THE force was with an international make-up artist who grew up in Andover when she was “the Chosen One” to work on the latest Star Wars film.

Sarah Jane Thompson first appeared in the Advertiser at the age of 16 when she won The Clothes Show Live Make-up Artist of the Year competition.

Twenty years on and the 36-year-old has recently completed working on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens which opened in cinemas last month.

Growing up in Goodworth Clatford, Miss Thompson went to the village primary school and John Hanson Community School where she became interested in make-up and fashion at the age of 14.

After winning The Clothes Show competition she moved to London as a make-up artist, spending her days off as a soap extra on shows including The Bill and Eastenders to network within the industry.

Miss Thompson has since lived in Australia and the USA but has been based in Dubai for the last seven years working on films including The City of Life, Mission Impossible 4 and Fast and Furious 7.

She has also worked with a host of stars including Uma Thurman and Aloe Blacc before getting the call from Oscar-winning make-up artist Amanda Knight to work on Star Wars.

“Working on Star Wars was truly an amazing experience, although nerve-racking at firstto join a hugely talented, Oscarwinning team. To see my name on the credits at the end of the finished film was purely a privilege,”

the former John Hanson student said.

Describing life on set, she added: “The cast and crew mixed with us so there was a very close bond, unlike any other film I’ve worked on. We felt like one big family.

“We never knew the script, only the key make-up artist and hairdresser were allowed to know the scenes and they were always in a securely closed room and videoed so no storyline or scenes could be leaked.”

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is tipped to be the highest-grossing film of all time and sees original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill return as Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.

Since Star Wars, Miss Thompson has worked on the latest Star Trek movie and War Machine, Brad Pitt’s yet-to-be-released film.

Reflecting on her hard work and success she said: “Never ever ever give up, dreams can happen if you have the courage to pursue them”.