Makeup artist with Regina roots celebrates second Emmy nomination

·2 min read
Alastair Muir (R) does makeup for Yvonne Strahovski, who plays Serena Joy Waterford on The Handmaid's Tale.   (Submitted by Alastair Muir. - image credit)
Alastair Muir (R) does makeup for Yvonne Strahovski, who plays Serena Joy Waterford on The Handmaid's Tale. (Submitted by Alastair Muir. - image credit)

For the second year in a row, makeup artist Alastair Muir, who grew up in Regina, has been nominated for an Emmy award for his work on The Handmaid's Tale.

Muir, who works as the key makeup artist for the dystopian television series based on Margaret Atwood's novel, says this year's nomination means a lot to him.

"It feels pretty special," he said. "I'm pretty happy and my mom's super proud of me. It's nice, after working in this business for 20 years, to get the recognition not just once but twice."

Muir has also worked on movies like The Invisible Man and It Chapter Two, and television series like Titans, Falling Water and Suits.

But this latest season of The Handmaid's Tale, filmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, had some extra challenges.

"There were all these layers of protocols we had to abide by," he said. "We were wearing two masks and protective eyewear and being tested three times a week."

The show itself, which Muir says features "all the worst things we can possibly do to one another," has also pushed his skills as a makeup artist. Actors regularly need to appear with cuts, bruises and other injuries.

Submitted by Alastair Muir.
Submitted by Alastair Muir.

But at the end of the day, Muir says he enjoys working with the cast and crew.

"Everyone hits their marks, knows their lines and is always on time," he said. "And they are a good, fun group of people."

Muir did not always intend to become a makeup artist — he attended engineering classes at UBC and started a film theory and production degree at the University of Regina before going to makeup school. But once he was there, something clicked.

"I just took to it," he said.

And while his career has taken him to the world stage, Muir still has fond memories of Regina — particularly the food from his favourite haunts like the Italian Star Deli and Bushwakker brewpub.

"I grew up in that city and I really enjoyed my childhood there," he said. "It's a big part of my life."

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