s first ever Bafta ceremony, and he showed up most of the movie stars in his Tom Ford dinner suit. Over the past 15 years he’s mainly watched kids’ films, he said, but he still takes time out to watch the odd “adult movie”.


Eddie Redmayne

#3 Celebrated physicist and thinker Professor Stephen Hawking turned up to present the award for best special effects – because that involves, like, science and stuff, right? – and to witness Eddie Redmayne win the award for playing him.


Benedict Cumberbatch

#4 Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch was all eyelashes and bow-ties as he took to the red carpet alongside fiancee Sophie Hunter, with whom it was recently announced he is expecting a child. Their loving gaze went down a storm.


Patricia Arquette

#5 The most awkward moment of the night came when Stephen Fry confused Boyhood star and best supporting actress recipient Patricia Arquette with her sister, Rosanna. The camera caught her exchanging a knowing look with her husband.

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