Q&A with Jenny Watson

Jenny Watson’s Quick Stats

Course: Intermediate Course in Makeup and Hair Artistry
Favourite project so far: Peaky Blinders
Favourite Actor to have worked with: Cillian Murphy & Helen McCrory


What first made you want to begin working in this industry? When was that, and how old were you?

I have always loved TV and film as long as I can remember and have always wanted to be involved, when I was little I wanted to be an actress, then as I got older I realised you needed to be able to act for that. I also much preferred being behind the scenes as I found out in my drama GCSE. However, it wasn’t until I was much older in my mid 20’s that I realised it could actually be a reality. I had left my childcare job and had worked for a while doing bridal and event makeup, but my passion still lied in TV and film and creating characters. I thought if other people can do it why not me and I started research that night.

How did you find out about the Iver Academy and why did you decide to join?

It was actually my now Husband that put me on the trail by sending me a link to Greasepaint website. I had heard of this school and was very excited until I saw that it was no longer running. Through the website I found a link to Iver Academy. It was still very new (the 1st class had only just started) but I liked the sound of it instantly and it appealed to the film nerd in me that it was in Pinewood Studios. I went to look around at an open day and fell in love with the place and the wonderful tutors that took the time to talk to me. I knew it was where I had to go!

What was your experience like studying with the Iver Academy?

It was an incredible experience, I looked forward to every day I went. I learnt so much and made friends for life. Even now I still look forward to when I can go back and help out or do a short course there.

What was your favourite element/subject throughout your studies?

I loved it all but my favourite has to be all the period work we did, both hair and makeup. It was so much fun and I loved learning about the history of it all as well as the practical side. I also loved the filming experience day, it really solidified that I wanted to work in TV and Film.

Favourite moment whilst studying at Iver?

I’m not sure I can pick a favourite moment as there was just so many, even though I was living away in the week it just felt like a second home and I loved every moment of it. The knowledge I gained, not only practical skills but the workings of the industry has been invaluable.

What releases have you worked on since graduating?

I have worked on:

  • Darkest Hour
  • Harlots 1 & 2
  • Peaky Blinders 5
  • A Discovery of Witches 2

As well as dailies on:

  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Mission Impossible
  • The Witches

What has been the favourite film/tv programme/project that you have worked on so far?

Probably Peaky Blinders as I loved the period (late 20’s) for both men and women. I also loved all the beards on A Discovery of Witches 2 (Elizabethan).

What has been the most challenging project?

Every job has different challenges which is great for learning. My most nerve wrecking was probably stepping up to senior artist for 2 pickup days and doing the hair and makeup for the main character for a fight scene where the beginning and end had already been filmed. This was a challenge as I had to get the continuity spot on and of course I wanted to make my designer proud as she couldn’t be there to do it, so it was definitely a scary challenge, but one that I am so grateful for as it showed my designer and the Actor trusted me with this.

What aspirations do you have in terms of future projects?

When I am back from maternity leave, I would love to do more dailies as either a senior in TV or a Junior in film and eventually more main team work as a junior on period productions.

What is your favourite thing about working in the industry that you do?

Two things stand out for me. Work wise I love helping to create characters, working with designers and actors to really help make the character come to life. Another is the feeling of comradery you get in a makeup team and within the production as a whole.

Start Your Own Story as a Makeup Artist

Our full-time courses don’t require experience, just passion and a creative flair. Not only do we teach you the skills, but also the set etiquette and everything to make you a world-class artist. Iver will always be here to support you, long after you graduate. As well as all of the word-of-mouth recommendations, casting teams will get in touch with Jenny directly from our ‘Hire an Artist’ section. What incredible experiences might you be listing once you’ve graduated?

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