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Oscars 2018: 'Darkest Hour' special effects make-up artist and only Asian winner says race not on his mind

Senior Lifestyle Reporter
Yahoo Movies Singapore
Kazuhiro Tsuji, from left, Lucy Sibbick, and David Malinowski, winners of the award for best makeup and hairstyling for “Darkest Hour”, pose in the press room at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Reporting from Hollywood

Special effects make-up artist Kazuhiro Tsuji may have been the only Asian winner at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday (4 March, 5 March morning, Singapore time), but being recognised for his race was never on his mind.

“I don’t like to think that I’m an Asian. I’m just doing what I love to do, so I hope that everybody feels that way,” he said in a reply to Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore at the Oscars press room.

Along David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick, the trio walked away with the Oscar for Best Make-up and Hair for their work on the British historical film “Darkest Hour”, starring actor Gary Oldman as the late UK prime minister Winston Churchill.

“I think it is really important, timing wise… Everything came together at great timing. I learned a lot through this project [and] I learned about how much people really care about their job,” said Kazuhiro. “We had such a great time and we made such a great film.”

Gary Oldman congratulates Kazuhiro Tsuji in the audience as he wins the award for best makeup and hairstyling for “Darkest Hour” at the Oscars on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Oldman, who also won an award for Best Lead Actor, had specifically chosen Kazuhiro to be the special effects make-up artist for this film.

At a separate press interview at the Oscars, the 59-year-old shared, “I said to [film director] Joe Wright [and] his contingent, [to get] Kazuhiro. Because for me he was the only person who could pull it off and I think he delivered.”

The “Darkest Hour” is the first film project the 48-year-old artist has worked on since leaving the film industry in 2012. He has previously been nominated for the films “Norbit” and “Click”.

Kazuhiro began his career as a special effects makeup artist in Hollywood in 1989. He has also worked on other films such as “Men in Black” and “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.

Related stories:
Don’t be a slave to actors, says Darkest Hour make-up artist Kazuhiro Tsuji
Gary Oldman’s Oscar his finest hour
Oscars 2018 red carpet: See what the stars wore

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Catch the 90th Academy Awards® on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601) or HBO GO. Exclusive Oscars® Web content will also be available on HBO Asia’s dedicated Oscars® website (www.hboasia.com/oscars).

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