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.”
India West, the numero uno publication for the Indian-American community in the US has featured India’s No.1 makeup and prosthetic wiz Preetisheel Singh, showering praises on her “exceptional innings” in Bollywood.
Giving references of Akshay Kumar’s character of Bala in Housefull 4, Ayushmann Khurrana as the hero in Bala, Sunny Singh in Ujda Chaman and many more, the article by veteran journalist Rajiv Vijayakar points out that look designer Preetisheel “specializes in making up the faces of those we know to look like someone we do not!” Adding that with Preetisheel, “it is not just about faces but the entire body, the persona.”
The article goes on to give more details. “Look at Bhumi Pednekar’s appearance as a dark and simple social worker in Bala and contrast her va-va-voom looks in Pati Patni Aur Woh and you know what Singh is up to in film after film. Remember also the plump body-suit of Maanvi Gagroo in Ujda Chaman.”
“The complete look design of every actor in Housefull 4 in the period portions and of every artiste in Chhichhore both in their 1990s youth and current middle-aged versions, the Tamil hit Bigil featuring Vijay in a dual role, and a treasury of past excellence in films as diverse as Bajirao Mastani, Shivaay, Padmaavat, 102 Not Out, Mulk and PM Narendra Modi shows that Singh is no ordinary achiever.”
“Exceptional innings in less than eight years sees Singh have no predecessor in Indian cinema,” the article analyses.
For the record, Preetisheel is a National Award-winner, having worked for huge box-offices successes such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala and Housefull 4, and designed looks for all the A-listers including names like Ajay Devgn, Akshay Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Ayushmann Khurrana, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor. What’s more! After conquering Bollywood, she is now exploring the Southern industry more and more.
National Award-winning makeup and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh who curated Rishi Kapoor’s looks for 102 Not Out and Mulk, and worked with Irrfan Khan for Haider, is overcome with grief after their sudden demise.
“Working with Irrfan Khan and Rishi Sir has been a journey I will never forget,” says Preetisheel. She mentions that it’s rare to have such accomplished artists always willing to experiment with their screen appearances.
Preetisheel recollects, “When I first got a chance to work with Rishi Sir on 102 Not Out, I was a bit nervous as he had been working with international prosthetic artists earlier. But once I had finished the process of his look in the film, he was very impressed .”
“Moreover, he would give me interesting advice while narrating his experiences with international makeup and prosthetic artists. He was like a father figure to me and I will always miss him a lot.”
“I got a chance to work with Mr Khan during Haider and the experience was fabulous, as he was one of the most patient actors on the makeup chair,” reminisces Preetisheel.
“Apart from being among the best our industry has had, both Mr Khan and Rishi Sir were amazing and very down-to-earth human beings. And that is what made them so special. Today, when I think of all the times spent working with them, it brings tears of fondness. It is really sad to lose such amazing talent and good human beings.”
Reeling under the pressure of the Coronovirus lockdown, the demise of veteran actor Rishi Kapoor immensely saddened Bollywood. More so, Rishi’s death hit the industry as a twin tragedy, just as it was getting over the grief of actor Irrfan Khan’s death.
Remembering the evergreen actor’s classics, Bollywood PR Dale Bhagwagar listed 6 of Rishi Kapoor’s top movies which took the Indian film industry by storm. “Going through these top Rishi Kapoor classics as a flashback, may serve as a balm on the sad news that has befallen,” he wrote on his social media.
1) Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
The first in the list is Amar Akbar Anthony which was directed by the maverick filmmaker Manmohan Desai. Starring Rishi with Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna, the film belonged to the drama genre, but could easily be classified as a comedy and a musical.
2) Naseeb (1981)
Another dramatic film which Dale has listed on top is Naseeb, once again starring Rishi with Amitabh Bachchan, this time with Shatrughan Sinha giving them company. This one too was directed by Manmohan Desai.
3) Bobby (1973)
The third movie listed by the Bollywood publicist among Rishi’s best, is the actor’s first film as a lead star; the cult romantic megahit Bobby, directed by none other than his father Raj Kapoor, co-starring Rishi with Dimple Kapadia.
4) Prem Rog (1982)
Raj Kapoor was the director of two more films listed by Dale as the topmost classics of Rishi Kapoor. One being the dramatic Prem Rog, co-starring Rishi with Padmini Kolhapure.
5) Mera Naam Joker (1970)
The other being the romantic biopic Mera Naam Joker, which was actually Rishi’s debut as a child-artist. It released in 1970, three years before Rishi made his debut as a hero in Bobby in 1973. He even received the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for this one. Mera Naam Joker starred Raj Kapoor with Simi Garewal and a host of stars from the film industry. Rishi played the role of an adolescent called Raju, who deals with an infatuation with his teacher Mary, played by Simi Garewal.
6) Chandni (1989)
The final film Dale Bhagwagar lists as one of Rishi Kapoor’s greatest classics, is Yash Chopra’s movie Chandni, which starred Rishi with Sridevi and Vinod Khanna. Sixteen years after he made his debut as a hero with Dimple in Bobby, Rishi outdid himself as a romantic lead once again in Chandni opposite Sridevi.
“His more recent films like 102 Not Out (2018), Mulk (2018), Kapoor & Sons (2016), Rajma Chawal (2018), The Body (2019) and the reboot of Agneepath (2012) where he starred as a villain, also make credible mentions,” wrote Dale. “And not to forget some of the other greats such as Karz (1980), Saagar (1985), Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977), Deewana (1992), Damini (1993), Heena (1991), Coolie (1983) and Bol Radha Bol (1992),” Dale added.
What more can we say, but that we have lost a gem of an actor, which Bollywood won’t forget forever. Rishi was known as Bollywood’s ‘evergreen’ actor, and now, evergreen he will stay in the memories of all.
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.
Got my PR client Preetisheel Singh speak to Hindustan Times for a feature which appeared as a front page lead in HT City. Special thanks to Shreya Mukherjee for it.
PS: Sorry friends, HT has been putting more and more restrictions on its free epaper, as it expects people to pay and login et al for full functionality. So I wasn’t able to download a good resolution image for the article.
My PR client Preetisheel Singh has made a rocking start this year too. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Last year, she handled the makeup, hair and prosthetic for actors in Padmaavat, 102 Not Out, Mulk and Andhadhun. 🤩 She’s started this year with the look for Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Thackeray. Coming up are RAW, Chhichhore, Housefull 4, Bharat, Panga, Raat Akeli Hai, Boomerang, Om and PM Narendra Modi. 🎯 Audiences…. dil, jigar aur chair handles thaam ke baitho. 🎞 🎲 -Dale Bhagwagar
The list of achievements for National Award-winning makeup and prosthetics designer Preetisheel Singh haven’t stopped from the day she set foot in the world of make-believe.
“They say, Bollywood is a place where dreams are made. So what better than a profession which helps makes those dreams a reality,” quips Preetisheel, who has designed the looks of actors for some of the topmost movies in Bollywood like Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out and Sajid Nadiadwala’s Housefull 3, along with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat.
Her work for the pre-Mughal epic Nanak Shah Fakir directed by Sartaj Singh Pannu bagged her the coveted National Film Award for Best Makeup, while her talent will soon be showcased again in Anubhav Sinha’s Mulk, where Rishi Kapoor will appear in the look of a devout Muslim. Then there is the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Thackeray — the biopic on Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, presented by Sanjay Raut and directed by Abhijit Panse.
So what does it take to create different looks? “Prosthetic has a lot of parts involved in it. You first take the life cast of the actor in 3D measurement after which you sculpt and make moulds, running silicon pieces in it,” explains Preetisheel.
“The silicon pieces are then applied on the actor and are merged with the actor’s skin so that it doesn’t look artificial. So tomorrow if a filmmaker comes up and has the requirement for an alien creature, we can do it. In fact, it will be good fun and I’d love to create aliens for Bollywood.”
Is the whole process very time-consuming? “When we look at characters with prosthetics on screen, we do not realize how much time and effort goes behind the scenes. The whole process involves a lot of visualization, planning, detailing, art and finally time. But the end result is worth the energy spent,” she concludes with a smile.
Basking in the glory of the success of 102 Not Out, its makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh is almost in a daze from a week. The Amitabh Bachchan–Rishi Kapoor starrer brilliantly directed by Umesh Shukla has been a runaway hit with audiences and critics alike.
Ace film reviewer Kunal Guha of Mumbai Mirror points out that both (Bachchan and Kapoor) “internalize their screen personas to an extent that one often forgets the actors are under the layers of prosthetic.”
“Speaking of which, makeup and prosthetic artiste Preetisheel Singh is meticulous in her vision and execution and drafts faces that elaborately convey both their personalities. Even the strands of hair that sits on their head seem to be custom-woven to the brief—the father’s — unkempt and carefree, while the son’s — usually neatly parted, keeping with his orderly manner,” he writes.
Bollywood Hungama echoes, “The review would be incomplete without the mention of Preetisheel Singh’s makeup, hair and prosthetic. She gives a great look to both the veteran actors which also turns out to be the film’s USP.”
Covering Preetisheel for News18, journalist Mugdha Kapoor Safaya says, “It would be an understatement to only call her a makeup and prosthetic artiste. Perhaps, the term makeover whiz seems more appropriate.”
“While Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor are to be credited for getting into the vibe of the characters, prosthetic artiste Preetisheel Singh deserves credit for the amazing physical transformation the actors underwent. With each look that she designs, Preetisheel provides an accurate physical aid to the characters being portrayed,” writes Urban Asian journalist Diana Lydia Parmar on social media.
“I’m humbled by the stupendous praise. 2018 has been a breathtakingly amazing year for me,” says Preetisheel, who emerged Bollywood’s No.1 look designer after she curated the looks for Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s blockbuster Padmaavat.
This year also saw the re-release of the Sartaj Singh Pannu-directed Nanak Shah Fakir which got Preetisheel the National Film Award for Best Makeup. But the lady has no time to slow down. Her work will soon be showcased in the Harshvardhan Kapoor-starrer Bhavesh Joshi Superhero directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, followed by the Nawazuddin Siddiqui-starrer Thackeray — the biopic on Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, presented by Sanjay Raut and directed by Abhijit Panse. For Preetisheel, it looks like the year has just begun.
Recently, while preparing for the shoot of Umesh Shukla’s102 Not Out, makeup, hair and prosthetic designer Preetisheel Singh got busy working on the look of veteran actor Rishi Kapoor.
The much-awaited film has Kapoor playing a 75-year-old grumpy son to a 102-year-young cheerful Amitabh Bachchan. Its trailer and songs, including Badumbaa and Bachche Ki Jaan Loge Kya, are already a hit.
“Rishi Sir said he found the look seamless and flawless,” recalls Preetisheel. Saying that it looked extremely real, the veteran actor called her a “magician”. “A comment so flattering from a person of his talent and stature is something I will cherish for life,” quips the makeover wiz.
It’s been a roller coaster ride for Preetisheel this year. After garnering acclaim for her work in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat where she designed the looks for the complete cast along with Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, she went on to win the Power Brands – Bollywood Film Journalists Award too.
Meanwhile, her film Nanak Shah Fakir, which bagged her the National Film Award for Best Makeup, has been re-released by Viacom18 Motion Pictures, albeit amidst controversy.
Next, the lady is looking forward to Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi Superhero starring Harshvardhan Kapoor and working on Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s look for the Abhijit Panse-directed movie Thackeray; the biopic on Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.