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A multi-award winning make-up and prosthetics artist, Mark Coulier has created some of the silver-screen’s best-known characters in recent years.
Whilst some, like Meryl Streep’s Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, have been uncannily true-to-life, others have been disconcertingly otherworldly, like Ralph Fiennes’ eerie, noseless Voldemort.
Born in Lancashire, Coulier loved painting from a young age. It was when he found a magazine on special effects and make-up in a local shop that he realized he could marry his dual interests in art and film, and forge a career.
Coulier landed his first job in film whilst he was at the London College of Fashion, hair-punching a werewolf suit for a horror movie. He soon started out as a freelance sculptor and make-up artist, and went on to work on a host of big projects, including, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Event Horizon, Alien III, Star Wars: Episode 1, The Mummy, The Fifth Element, and the entire Harry Potter series stretching over 10 years and seven films.
After the Harry Potter series Coulier wanted to concentrate on his own company Coulier Creatures FX – now one of Europe’s leading make-up and effects companies. He took on projects like Rush and then The Iron Lady with Meryl Streep which culminated in him winning both an Oscar and BAFTA for the work. He scored both honours again three years later for his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel. Additional awards include an Emmy in 1998 for Merlin, and another in 2000 for Arabian Nights.
“You have got to be dedicated and work hard,” says Coulier, on making it in an industry that demands make-up artists and prosthetics designers to be precise, punctual and personable. “Although the work is hard and the hours can be long, it is a rewarding and creative industry that I am proud to be a part of.”