If there was a magic wand to turn actresses into fairies, you would find it in Bharat Godambe’s hand. From Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi to Priyanka Chopra and Rani Mukherjee, Bharat has transformed generations of pretty women into screen goddesses. In a candid chat with mid-day, he talks about creating magic with the make-up brush. Excerpts:
Why did you take up make-up?
I wanted a job to take responsibility of my family. I was only 16-and-half years old when I started working with Pandhari Juker. I assisted him for nearly 10 years and learnt the craft.
What kind of skills are essential for a make-up artist?
You need to have an overall package — good personality, communicational skills, dressing sense and talent to understand fashion.
How important is the right kind of training for this job?
It is very crucial in today's world. There are several training schools for make-up. When I started out, there were none; I was the first person to start an institute called Bharat & Dorris 10 years ago. Earlier, you had to assist a senior artist for five to six years before going independent. Today, you can establish yourself in just six months of training.
Who are the easiest and most difficult actors to work with?
Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, Sridevi, Deepika Padukone and most senior actors are co-operative. Katrina Kaif and Aishwarya are naturally beautiful and don't require much make-up. But there are two actresses who are difficult to deal with. I won't name them. I respect Rekha as she does her own makeup but still comes to me with queries. I worked with Parveen Babi as an independent artist. People loved her look in some of those films. Deepika's look in 'Om Shanti Om' was also appreciated.
Bharat Godambe with Katrina Kaif
What challenges do you have to face and how do you overcome them?
Make-up is a vast field. So, you need to constantly upgrade and reinvent yourself and your make-up kit. It is very important to learn new technology and products. If you are ambitious, strong-willed and confident of doing good work, no one can stop you.
Among your contemporaries, whose work do you like?
I like Mickey Contractor's and Cory Walia's work.
Your advice to budding make-up artists?
I would suggest that they should develop their own style and innovate. Make a portfolio and visit directors, photographers and designers. There are many fashion magazines that promote make-up artists and give them credit. If you are talented, you will go places.
Wind Beneath the Wings is a weekly interview with behind-the-scenes stars of the film industry.