Up until the last few movies, Bron Roylance has always appeared in the credits as makeup for Pierce. Curious as to why I have not seen his name in credits recently.
He's listed for St Vincent (whenever that starts filming) and he was with Pierce on some of his recent commercial shoots.
If it's a small independent film they might not be able to afford Bron and/or already have their make-up person or the films might not have fit into his schedule. He also does photography and designs cabins.
Sundance cabin builder, Hollywood makeup artist and 007’s ‘best man’
Bron Roylance has two speeds — traveling the world doing Pierce Brosnan’s makeup or quietly enjoying his Sundance cabin that he rebuilt and then carefully furnished detail-by-detail.
After 30 years dabbing powder on Hollywood’s most famous “it men,” Bron chooses a schedule made up of a couple films per year (usually for Pierce), skiing in Utah, surfing in Malibu and perfecting his fifth Sundance home.
Bron’s growing up years were spent in both California and Utah, but it wasn’t until 1998 that his life script turned to Sundance nearly full time.
“Ten years earlier, I saw a piece of ground that just called to me. I felt like Brigham Young,” he says. “I knew ‘this was the place’ for me.”
Now 52-year-old Bron supplements his somewhat sporadic livelihood as a makeup artist with being a cabin creator.
“I don’t want to be looked upon as a developer,” Bron says. “I would rather find an old house and give it what I perceive as the look it deserves. I don’t want to dot the mountain with a big development.”
Bron always has his eye out for another project— and his vision hasn’t gone beyond Sundance.
“I know the mountain and the market so well, and I like working close to home,” Bron says. “I toyed with the idea of going to Park City to do a project, but driving every day would take the fun out of it.”
“Fun” is a big part of Bron’s life requirements, and being in front of the camera doesn’t qualify.
“I thought about becoming an actor once, but then I took two aspirin and it went away in the morning,” he says. “I don’t think I have the personality, and I wouldn’t want that kind of attention.”
His own focus is on everything visual, and at times that includes his dates’ makeup.
“I don’t feel like I analyze women’s makeup, but if you were to ask me the next day what their makeup looked like, I could tell you,” he says. “When I first got in this business and I’d go pick up girls for dates, their mothers would go and hide their faces.”
A couple decades ago, Bron faced a choice of makeup jobs: a movie with Clint Eastwood or the TV sitcom “Family Ties.”
“True story,” Bron says. “I chose ‘Family Ties’ because it only shot one day a week, which meant I could surf six days.”
Bron shakes his head at his thought process but then acknowledges the “backhanded blessing” of working with Michael J. Fox, who Bron calls “true from the heart.”
Bron and Michael stayed together for many TV and film projects, including the second and third installments of “Back to the Future.”
Michael first learned of his now-famous diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease while he and Bron were working on “Doc Hollywood” in Florida. He didn’t go public for seven or eight years, and Bron helped keep his secret.
“He’d have me keep his medicine in my makeup kit,” Bron says. “When he needed it, he would give me that look of ‘I need a pill.’ I kept it in disguise and would bring it to him on the set saying ‘Here’s that vitamin.’”
Michael’s film career eventually slowed down, but Bron and Pierce’s friendship was picking up. When Pierce was named as James Bond, he called Bron as his friend and would-be makeup artist.
“We’re going to do ‘Bond,’” Pierce excitedly told him. But Bron had made other commitments and couldn’t do the first Bond movie Pierce starred in.
“He took it pretty personal,” Bron says.
Bron did makeup for Pierce on every “Bond” after that, including the last 007 where Pierce had been incarcerated in a Korean jail.
“He’s scarred, soiled, bearded and has scorpion bites,” Bron says. “It took an hour and a half in makeup, and that was fun. When somebody is in a character look like that, I’m on it all day — looking through the lens just before each shot.”
BEHIND THE SCENES
Bron is the kind of guy you want at your dinner party because he has an endless palette of stories from his behind-the-scenes view of Hollywood’s biggest films. For example, during our interview he sprinkled in a few anecdotes between conversation about weather, ski conditions and his dog’s favorite toy:
When Michael J. Fox and I were on location in Thailand, Michael saved a little puppy in the streets, named it Sanook (meaning “good luck” in Thai) and took it to the vet for its shots.
Michael couldn’t take the dog back to the states, so he donated it to their hotel as a mascot. I told him, “They are just going to give that dog away!”
But seven years later, I was at the same hotel doing a Bond movie, and in the lobby was Michael’s dog donation. I e-mailed Mike and said, ‘Sanook lives!’
Madonna was in one of the Bond films I did with Pierce. In the makeup trailer, I just quietly hummed an old Madonna tune. Pierce subconsciously picked up on the song and in between shots with Madonna later that day, he started humming it. She turned to him and said, “I don’t bring up your crummy old movies!”
Pierce blamed me for that one.
Bron began calling Pierce “PB” early on in their careers together. Eventually, Pierce began referring to himself the same way, even ending his phone messages to Bron and others with, “Love, PB.”
“Pierce is great to work with, but he is always pushing me to have the best, best products, and I have always felt like I had the best,” Bron says. “Sometimes Pierce would say, ‘There’s got to be ‘other cream.’”
One day, Bron had his prank ready when Pierce made his usual request.
“You want ‘udder cream’?” Bron asked.
“Yes,” Pierce said. “Let’s try the other cream.”
Bron brought in a jar of butter cream from the cows.
“Pierce laughed but didn’t let me get near his face,” Bron remembers.
A few weeks ago, the “Today” show showcased a straight-from-the-cow udder cream. Bron immediately e-mailed Pierce and reminded him of the story.
There is much shared history between the two men, who together did 48 episodes of “Remington Steele,” as well as the Bond films and nearly any other project in the past 20 years where Pierce has been filmed or photographed.
“Pierce is one of my very best friends,” Bron says. “He’s had so much success and he’s good looking, but his biggest asset is that he sees people as individuals. Whether you are the film director, production assistant or extra, he treats everyone well. This makes it easy for us to get along as friends.”
Pierce enjoys visiting Bron’s cabin with his sons for skiing a few times per year. Someone suggested Pierce buy himself some Sundance real estate.
“As long as Bron has a cabin, I don’t need one,” Pierce has said.
Pierce asked Bron to be his best man for his 2001 nuptials, which Bron considered “a privilege and a pleasure.” The paparazzi-speckled wedding took place in a castle in Ireland where Pierce and Bron had worked on a “Remington Steele” episode years before.
Two hours before the wedding, Bron’s “best man speech” was yet to be written.
“I decided it had to come right out of my heart, which it did and it worked out just fine,” Bron says.
Bron’s best man duties also included a party the night before the wedding, but with cameras pointed every direction, the men couldn’t leave the castle.
“We did a ‘guy thing’ and had our party in the dungeon of the castle,” Bron says.
Seems about right for James Bond.
Although Bron has spent more than 30 years in makeup trailers, he still enjoys the “buzz of the business” and feels a “certain adrenalin driving up to a big set with 150 people.”
Bron has mostly gravitated to men’s makeup, although his true specialty is women’s beauty makeup. But he’s not complaining about his assignments.
“I prefer working with men. You can sleep in because they don’t have to be in makeup as long,” he says. “They are easy to hang out with — you can throw a football around the set together.”
Spending time in movie trailers has created the only drawback to Bron’s life.
“Where I’ve taken a hit is not being able to have a family,” Bron says. “The opportunity hasn’t presented itself, but I hope to slow down and start a family.”
Bron’s fast-paced life wasn’t his original plan. In his late teens, he planned to pursue art — but the medium he had in mind wasn’t faces. He envisioned graphic design, architecture or photography. After attending four different colleges, Bron graduated and applied for big advertising firms. He ran into a friend who started a graphic arts company and was looking for an art director. Hired.
Six weeks into it, he found another job where he could make $500 a week rather than $250. But his boss didn’t want him to leave, so his boss introduced him to a side job of makeup artistry — which would enable Bron to stay at the job but make the extra needed bucks.
“Makeup is a girl’s job,” was Bron’s initial reaction. “I’m not interested.”
Then he heard the magical phrase of “$2,000 a week.”
Bron was interested.
Since then, he’s followed the makeup industry and its accolades. He even has a speech ready for the Academy Awards should he ever need it: “I’d like to first thank Rick Baker for not having a film this year because he would have beat me!”
“I see my cabin projects as a balance for a man who carries powder puff for a living but then can also swing a hammer,” Bron says. “I enjoy working with my hands. Both makeup and cabins are artistic and visual, and I rely on my eye to determine the thickness of a board or a stain on the wall.”
One of the keys to Bron’s success has been working with Bret Richardson, his builder, and Kevin Scholz, his architect.
“They understand me and how I operate now,” Bron says. “I have strong preferences about how I want things to look and feel.”
Bron’s cabins are also in high demand because of the furnishings, which he sells with the cabins. One of his best sources was Daniel Copper’s Star Mill in American Fork, which incidentally burned down in December.
“I went down there every week for inspiration,” Bron says. “I have long since learned that it can be overwhelming to furnish a place in terms of finding all the right things,” he says. “I have to live in it for awhile. Even though I’ve been here a year, I’m still tweaking it.”
Bron’s Sundance lifestyle includes his “usual” order at the Owl Bar — green salad topped with grilled chicken and pine nuts. Bron and Robert Redford have a professional relationship — complete with Christmas party invites. Robert has told Bron several times that what he’s doing with his cabins is the role model for what he wants Sundance to be — smart architecture and recycled materials.
Bron plans to be a Sundance kid for as much of this winter as possible, although it looks like he’ll be leaving with Pierce on a film project in late January. Truly a life “made up” of two speeds.
"Madonna was in one of the Bond films I did with Pierce. In the makeup trailer, I just quietly hummed an old Madonna tune. Pierce subconsciously picked up on the song and in between shots with Madonna later that day, he started humming it. She turned to him and said, “I don’t bring up your crummy old movies!”
Pierce blamed me for that one."
LOL! I seem to remember PB talking about his DAD run-in with Madonna in one of his TV interviews.
LOL. I guess PB was not very enamored of the material girl. But he's a Springsteen man after all.
PB has a droll, dry wit. Letterman once asked him if he had always been gorgeous, and whether before that he went through a "duck" phase. PB answered that, yes, he went through different animal stages... ;D
Great photo spread on Bron's house designing in Utah in today's WSJ
When Bron Roylance isn't applying makeup to movie stars such as Pierce Brosnan, he's changing the face of a resort community in the celebrity enclave of Sundance, Utah. This nearly 6,500-square-foot home is the sixth home Mr. Roylance has designed in the Sundance Resort, a ski community established by actor Robert Redford. He bought the 1-acre property for $550,000 in about 2009 and spent roughly $4.5 million to build the home, he said.
Just moving the Bron and family photos from Sundance (Jan 2017)to this topic.
Wonderful news about his engagement.
Thanx ... I didn't remember we had a Bron thread. According to his FB page, he got engaged back in August...
Bron Roylance with Kari Palmer at Robert Redford Sundance Resort.
August 11, 2016 · Provo, UT ·
If you turn to page 926 in the book of "HOW TO BE THE ULTIMATE BOYFRIEND" when you're ready to propose to your girlfriend - take her into the middle of the forest in a pouring rainstorm, and providing you're the one holding the umbrella, odds are she'll say yes! So stoked!! #Lovethisgirl