- Zachary Quinto wore a lot of makeup to portray the villain Charlie Manx in AMC’s “NOS4A2” adaptation.
- Makeup artist Joel Harlow worked with Zachary and Author Joe Hill to create the character.
- Joel has worked on “Black Panther,” done several makeup designs for Johnny Depp, and won an Oscar in 2010 for his work on “Star Trek.”
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
The following is a transcript of the video:
Joe Avella: This is Charlie Manx, the villain in AMC’s new series “NOS4A2.” He’s played by sometimes-bald actor Zachary Quinto and was designed by this guy, Oscar-winning FX artist Joel Harlow. Joel’s work has been seen in tons of great movies like…
Joel Harlow: All five of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, the first J.J. Abrams “Star Trek,” “Lone Ranger,” “Logan,” the new “Hellboy,” “Black Panther.”
Joe: I visited his work space to learn how he brought Charlie Manx to life, and we looked at some of his other amazing creations.
Joe: Yo, I’m the new Hellboy!
Joel: There you go. I was approached by production about doing a transformational age makeup on Zach Quinto, who I’ve worked with on several films, obviously, both “Star Trek” films.
Joe: In “NOS4A2,” Charlie Manx is a supernatural creature who feeds off the souls of children, kidnapping them in a car called The Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2, or Nosferatu. It’s based on a novel of the same name by author Joe Hill, son of award-winning author Tabitha King and some guy named Steve.
Joel: What you see here is a silicone head of Zach. Once the makeup is sculpted, you know what you have. Let’s just say we’re talking about the 100-year-old. Once the entire makeup is sculpted on the stone copy of Zach’s head, then you decide where you’re gonna cut the makeup apart. Cut the neck off, we’ll cut the chin and lower lip off, we’ll cut the upper lip and nose off, cheeks, forehead, earlobes, and then when you’re dealing with a 135-year-old, there’s the back of the head because his hair at that point is so thin that you see through the hair to the scalp.
Joe: Creating a character from a popular book is no easy task. Luckily for Joel, he knew the author. They met in 1994 when both were working on the TV mini-series “The Stand.”
Joel: Well, fortunately, I am friends with Joe Hill. He’s the go-to guy. I mean, he created Manx. One of his biggest notes to me was Manx’s teeth, even when he’s in his earlier stages, are still very sorta desiccated. It’s like 1800s dental work.
Joe: How much does, when designing this, did Zach’s actual character of his face play into making the character?
Joel: Oh, it played into his character right off the bat. You know, and I never like to design a makeup independently of the actor or actress that is playing that character. It’s always very collaborative. So there’s a lot of, a lot of restraint required when you’re doing something like that as opposed to doing a movie like “Star Trek Beyond” where you’re creating aliens that nobody’s seen. Got a lot of leeway there. Hellboy, you got a lot of leeway there. It’s not a character that you see at the store unless you’re shopping somewhere very unusual.
Joe: It’d be weird if you keep running into Hellboy in your normal life.
Joel: It’s a lot of just dialing it in so it looks like a believable old-age character, yet maintains the characteristics of, in this case, Zach. I would text Zach images of the designs, you know, and get his sign-off, so he was very involved as, you know, most of the performers I deal with are in their look. You spend all this time in the studio sculpting something, sculpting a character, bring it to set, you apply it, but it’s not until it starts to move as that character that it really comes to life. And I don’t know if you know any 135-year-old people, but I don’t. One hundred and thirty-five does give you a little bit of leeway. You know, it’s like you can push it a little bit there.
Joe: Yeah, he’s like, “Prove they don’t do this.” Whereas Joel had little to reference when designing Charlie Manx, he had the opposite challenge with another movie he recently worked on, “Hellboy.” I got to try on a few Hellboy accouterments. New Hellboy, let’s reboot it again. I’m ready.
Joel: Let’s go.
Joe: Getting into this stuff is harder than it looks.
Joel: Age 100 was about three to three and a half hours to get him all ready. Yeah, I mean, it’s long to get this done correctly because it is an old age, and it is a realistic makeup. It took what it took, and that was about three to three and a half. “NOS4A2” trying to do four stages of an age makeup that looks absolutely believable is very difficult. You know, that’s a challenge, that’s a big challenge trying to fool people in real life, and, you know, once you do that, you know you’ll be able to fool ’em on film.