Graham's new venture is built on strong foundation

AS A make-up artist to the stars he has put blusher on Bridget Jones and groomed Gladiator Russell Crowe.

Now, Graham Johnston is setting up shop in Edinburgh to offer makeovers to the ladies of the Capital.

He plans to be in the city for just three months between films, and said he was delighted to be back.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He first cut his professional teeth by working on Rab C Nesbitt for the BBC in Glasgow, then got his big break in films by working on Edinburgh flatshare thriller Shallow Grave.

He said: "That led on to Trainspotting, which established my credentials as a film make-up artist and I based myself out of London and worked mostly on American projects coming to the UK and Europe."

Since then his clients have included Rene Zellweger, Catherine Zeta Jones and Hugh Grant.

"Rene I worked with a few times, I did the Bridget Jones movies. She's lovely, she's fun. When Rene first did Bridget Jones, I'd never worked with her and she was working on her English accent and she asked me to pronounce something. I said 'You don't want to listen to me, I'm Scottish, you'll end up sounding like Miss Jean Brodie.'"

He has worked with legions of stars, including Rachel Weisz on The Lovely Bones and Russell Crowe on Gladiator. Crowe might have a reputation for petulant behaviour, but Johnston is the soul of discretion. "He can be charming . . ." he said, before tailing off, "I have to wait until I don't want to work in the profession any more, then I can write my autobiography."

One of his most recent jobs was on Scottish-Roman drama Eagle of the Ninth, where the challenges included the creation of gaping war wounds.

His forthcoming stint at David Calder Studio in William Street South West Lane will be rather less dramatic, offering straightforward make-up consultations to city residents, if they can afford his hourly rate of 100.

It might not be on a par with making-up the stars, but he says he loves the work: "It's nice to make people feel as if they're the Hollywood star.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Everyone can look fabulous, hopefully I can bring a bit of glamour to the ladies of Edinburgh.

"I can help people who are a bit nervous of using make-up and don't want to look too made-up, or who want a very glamorous look.

"When you work in movies, it's about getting across their character, and it's the same with everyone. I really enjoy the connection between the two."