February 11, 2020
The Japanese-born movie makeup artist Kazu Hiro won his second Academy Award alongwith Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker. They were presented golden Oscar statuettes in Los Angeles on Sunday for their work on the movie “Bombshell.”
Japanese-born movie makeup artist Kazu Hiro won his second Academy Award when he, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker were presented golden Oscar statuettes in Los Angeles on Sunday for their work on the movie “Bombshell.”
The film, based on a sexual harassment case at Fox News in the United States, involved transforming actress Charlize Theron into news anchor Megyn Kelly and actor John Lithgow into Fox founder Roger Ailes.
Hiro extended particular thanks to Theron in his acceptance speech.
“You are an amazing actor and producer, and your compassion and love and care made this film possible. And because of your bravery and passion, we were able to set a new bar in the makeup industry and create a new way to tell stories,” Hiro said. “We wouldn’t be getting this award without you.”
Hiro grew up in Kyoto. He won his first Oscar for the 2017 film “Darkest Hour,” for which he transformed actor Gary Oldman into World War II British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. At the time of that award, Hiro was known as Kazuhiro Tsuji, but in 2019 he became a U.S. citizen and changed his name to Kazu Hiro.
His makeup work previously brought him Oscar nominations for the 2006 Adam Sandler film “Click” and the 2007 Eddie Murphy film “Norbit.”
In a 2018 interview with The Japan News, Hiro stressed the importance of creating faces that not only look good, but can also move and change with the actors’ expressions.
“If there are expressions from zero to 100, if I sculpt zero, it’s hard [for the actor] to go to 100. And if I sculpt 100 it’s hard to go to zero. So I have to find a good middle point to put on the face, or it won’t move naturally,” he said.
In recent years, Hiro has turned his attention largely to fine art, producing a series of hyperrealistic, larger-than-life busts of well-known faces such as Salvador Dali, Jimi Hendrix, Frida Kahlo, Abraham Lincoln and Andy Warhol.
“Bombshell” opens in Japan on Feb. 21.