Robert louis Stevenson — who has 120 credits come his name, consisting of projects with Eddie Murphy and also Richard Pryor — will receive the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild"s Lifetime success Award on Saturday.
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Robert luigi Stevenson — yes, he’s called after the Treasure Island novelist — to be able to rotate a three-day job right into eight year at Universal. The third male hairstylist to gain into the union in Hollywood, Stevenson made fairly the impression throughout his first interview v Larry Germain, Universal’s hair room head.
“They didn’t have actually black hairstylists, and he inquiry me if I execute white hair, pointing to a magazine with a Gibson girl top top the cover,” claims Stevenson. “There was an actress there getting her hair done, who had actually her sister with her. He asked the sister if I might do she hair, and also I did it in 10 minutes.”
Stevenson had been in the Vietnam battle prior to becoming a hairstylist. “My friend created me a letter from Germany. I remained in Korea. The said, ‘When we acquire home, let’s learn exactly how to carry out hair. We deserve to make money, you know?’”
With much more than 120 credits to his name, this year’s Make-Up artists & Hair Stylists Guild’s Lifetime achievement Award recipient notes exactly how the industry has readjusted since 1970. “Women just did hair and also men walk makeup earlier then. It to be very few minorities when I started, and I had a lot of of approaches that I could share about doing African-American hair.”
He credits Josephine Turner — Lucille Ball’s wigmaker because that 50 years — for making wigs his specialty. “She was like my fairy godmother,” the says. “One day, she satellite me down and said, ‘If you desire to it is in in this business and also you desire to stay, girlfriend sit right here and also listen to me.’”
Retiring in 2009 but still proceeding to occupational as a wig consultant and also designer, Stevenson has styled the hair the Angela Bassett, Eddie Murphy and also Samuel L. Jackson, v whom he functioned on much more than 30 films, beginning with 1996’s The good White Hype. “He’s favor the James Brown of the movies. The hardest-working male in showbiz,” says Stevenson, that recalls first meeting Jackson top top the Decatur, Georgia, collection of Just an Old Sweet tune (1976).
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“Sam to be a stand-in for one more actor, Robert Hooks, a pretty renowned black actor then. We began talking, and I asked him, ‘What room you walk to perform from this allude on?’ he said, ‘Well, ns just got out of college, and I’m walk to new York to examine my craft."”
They met again years afterwards Coming come America (1988). “He request if i remembered him. Of course ns did! he
Stevenson also had a irreversible partnership with Richard Pryor, spanning eight years. “He very seldom talked. Then, if the heard something he assumed was funny, he’d questioning you, ‘Can I put that in my act tonight?"”
Pryor was one of the an initial actors the Emmy Award-winning hairstylist to be personalwith in Hollywood. “We started off withCar to wash (1976). Ns was wade by and he was in a wardrobe fitting because that a suit. He dubbed out to me, ‘Hey, hey come here a second!’ ns mean, he didn’t understand me. Ns knew that he was. The said, ‘Does this suit look good?’ I claimed it looked nice. And he goes, ‘No, no, don’t tell me that looks good. Go this fit look good?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, the looks really nice.’ It to be a white suit. The said, ‘What execute you do? What space you functioning on?’ and I said him ns was a hairstylist in a department. Climate he asked me to job-related on the movie through him."”
Previously honored by the Hollywood Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild for his job-related on Lee Daniels’ The Butler in 2014, Stevenson call the whirlwind gig — a little longer than 3 months — one of the toughest jobs of his career. “I come out the retirement for that, but I didn’t recognize that they didn’t have actually a hairstylist for that at that point. They essential someone come start getting things going with the wigs.”
Collaborating with his friend Candace “Candy” Neal, Stevenson occurred all the wigs because that the characters, consisting of the multitudinous wigs forest Whitaker wore, and also helped the actor’s hairstylist along, that was not as acquainted with wigs. “His wigs weren’t just one-piece wigs. They to be two- and three-piece wigs,” the says. “If he was younger, it had actually two piece to give him much more frontal forehead hair. And also when he got older, us took the piece off and also moved them back. So, periodically he’d have three pieces on.”
Lenny Kravitz’s hair was also a difficulty for Stevenson. “He didn’t want to cut it or anything due to the fact that he’s a performer. We had to acquire him a braider come braid his hair therefore we could get the wig on his head,” the says.
A fan of BlacKkKlansman and also Black Panther (he’s worked with Oscar-nominated costume designer Ruth E. Carter a variety of times), Stevenson jokes the “you can’t win Europe if the were simply the hair awards. That’s their history. Lock have more than one person wearing so countless different wigs and the duration is for this reason on.” that adds the “it’s like just how we understand Westerns, although we don’t always get it right. We have actually saloon girl looking choose they all walked the end of the noodle Club. (Laughs.)”