Oscar Wilde Awards 2013

Last year at the Oscar Wilde Awards, honoree Paul Rudd took a lot of ribbing for, well, not being Irish. Most of it came from his friend and presenter Julia Roberts, who said, “McRudd has a ring to it. But yes, he’s Jewish.”

This year, the U.S.-Ireland Alliance looked no farther than Ireland for two of its honorees.

Colin Farrell, who will be presented his Wilde award by Jim Sheridan, was born in Dublin, and makeup artist Michele Burke comes from Kildare Town, with Paula Wagner doing the honors for her.

Burke and Wagner’s relationship goes back to “Interview With a Vampire” (for which she won an Oscar) and has continued with a slew of Tom Cruise movies. It was preceded by an Oscar for her makeup work on 1982’s “Quest for Fire.”

When she picked up her first Oscar, “I’d never been to Hollywood,” Burke recalls.

Burke is busy keeping up with all the leaps in technology. “Your biggest challenge is to marry what you’re doing with what they’re doing. In the old days, you could put a lot of makeup on. Slap it on! Now you can’t. You’re not meant to see a speck of powder or foundation.”

The U.S.-Ireland Alliance provides funding for the George Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor Mitchell’s pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process.

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