Robin Mathews, Academy Award Winning Make-up and Make-up Effects Artist
2014 Academy Award Winner for Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Hollywood Make-Up Artist and Hairstylist Guild Award Winner Robin Mathews received these honors for the film Dallas Buyers Club (2013) in which she showed actors, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, physically progressing through the various stages of dying from AIDS. Mathews had previously worked with McConaughey as the make-up department head on Lee Daniels (I)’ The Paperboy (2012), where she gained international recognition for transforming the actor through use of facial prosthetics and was also praised for a stunning metamorphosis of Nicole Kidman, who earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her performance.
Ms. Mathews most recently teamed again with Dallas Buyers Club (2013) director Jean-Marc Vallée to shoot the film adaptation of Wild (2014), the bestselling book and true story of author Cheryl Strayed’s trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, starring Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed.
Ms. Mathews alternates working as a makeup department head on feature films – both studio and independent – with assignments as a personal make-up artist for actors, helping them to design looks that are true to their characters. She came to prominence in the film industry courtesy of director Sean Penn, who hired her as his make-up department head on Into the Wild (2007), starring Emile Hirsch and Academy Award nominated Hal Holbrook. The movie also featured Kristen Stewart, marking the beginning of an extensive collaboration with the actress, as Ms. Mathews was later brought on to re-design the iconic character of Bella Swan for the blockbuster Twilight films ‘The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)’ and ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)’. Her design work with Ms. Stewart continued as make-up department head on both Floria Sigismondi’s _The Runaways, re-creating Stewart as Joan Jett, (2010)’, for which she also crafted the distinctive looks for actors Dakota Fanning and Michael Shannon, and Jake Scott’s ‘Welcome to the Rileys (2010)’, for which she also created the character looks for actors Melissa Leo and James Gandolfini. Following ‘The Runaways’ (2010)_, she was awarded a contract with the cosmetic line Make-up Forever.
Among her over 30 films as make-up department head have been Rob McKittrick’s Waiting… (2005), starring Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris; Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011), starring Jason Segel; David R. Ellis’s The Final Destination (2009); and Thomas Carter’s upcoming When the Game Stands Tall (2014), starring Jim Caviezel and Laura Dern. A key make-up artist on Frank Darabont’s The Mist (2007), Ms. Mathews has also worked as a make-up artist on such movies as Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2012); and on such television series as The Voice (2011), Rizzoli & Isles (2010), and Sons of Anarchy (2008), including the fall 2013 season of the latter show. Concurrently, she has been the personal make-up artist for Academy Award Winners Reese Witherspoon, Melissa Leo and Forest Whitaker; and Kristen Stewart among many other actors.
Ms. Mathews, a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, began her career as an actor. However, her aptitude for make-up and her affinity for prosthetics and special make-up effects work led to a career shift. She honed her skills for more than seven years creating over 30 full facial prosthetics daily for Six Flags Magic Mountain’s annual Fright Fest. Work in film and television soon followed, as she expanded her expertise into beauty, grooming, and period detail.