Akshay Kumar is undoubtedly the most bankable star in Bollywood. To work with him is a dream for almost every actor, director and technician.
But what makeup and prosthetic character designer Preetisheel Singh D’souza has managed, is more than fulfillment of that dream. Having curated looks for mega movies like Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, 102 Not Out and Chhichhore, this National Award-winning makeover specialist got a chance to work with Akshay Kumar a few years ago.
Akshay has worked with Preetisheel for a couple of projects earlier. Like the film Brothers, and for a ‘pregnant’ look she designed for him for The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. Also for the Livguard advertisement, where he donned the looks of Albert Einstein and Bruce Lee.
More recently, they worked together for Housefull 4. The movie emerged a box-office blockbuster with Akshay’s song, “Bala Bala, shaitaan ka saala” becoming a rage. Around the same time, Preetisheel designed triple role looks for him, for the famous Kurkure advertisement in which he played a son, father as well as a grandfather.
And now she has managed to bag not one or two, but three prestigious projects with Akshay Kumar — Bachchan Pandey, OMG 2 and Ram Setu. Surely, all these three movies are not only high profile, but also highly anticipated by AK fans. Will they create even bigger box-office magic than Housefull 4? Time will tell.
National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh who has designed the looks for actors like Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor, recently got to work with superstar Nagarjuna.
Starting off curating his look for a promo of Telugu Bigg Boss some time ago, she looks forward to work with him again. “Till last year, I was really looking forward to meeting Nagarjuna Sir, as I have grown up watching quite a few of his movies. When I finally did meet him, I found him to be such a warm and welcoming person,” says Preetisheel, complimenting the superstar who will be completing 35 years of his career next month.
“You wouldn’t expect such humility from a person of his stature but he is one of the most humble and grounded stars I have ever met. It was a pleasure working with him and I really hope that we work together again,” she adds.
For the record, Preetisheel Singh has earlier worked for many popular Bollywood films such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala, Andhadhun and Housefull 4. Along with her work partner-husband Mark D’souza, she has also set up India’s first makeup and prosthetic lab called Da Makeup Lab in Versova, Mumbai.
Today, Preetisheel Singh is a super-accomplished lady. The makeup, hair and prosthetics wiz who received a National Award for her work in Nanak Shah Fakir has worked with the who’s who of the industry, including Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra and Ranveer Singh. The No. 1 look designer of Bollywood has been an integral part of huge box-office successes such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala and Housefull 4.
Recently, in an article in the famous Indian-American publication India West, Preetisheel revealed how she started out and how Kamal Haasan’s look of a woman in Chachi 420 inspired her to enter the world of makeup, hair and prosthetics. Here is an excerpt from the article by veteran journalist Rajiv Vijayakar:
Born to a Sikh family in Pathankot, Singh repeatedly calls her parents “brilliant” for their unconditional support and encouragement at all times. She exults, “After I completed my B. Tech. in Engineering (Electronics & Instrumentation) in 2004, I was hired by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), but I soon realized that I was not wired for such jobs. I was giving my 100 percent, but there was nothing standout that was really happening! I told my mom I wanted to quit, and she just said, ‘Do whatever makes you happy!’”
Her parents are film fanatics and that led to Singh being floored by the 1997 “Chachi 420.” “I was blown by Kamal Haasan’s look as a woman! I came to know that they had to call in foreign technicians for it. I also started digging online into what goes into such prosthetic make-up, initially only just for knowledge. And then I thought, ‘What if I myself do all this?’”
At that time, as luck would have it, TCS had posted her in the US, and Singh resigned, invested all her savings into an expensive six-month course at the Cinema Make-Up School in Los Angeles, and in 2010, arrived in Mumbai, putting up with her sister. She made strategic rounds of producers every day, with contacts derived from JustDial—the Indian search engine.
Predictably, the response was disheartening. Most filmmakers had no clue about her special skills and no requirements either because they did not understand how different she was from the average make-up artiste. But make-up veteran Anil Pemgirikar, who is 70-plus, saw her work, praised her and promised that he would put in a word for her wherever possible.
In 2012, came her first small assignment: of a swollen eye for Akshay Kumar in “Joker,” a film that went unnoticed by the audience. That portion was shot in Chandigarh, and then came the designing of the mutants in “Krrish 3,” under U.S.-based make-up whiz, Mike Stringer.
After finishing her work on the film, in which she helped on the mutants, the production person offered her peanuts as payment and Singh refused to accept the meager remuneration. The person was furious and demanded, “Who do you think you are? Miles Stringer?” Singh recalls, “I told her not to talk to me that way, I don’t owe her anything. But she went on shouting, so I went and told Mike. He got so furious he blasted the person, saying that without me, the mutants would not have been ready on time.”
Gradually, word-of-mouth spread and she got “Nanak Shah Fakir” and “Haider.” The former needed six months prep and she was given a bungalow where she set up a full lab. “I had to do aging for men, make someone’s face fat, show a leper, a chopped off part of a body and so on.”
When it comes to transformational looks and makeovers, National Award-winning hair, makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh is the undisputed No. 1 in Bollywood. She has also set up India’s first make-up and prosthetic lab called Da Makeup Lab at Versova, which has emerged a landmark. Here’s a list of the Top 10 looks she’s designed, which impressed every Bollywood buff. What’s more! Most of the films have emerged big money-spinners at the box-office.
The film had many characters which needed character designs as well as ageing. Preeetisheel had to keep that in mind while curating the looks. Plus, all the characters in the film were being drastically transformed in looks for the first time, which made her job all the more special. But she made sure that the looks matched their characters and also kept them as realistic as possible, which was loved by the director Nitesh Tiwari. Preetisheel designed multiple young and old-age looks for an ensemble lead cast. The film turned out to be quite spectacular. It went on to cross the Rs 200 crore mark at the box-office.
Designing the looks for Padmaavat led to creating the look of the evil ruler Alauddin Khilji (played with aplomb by Ranveer Singh), which turned out to be one of the most iconic villainous characters in Indian cinema, not just for the performance, but also for the look. Preetisheel’s looks for Deepika Padukone (as the legendary queen Padmavati) and Shahid Kapoor (as the Rajput ruler Ratan Singh) and the other cast of the film also earned her tremendous praise. Viewers and film critics alike, were awestruck with the results. Working with Sanjay Leela Bhansali was always special to Preetisheel (she had worked with him on Bajirao Mastani earlier), because she got all the creative freedom she needed. He trusted her work and that gave her the confidence to design something very unique and different. The film is reported to have earned Rs 585 crore at the box-office.
Bala was a film where Preetisheel designed the looks for both the main leads, which were totally transformed. The balding look of Ayushmann Khurrana was enjoyed by the audiences and so was the dusky look of Bhumi Pednekar. The film became a hit and was hugely accepted by the audiences all over the globe, grossing Rs 171.45 crore worldwide.
4) Nanak Shah Fakir
This film is very special to Preetisheel as it was her first film as a hair, makeup and prosthetic designer, and even bagged her the National Film Award for Best Makeup. A pre-Mughal historical epic Nanak Shah Fakir based on the life of Guru Nanak, required the most amount of prosthetics done in Preetisheel’s career. She designed the looks for all the characters in the movie. The film released and re-released amid controversy, but went on to become an landmark for its subject and theme. Reminiscing about it gives Preetisheel immense creative satisfaction.
5) Housefull 4
For Housefull 4, looks for all the period characters including those of Akshay Kumar, Riteish Deshmukh, Bobby Deol, Kriti Sanon, Pooja Hegde, Kriti Kharbanda and Rana Daggubati were designed by Preetisheel. Media went ga ga over Akshay Kumar’s bald look in the film and it received a huge opening. Akshay also complimented Preetisheel for her work. The song Bala Bala Shaitan Ka Saala too, emerged a rage. Housefull 4 grossed Rs 280 crore worldwide.
6) Bajirao Mastani
This was Preetisheel’s first movie with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. It gave her a chance to prove herself to him, as the maker focuses on the minutest detail. All the characters in Bajirao Mastani turned out outstanding and that’s what gave Preetisheel a masterful footing with period films. Especially, Ranveer Singh’s look as the Maratha Peshwa Bajirao earned Preetisheel good recognition. The film was reported to have grossed Rs 356 crore at the box-office.
24 was the first time she got a chance to work with Southern superstar Suriya. Preetisheel found him extremely down-to-earth to work with. 24 was hailed as one of the classiest movies in terms of looks and special effects, and went down in history as great fine art. She got to work with Suriya in more films later. The film earned 150 crore at the box-office.
8) Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW)
RAW had a lot of disguises on John Abraham who plays a spy in the film. That by itself was super exciting for the makeup and prosthetic whiz. She found him amazing to work with as he was very open to the idea of prosthetics and very patient getting into the various looks. Some of his disguises in the film were so good that even his fans could not recognize him in the movie stills which were released before the film.
9) 102 Not Out
Creating super-aged looks for Amitabh Bachchan (as a 102-year-old man) and Rishi Kapoor (playing his 75-year-old son) is yet another highlight of Preetisheel’s career. Working for this Umesh Shukla film was interesting for her, but she also admits that it was tense. Apart from their seniority, Preetisheel knew that both Bachchan and Kapoor had worked with some of the best international names in makeup and prosthetics. She did her best. Luckily, they loved the looks and so did the audience. Though the film was not a typical Bollywood potboiler, it earned a handsome 115 crore at the box-office.
Mom had an amazing script to start with and transforming the look for Nawazuddin Siddiqui for the first time was quite exciting for Preetisheel. His receding hairline and buck tooth look in the film, almost made him unrecognizable. The film was a success, earning 175 crore at the box-office. Preetisheel later worked with Nawazuddin again for the film Thackeray, where she transformed his looks into that of the Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray
National Award-winning look designer Preetisheel Singh, who has designed looks for Bollywood biggies like Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn, John Abraham, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shahid Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana and Ranveer Singh, has now teamed up with South style icon and superstar Allu Arjun for his upcoming film Pushpa, creating a look which already has the masses anticipating more.
The makeup and prosthetic designer has done a lot of detailing, including colour, tan, and a hairstyle to match the rugged bearded look of Allu Arjun with piercing eyes. The actor recently shared the first look of the film on social media and the poster instantly went viral.
What’s more! The poster emerged the most liked first look on Twitter with more than 84.k likes in 24 hours. Currently, it has 17.3k retweets and 98k likes on the micro-blogging site.
According to the grapevine, the film is based on red sandalwood smuggling and set in the backdrop of Seshachalam forest, the hilly ranges part of Eastern Ghats in southern Andhra Pradesh. Directed by Sukumar, Pushpa is touted to be an action entertainer, with the shoot being planned after the nationwide Coronavirus lockdown is lifted.
Known for her transformational work in Bollywood, Preetisheel also owns and operates India’s premier outfit Da Makeup Lab along with her partner Mark D’souza.
Just a while ago, Akshay Kumar praised India’s numero uno makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh to the skies, calling her a “magician” with her work involving makeovers and look transformations.
Akshay first worked with Preetisheel for the hard-hitting film Brothers. Later, Preetisheel designed the ‘pregnant’ look for Akshay for The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. Then came the Livguard advertisement, where she transformed the actor’s looks as Albert Einstein and Bruce Lee. More recently, they got together for the much talked-about bald look of Bala for the superhit Housefull 4.
And now Akshay and Preetisheel have woven their magic once again with the latest Kurkure ad starring the actor in a triple role of son, father and grandfather.
Showcasing the new ad on his Instagram account, Akshay wrote: “Happy to share about my newest association #Kurkure. Introducing new Kurkure Gazab Golmaal and Kurkure Hera Pheri Hungama flavours… ismein kya masale hain, kisi ka baap bhi nahi bata sakta! @kurkuresnacks #baaprebaap.”
Says an exuberated Preetisheel, “Akshay is a darling to work with, as he is not only easy-going and super-talented, but extremely professional. He never fails to acknowledge my efforts too.”
The ad intelligently portrayed a tongue-in-cheek nok-jhok between the three generations, with Akshay looking extremely cute in all the three avatars, while his body-language is seen to be believed. What more can we say! Yeh Kurkure looks ki hera pheri ke hungama se mazaa aa gaya!!
India’s most bankable superstar Akshay Kumar never ceases to surprise his fans with various astonishing looks and avatars nowadays.
Starting with his Pakshi Rajan look in 2.0, Akshay once again stunned his audiences with his bold and bald look as Bala in Housefull 4. Earlier, he had also aced a ‘pregnant’ look for The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.
And now Akshay is back, with not one, not two, but three different looks, that too spanning generations — one of a son, another of a father and yet another, a grandfather.
The actor surprised and tickled his fans this week, when he put up a collage of the three new looks on social media with a tongue-in-cheek caption: “Ek se bhale do, do se bhale teen… Baap Re Baap, A Masaledaar entertainer coming your way soon. Watch out! #BaapReBaap”.
What’s more! Akshay has got everyone wondering in anticipation, keeping his fans guessing what the new looks are for and when we would be able to see more.
But grapevine has it that the three looks have been designed by National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh, who also curated the ‘pregnant’ look for Akshay in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, as well as the sensational bald look in the superhit Housefull 4.
A master with makeovers, Preetisheel who has emerged as the most sought-after look transformation specialist in Bollywood, runs India’s premiere outfit Da Makeup Lab along with her partner Mark D’souza.
While Chhichhore has crossed the 200 crore mark, and Housefull 4 is roaring at the box-office with a collection of 53.22 crore in just three days, another movie of National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic character designer Preetisheel Singh is doing stupendous business.
Bigil is the latest blockbuster from Tamil film industry Kollywood’s megastar Vijay, who has become synonymous with Diwali releases in the South, as Rajinikanth is with Pongal or Salman Khan is with Eid in Bollywood. Recently, Shah Rukh Khan described Bigil as Chak De on steroids.
For the movie, Preetisheel has designed two looks for Vijay in a double role, one a footballer and the other as a gangster. “Bigil was a very exciting project as we had to do two different generation looks,” says Preetisheel.
“Vijay Sir doesn’t speak much but is a gem of a person. My experience with him has been amazing. He is very welcoming and very easy to talk to,” she quips, adding that she has curated another look with him for a movie which will go on floors soon.
Preetisheel has earlier achieved a hattrick a year ago, when three of her movies Padmaavat, 102 Not Out and Mulk hit the bulls eye. In recent months she has also garnered abundant praise about her work for Andhadhun and Thackeray.
She has been behind some of the best looks of a plethora of top Bollywood stars like Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Madhuri Dixit, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Ranveer Singh, Salman Khan, Shahid Kapoor & Sunny Deol.
Her work will soon be seen in forthcoming movies like the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer Bala, Kartik Aaryan-Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh, Sunny Singh-starrer Ujda Chaman, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, and Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays.
Close on the heels of the stupendous success of Nitesh Tiwari’s Chhichhore, National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic character design specialist is coming up with not one, two, but three stunners. And all the three films have taken the film industry imagination by storm.
Yes! We are talking about none other than the three baldie looks of Bollywood, which are the talk of the town from a while now. The wiz behind the looks of Akshay Kumar as Bala in the Farhad Samji-directed Housefull 4, Ayushmann Khurrana in Amar Kaushik’s movie Bala and Sunny Singh in Abhishek Pathak’s Ujda Chaman, is look designer Preetisheel Singh.
What has particularly surprised many, is the fact that inspite of all the three looks being of men going bald, Preetisheel has deftly designed them in a way that all of them look ending different on the screen. While Akshay has an imposing mouche to go with the look, Ayushmaan has a receding hairline, and Sunny Singh has a moustache and stubble to match his balding look.
It can be noted here that Preetisheel even received accolades for her transformational look makeovers in movies like Padmaavat, Mom, 102 Not Out, Mulk and Thackeray some time ago.
She is now excited for her forthcoming releases which include an interesting mix of movies like the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Kartik Aaryan-Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh, Southern superstar Vijay’s next Bigil, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, and Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays.
What’s more! The talented lady is also preparing to launch the ‘Preetisheel School of Character Design’ at her new sprawling office and workshop of her company ‘Da Makeup Lab’ at Versova, Mumbai.
If the trailer of Nitish Tiwari’s Chhichhore and teaser of Amar Kaushik’s Bala are anything to go by, the audiences are in for a visual treat in terms of look transformations of the main cast. And the lady behind the looks of the entire lead cast in the films — India’s numero uno makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh — has good reason to feel proud.
Both the movies have actors in their aging avatars and Preetisheel’s work has been receiving a new wave of accolades, after all the recognition it received earlier for films like Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, Andhadhun, Mom, Mulk, 102 Not Out, Thackeray and many others.
“Look transformations are an integral part of the storylines of both these movies, and it was a challenge and responsibility for me to make them look convincing and believable. I am so happy people are appreciating my work,” says a modest Preetisheel, who’d won the ‘National Film Award for Best Makeup’ for her very first film — the pre-Mughal historical epic Nanak Shah Fakir based on the life of Guru Nanak.
She makes it a point to thank the filmmakers of all her movies for putting their trust and faith in her work. “Without their faith, I wouldn’t have been able to do all this,” she says. Having taken her career graph a few steps further towards more recognition and glory, the lady has no time for a breather. The next few months have her working on a dozen films back-to-back, as well as starting the ‘Preetisheel School of Character Design’ at Versova, Mumbai.
Some of the forthcoming movies in her kitty include the Akshay Kumar-starrer Housefull 4, Nawazuddin Siddiqui-Radhika Apte-starrer Raat Akeli Hai, Kartik Aaryan-Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Pati Patni Aur Woh, Southern superstar Vijay’s next Bigil, Kangana Ranaut-starrers Panga and Dhaakad, and Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays.
As Shah Rukh Khan’s Chennai Express rolls in this week, select cinema halls in the country will have audiences getting a taste of some delicious snacks from different Indian states.
If you are wondering how, we can let you in on a little secret. The exhibitor chain Rathi Group of Cinemas has tied up with the 60-year-old Kolkata-based company Mukharochak Foods to offer popular snack dishes like jhaal muri from Kolkata, kabuli chana chaat from Delhi and bhel from Mumbai at some of their theaters in their cinema hall chain.
Starting with Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express starring SRK and Deepika Padukone with a special song dedicated to none other than Rajnikanth, the mouth-watering experience will extend to Milan Luthria’s Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara! (OUATIMD) starring Akshay Kumar, Imran Khan and Sonakshi Sinha; closely followed by Prakash Jha’s Satyagraha starring Amitabh Bachchan with Ajay Devgn and Kareena Kapoor.
OUATIMD producer Ekta Kapoor is kicked about the idea! “It’s a novel initiative in elevating the viewer’s movie-watching experience,” she quips.
Akshaye Rathi, the brain behind the association with the Kolkata-based company, sums it up saying, “Indians are passionate about films and food, so it can’t get better than offering the best of both worlds”. Indeed, with path-breaking marketing concepts such as these, Bollywood sure is on a fun romp.