Making a Zombie: A Step-by-Step Guide from the “Walking Dead” Makeup Team
1. The “Walking Dead” makeup team fits actor Kevin Galbraith with a bald cap and accentuate his high cheekbones to make them look sunken.
2. Next, Galbraith is fitted with rotten-looking, custom-made dentures that can fit under a prosthesis.
3. A custom-made, foam latex prosthesis extends from Galbraith’s forehead to his neck.
4. Makeup artists Kevin Wasner (far left) and Jake Garber glue on individual body wounds. “We had to do his entire upper body. It took 45 minutes,” Nicotero says. Zombie blood is a mixture of Karo syrup, red and yellow food coloring and caramel, plus a drop of detergent so it soaks through clothing.
5. Garber next fits the greasy, sparse zombie wig to the bald cap.
6. Zombies have no time to shave so Wasner adds some stubble and some disgusting dried blood around Galbraith’s mouth. “It’s black sludge in their veins,” says Nicotero.
7. The application of hand-painted white contact lenses is the final step of Galbraith’s transformation from working actor to frightening zombie. “The most inspiring part of what we’re doing is that you can have the same person sit in your chair 10 times and they won’t look like the same person when they walk out of the makeup trailer,” says Nicotero.