Sue has been in the entertainment world since birth. Born in Brighton and raised travelling the world with her parents in the ice extravaganza Holiday on Ice.
Surrounded by make-up, wigs, feathers and false eyelashes she developed a lifelong love for the art of Make-Up, Hairdressing and Character creating.
30 years in the Film industry has given Sue all the experience required to design every genre of film, television and fashion styling.
Her early days as a hairdresser on the floor, senior in two top Salons – Dave and Johan in South Africa and then Toni and Guy in Manchester – propelled her creativity in working with hair styling, hair pieces as well as making her own hairpieces.
Her passion for her craft led to Sue studying Make-Up and Prosthetics at Granada Films in the 1980s.
Since then Sue has developed and refined all her skills and is known to be a designer that can create characters, looks and designs from any period and style, in any sector of hair, wigs, make-up, SFX, prosthetics and body art.
All Sue’s fake beards and moustaches are hand laid hair by hair, a method that perfectly complements HD formats. Sue also designs and creates all types of tattoos and makes most of her own prosthetics, very often on site to minimize outsourcing.
Sue is highly experienced at designing long form projects, no project too big or too small.
Hollywood Local 706 Make-Up Guild Nomination
Personal Make Up & Hair: Michelle Yeoh for her preparation Madame Tussauds Waxworks / Nelson Mandela during his Presidency. Personal Make Up & Hair to Arnie Schwarzenegger and Maria Schriver during Special SA Olympics Promotion.
Hair Design: Sue began her career as a hairdresser at Dave & Johan, the top Salon in South Africa,and was quickly snapped up by Toni &Guy on her return to UK where she achieved honours in the Master Cutters Course where she continued to study and master hair design, colour, extensions, wigs and hair pieces to marry complete looks and excel in creating characters.
Prosthetics and Body Art: The majority of productions Sue has worked on have been on remote locations and often require, due to creative Director’s visions and script evolving spontaneous prosthetics with no time to out source personally designing and fabricating prosthetics as well as tattoos and exquisite, original body art
Sue and her team were the best not only the best make-up and prosthetics I’ve ever seen but just the most incredible energy on and off set.
We all love her and will continue to work with her and the team for a long time to come.
“I loved working with Sue on Strike Back 5. Truly an amazing Makeup and Hairstylist, but more importantly, a great person. Make-up is usually the first stop of the day, and I always looked forward to the laughter and kindness she filled the trailer with. I loved that even when everyone’s game face was on for a difficult scene, she was always calm and gave the actors the exact space they needed to perform…which I have to say is a trait and skill that most people don’t inherently understand. There are not enough amazing things I can say about Sue, as in the short period of time I got to work with her, in another country, far from home…she made me feel like family. Thank you Sue for everything! I can’t wait to do it again!
Sue is a very talented Make Up, Hair and Prosthetics Designer. We worked together over a four-year period, in multiple countries with a wide range of Cast and Crew. The experience was entirely positive. She is tireless in her efforts to achieve the scripted look or effect. She is also adaptable and inventive. I thoroughly recommend Sue and look forward to working with her again.
I first came across Sue Michael in South Africa when I was making the first season of Strike Back for HBO. The demands of Strike Back for the make-up department were enormous. Not only in imagining and defining the distinct looks of the cast but in handling the sheer volume of injuries scars and bruises so frequently required by the show. One of my obsessions is authenticity and when I began to discover what Sue was capable of, I was astonished. Her use of prosthetics to achieve the level of close camera detail we needed is second to none. In the pilot show, I remember a scene we had to shoot of Stonebridge cutting a bullet out of Scott’s leg. It was a character and show-defining scene. Not only did Sue create the most convincing make-up, her ideas and confidence in how to achieve the scene meant there was never any need to compromise the intensity of the shots. In fact, I’m not sure Sue even knows the word compromise. Sue Michael is a one-off. A creative genius in her field. I am extremely fortunate to have had the pleasure of working with her.
Sue recently worked for me on the feature film MY NAME IS LENNY – a £1M period film set in 1978 and was ambitious in its look and design. Sue did an incredible job, her preparation is incredibly thorough and she assembled an amazing team. Sue designed not just the hair and the makeup, but all prosthetics too. We had a lot of fight scenes and Sue designed and built remarkable scars, cuts, and wounds. The makeup was not just bruises but a lot of glam makeup for the female cast, with big 70s hairdos. Her attention to detail made such a difference. With a really limited budget, she completely exceeded all expectations, especially with the provision of a great wig collection. She is not just great at her job but great fun, and a wonderful character! Cannot recommend her enough.
“I’ve produced the last two series of Strike Back, an action show co financed by HBO and Sky. Sue has been Head of Department for Hair, Make Up and Prosthetics for both series, which total twenty hours so far. Sue’s work has been exemplary during this time. She has delivered consistently high quality under significant time pressure. She has been a pleasure to work with and I look forward to working with her again soon.”
“I had the best time working with Sue on our Sky 1 Christmas drama The Last Dragonslayer! Sue’s hair and make-up designs were brimming with invention, character, humour and a unique style that became a vital part of our fictional film world. This project was full of challenges including prosthetics, a mixture of time periods, large crowds, and scenes shot in ultraviolet light to name a few, sue handled them all expertly. Sue is incredibly fun to work with and lifted the spirits of the crew and cast alike. I hope we work together again.”
“Sue Michael was the Hair & Make-up Designer on The Last Dragonslayer – a 90 minute film for Sky. Sue was the perfect designer for the film’s very unusual mix of fantasy and reality, referencing multiple historical periods. The tone needed to be warm, fun but also with an edge and Sue and her team achieved this – not easy!”
“Sue Michael is a delight to work with and she was a tremendous asset for our production of Jack Ryan Season 2.Sue is a true professional in all arenas including her technical skills as a make-up artist and hair designer, her natural ability to build rapport with talent and her overall attention to detail. She is an extremely artistic professional who brings a special personal touch to her work”