‘Mind-blowing’ to be made MBE, says film hairstylist

Martin Samuel received the honour from the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.

Hairstylist Martin Samuel is a three-times Oscar nominee (Victoria Jones/PA)
Hairstylist Martin Samuel is a three-times Oscar nominee (Victoria Jones/PA)

A film hairstylist who helped to create looks including Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, Madonna’s Eva in Evita and David Bowie’s red-and-blond look in The Man Who Fell To Earth said it was “mind-blowing” to be made an MBE.

Martin Samuel received the honour from the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace on Friday, and said Prince William joked to him: “Well I don’t really have much hair to speak of.”

Mr Samuel told the PA news agency: “And then (the Duke) said, ‘Well I don’t really have much hair to speak of’, and I said, ‘but your wife does have beautiful hair’, so he said, ‘I’ll tell her that’.”

The three-times Oscar-nominated international film hairstylist has also worked with Dame Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins in the film Hitchcock (2012), and on musical film Pink Floyd – The Wall directed by Alan Parker.

Hairstylist Martin Samuel created the Captain Jack Sparrow hairstyle for actor Johnny Depp (Victoria Jones/PA)

When asked which celebrity was the most exciting to work with, he replied: “Well, the most excitable would be Madonna.

“It was an absolute delight working with Dame Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins. They were a delight to work with. Johnny Depp is amazing, worked with him for five years so it was a long relationship.”

He added: “Each actor and actress that you work with is very exciting in their own way and you have a special relationship with them, a special personal relationship with each one, because you are the one that they see first thing in the morning, and you’re the one that puts them into character and stays with them all day long, making sure that they’re fine and look fine.”

When devising the universally recognisable Captain Jack Sparrow hairstyle for actor Johnny Depp, Mr Samuel was heavily influenced by the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, who was a hero of Mr Depp’s.

He said: “The way the director, Gore Verbinski, wanted it to look was kind of quirky in a sense, and I knew that Johnny Depp liked Keith Richards, his hero, and his scarves and his hanging bits of braid and things like that.

“So I created some wig prototype thing and then Johnny, I’d worked with him before so we had a relationship, said, ‘This is great. How did you know this would work for Captain Jack?’ Because it was all so new, no-one knew it was going to become a big franchise. Pirate films had just gone completely out of fashion.

“So he loved it, and we elaborated and he put his input into more of the jewels and the braids and the bits and pieces and we worked on it together then.”

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