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Johnny Depp honoured at make-up and hair awards

Los Angeles: In an awards season that seems to have a ceremony for every facet of filmmaking, the Make-up and Hair Stylists Guild awards returned after a 10-year hiatus with an award for Johnny Depp.

The actor received the first ever distinguished artisan award for his work in films such as Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland.

Depp’s honor was presented by his long-time collaborator and make-up artist Joel Harlow, who is nominated for an Academy Award this year for make-up in The Lone Ranger. Depp also starred in the film.

“This is a great honour, but glancing up at the screen, I realise what a ridiculous thing I’ve done,” Depp joked while accepting his trophy after clips of his work were shown at Paramount Studios theatre on Saturday evening.

“I mean seriously, why do they still give me jobs?” he added. “I’ve done a lot of things…I should probably apologise for a few, but I won’t.”

Praising the work of the make-up artists who’ve helped him “find the root of each character,” the soft-spoken actor said he liked when his face was moulded in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

“I found, oddly, that I liked being encased in all of that stuff,” he said. “I try something different each time as an actor with the amazing help of make-up artists who have made my whole career.”

Resembling the Golden Globes rather than the formal Oscars, the make-up and hair stylists awards, which honours the best in the business from film to television, was a reunion for the behind-the-scenes artists. Squeals echoed throughout the auditorium as artists with multi-coloured hair and thick cat-eye style make-up hugged and kissed.

“It’s our circle or little family’s time to celebrate,” Harlow said prior to the ceremony.

As an ode to visual effects, a woman painted white and dressed in white stood in the lobby balancing a large headpiece made of flowers as she was lit by green lights. Host Tom Arnold later joked she looked “edible, like a big white cake.”

There to present the award for best contemporary hair styling to the stylists for Lee Daniels’ the Butler, best supporting actress Oscar nominee June Squibb called the green lighting “wild.” Turns out she loves the colour. She’s even asked Tadashi Shoji to make her a green dress for Oscar night. “I’ve seen a sketch and it’s wonderful!” she added.

Some of the evening’s other awards went to Oscar nominees Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa for best special make-up effects and Dallas Buyers Club for best period and/or character make-up, while best contemporary hair styling in a television series went to The Voice.

Lifetime achievement awards

Make-up artist Dick Smith and hairstylist Gail Ryan received lifetime achievement awards.

Jane Lynch, Ed Asner, Johnny Knoxville, Nicollette Sheridan and Melissa Leo were among the presenters at the charming awards show that even included the engagement of a gay couple.

“Just have fun, that’s all this is about,” Sue Cabral-Ebert, president of the Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, said. “It’s not brain surgery.”

Could a gaffers and grips gala be next?

“You should see the electrical staff’s awards,” Arnold joked. “It’s madness!”

The Oscar ceremony will take place on March 2.