April, 2020

Preetisheel Singh — Transforming Bollywood with her masterstrokes

Meet National Award-winning make-up, hair and one of India’s prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh

By Desi Today News Desk

In recent years Bollywood has presented us with characters that evoked different emotions in us. If Amitabh Bhachan and Rishi Kapoor made us laugh and adore them with their cuteness in 102 not out, Ranveer Singh scared us to the core with his looks as Alauddin Khilji. Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s look in the movie Mom and then in Bal Thakcray stunned the viewers with both imaginary and realistic touch ups. There is one hand that has worked all these years to give all these stunning looks to the Bollywood fans. And that hand belongs to Preetisheel Singh. Singh is perhaps one of the first India’s prosthetic designers who is now taking Bollywood by a storm.

“First time when Mrs Doubtfire came and then its adaptation in Hindi came as Chachi 420, I was taken aback by the very fact that how can you transform a man into a beautiful elegant lady. More movies started emerging where they needed prosthetics. And they would always call someone from outside. No one in India was doing that. Eventually when I came to know about that I decided to quit my job and pursue my career as a prosthetic designer,” says Singh.

After completing her course in LA, she back to India. Its been more than 6 years she has given gems with her core team.

Prosthetics has a lot of parts involved in it.  she says. ” You first take the life cast of the actor in 3D measurement, after which you sculpt and make moulds, running silicone pieces in it. The silicone pieces are then applied on the actor and are merged with the actor’s skin so that it doesn’t look artificial.  Suppose if I have to make you look like a fairy I will give you pointy ears or may be highlight the cheeks. For that I will make mould of ears, chin and then start sculpting on that. The topmost layers requires lot of patience. The final piece that we produce is like second skin. Once pieces are ready we start with application. The application is basically sticking and merging the prepared piece on to actor’s skin,” she said. She claims that she has done make-ups that have taken more than 5 hours. BajiRao Mastani, for example, except Ranveer, all other male characters had bald caps.

After Bajirao Mastani, Sanjay Leela Bhansali repeated Preetisheel Singh for Padmaavat. She designed the looks of all the main starcast including Ranveer Singh (as the evil ruler Alauddin Khilji), Deepika Padukone (as the legendary queen Padmavati) and Shahid Kapoor (as the Rajput ruler Ratan Singh). Viewers and film critics alike, have been awestruck with the results, with Preetisheel emerging the undisputed No.1 make-up, hair and prosthetic designer in the film industry. In a national daily, Singh said that working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali has been an extraordinary experience. ” he kind of detail he demands from every department makes it very challenging, yet exciting. When the entire controversy about Padmaavat happened, my heart sank. I cannot even imagine how Bhansali Sir coped up with the storm. My admiration for him has increased manifold. I should mention that when working with him, one has to be ready to always put in that extra bit, as he has such a keen eye for aesthetics. I’m grateful to him for showing so much faith in my work and always look forward to his next.”

She has worked on Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s look earlier too in the movie Mom, where her make-up and prosthetic work was highly appreciated. Recently, she curated multiple looks for John Abraham in the spy thriller Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) and the looks for Vivek Oberoi in the biopic PM Narendra Modi.

She has also done the make-up and prosthetic for actors in films like Shivaay, Haider, Hawaizaada, Housefull 3, Rangoon, Brothers, Talwar, Finding Fanny, Parched, Ghayal Once Again, Gone Kesh, Bhavesh Joshi Superhero and the Tamil/Hindi film 24.

She received the ‘National Film Award for Best Makeup’ for the pre-Mughal historical epic Nanak Shah Fakir based on the life of Guru Nanak, wherein she designed the looks for all the characters in the movie. The film re-released sometime ago through Viacom18 Motion Pictures, amid controversy.

Preetisheel’s work of creating believable ghost-figures for the recent horror film House Next Door has also been praised a lot. The film, which released in three languages (asHouse Next Door in Hindi, as Aval in Tamil and Gruham in Telugu) garnered critical acclaim and once again earned a lot of positive reviews for her work.

Preetisheel  also received a lot of acclaim once again, for her work in the film 102 Not Out directed by Umesh Shukla. She designed the looks for Amitabh Bachchan as a 102-year-old man, as well as for Rishi Kapoor playing his 75-year-old son. She received abundant praise once again for working on Rishi Kapoor’s look  of a devout Muslim in Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk as well as for Ayushmann Khurrana’s getups in Andhadhun.

She was recently seen transforming Madhuri Dixit Nene into an old lady. Powerhouse performer Madhuri Dixit has experimented with loads of looks and characters in her movies. But what she has recently done for a commercial, seems to have outdone many-a-looks she has been seen in earlier.

Madhuri has played a double role in a new advertisement for Aquaguard water purifier, where she essays the characters of both, mother and daughter. That’s not the only highlight of it. What Madhuri stuns with, is the aged getup. The finesse with which it is curated, and the effortlessness and versatility with which Madhuri has carried it out, is seen to be believed. The double role transformation for the diva has been executed by none other than Singh.

After a success hattrick with Padmaavat, 102 Not Out, Mulk and Andhadhun, she has also begun receiving a lot of offers down South. She handled the make-up and prosthetic for the Tamil film Boomerang, where she is worked on the looks for famous Tamil actor Ataharvaa Murali.

Preetisheel has also curated the look for Nawazuddin Siddiqui for the film Thackeray… the biopic on Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray. The film received rave reviews, and special praise for the way Nawazuddin resembled Balasaheb Thackeray.

Preetisheel’s work will soon be showcased once again in Akshay Kumar-starrer Housefull 4, Kangana Ranaut-starrer Panga, Salman Khan-starrer Bharat, Bhansali Productions’ Malaal

and Tuesdays & Fridays, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, and in multiple young and old-age looks in Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore with an ensemble lead cast.

She has also set up India’s first make-up and prosthetic lab called Da Makeup Lab and her goal is to bring standards of make-up and prosthetic in India at par with Hollywood.

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