James Bond: Daniel Craig personal makeup artist on bringing gritty 007 to life (EXCLUSIVE)

Since his debut in 2006’s Casino Royale, Craig has reinvented the cinema knows and loves.

Although a smash hit, the follow up Quantum of Solace didn’t quite match in terms of quality, having been affected by the Writers Strike and resulted in film that felt more like a bookended sequel than its own story.

With the 50th anniversary of the franchise set to hit 2012, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson knew they had to do 007 justice for such a special occasion.

Skyfall did exactly that with huge box office success and critical acclaim, as fans saw a damaged Bond reunited with Q and Moneypenny.

Of course 2015’s Spectre divided the 007 faithful, with plenty of nods to the last five decades but a tonal confusion that made you wonder if this was a return to the Pierce Brosnan era.

Now Donald Mowat, Hollywood Makeup Designer, who has more recently worked on Blade Runner 2049 and Stronger, has opened up about his time as Craig’s personal makeup artist on Skyfall and Spectre.

Having been alongside the 49-year-old star on number of films, he said: “He’s just a remarkable man. We do have a great friendship and I think a tremendous connection. I just so enjoy working with him, he’s really I lovely person. I felt I’d never work on a Bond film, it wasn’t really on my bucket list. 

“It really was tremendous. I think he and I have a unique connection and share a lot of interests and similarities. It’s a really great working relationship because he really just lets me do what I do and it fits, it works.

When it came to making Bond’s look grittier, even three films into the Craig era, Mowat said: “I think that maybe people call me when they’re trying to change something up little bit. With Skyfall we had that scene [at the start] where its really quite gritty and he looks like he’s been through something, which is not typically Bond.

“I was filled with anxiety, because it hadn’t been traditional Bond. We had a distinct difference in Skyfall, in the way he looks and that sort of camp element – that I quite like – y’know when he does turn up looking polished and perfect on that boat.”

On the tonal change in Spectre, it sounds like there wasn’t so much pressure on the cast and crew now the 50th anniversary was out the way.

Mowat continued: “There was a different flavour. I think it was easier in some way than Skyfall. With Skyfall we did longer hours and it was more driven dramatically.

“Spectre didn’t have that so much, which isn’t really a bad thing is it? We worked in more countries. I mean Skyfall was only really in Turkey and the UK. But I feel Spectre was lighter and a bit more camp if anything.”

The Makeup Designer also had the chance to take part in the Bond scene with The Queen from the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony.

It turns out Mowat and Craig would talk to each other in code about the secretive project, referring to The Queen as HMTQ.

Mowat added: “It was brilliant because it was so top secret. We had a great time, we really did. I didn’t tell anybody.”

But with James Bond 25 on the horizon, will he be returning to Craig’s side for his fifth and final outing, which is due to start shooting next year?

He teased: “I think so. What can I say? I would love to. It’s scheduling. I would work anytime for Barbara Broccoli. For Daniel Craig? I mean it doesn’t take much for me to make myself available for him.”

James Bond 25 will be released in UK cinemas in November 2019.