Oscar and BAFTA winning Prosthetic Make-up Artist and former New College Stamford student returned to college to college to share his story with students who now walk in the same footsteps he was in during the 1990s.

New College Stamford Alumni David Malinowski, who was awarded a BAFTA and Oscar for Best Make-up and Hairstyling for his work on The Darkest Hour, transforming Gary Oldeman in to Winston Churchill, inspired Media Make-up, Hairdressing and Performing Arts students yesterday with a Q&A session in the college’s theatre.

David even awarded Media Make-up students with 100% attendance a selection of his event goody bags to kick start their journey to the make-up industry. Goody bags included some industry standard and exclusive prosthetic and make-up products.

David explained he had always had a passion for the subject but didn’t realise that he could study and progress in to such careers until he visited the college back in the 90s where he gained the basic skills and techniques that our students do today. He said:

“I’d always wanted to get in to make-up but always assumed you’d have to be in America to do it. I went to work for a boat company in Peterborough and that’s what I was going to do until one day I was driving past the college with my Dad and I saw this course offered at the college and thought yes… that’s it, that’s exactly what I want to do! I signed up for the course, brought the make-up kit and that was the start of what I do today.”


Originally from Peterborough, David attended New College Stamford where he studied a Media Make-up course where he gained the basic skills and techniques in theatrical make up and special fx that our students do today. After leaving the college in 1996 he then started his career working as a make-up trainee. His first credited role was on the set of ITV’s London’s Burning and creating the scenes of a huge train fire filmed at the Nene Valley Railway in 1997.

From then David’s career took off. He did work experience on the BBC’s Casualty and then gained a full time role at Madame Tussauds where he helped create wax works of many familiar faces!

David explained how he worked with Gary Oldeman on the film The Hitman’s Bodyguard and simply received a text from him a few weeks later asking him to work on The Darkest Hour with him. When asked by the students how to get into the industry he said:

‘Practice. As much as you can whenever you can, go to as many shows as you can, ask questions and get yourself out there, it is all about getting yourself noticed and not taking no for an answer. It is a hard industry in a sense of the hours and travel, but it can be so rewarding especially if make-up is what you love doing like myself.’

David was also asked by many students for one piece of advice he’d give to students looking to get in to the film industry, whether it’s behind the screens creating make up, set design or even acting themselves. He said:

“Keep trying, put the effort in and care about what you do, because we care about every job we do and because we cared about the darkest hour we got the best out of it. They let us have control of how it looks and we believe we got it to look the best it can do. I think if you care it shows in what you do, it either comes across to your employer or people around you and it shows on screen or whatever it’s for.”

David said of the films and actors who he worked with over the years, of course Gary being his favourite! He did the prosthetics for Emma Thompson in Nanny Mcphee, Leonardo Di Caprio’s make-up for the Revenant, he created Orlando Bloom’s figure for Madam Tusaauds, which he flew all the way to the Caribbean to get his measurements! He did Andrew Garfield’s prosthetics in the hit movie Breathe, and most recently Simon Pegg’s make-up in Stephen Speilburg’s new film Radio Player one.

Our students were incredibly inspired as David story was incredibly interesting and expiring, he gave the opportunity to the student with the best question could have a picture holding his Oscar and BAFTA! David also explained with his down to earth nature how he was in exactly the same position as all of them once, and how if he can do it then they certainly can too.

Watch David’s full interview here goo.gl/BnNB7J 






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