Face Off, the hit Syfy Channel makeup effects competition series, returns for its third season on Tuesday at 9/8c with an extended 90-minute premiere. This season, there are 12 new contestants and an array of amazing challenges and talented guest judges. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to participate in a press Q&A with series host McKenzie Westmore and series judge Ve Neill. The women talked about what it’s like working on the series, and what we can expect in the new season.
Kyle Nolan: In the opening sequence of the season premiere, it says that America will have a say in the winner this season. Could you talk more about how that will work?
McKenzie Westmore: We said at the finale we – the first time in Face Off history America’s going to get to vote. We’re going to do a live show on Halloween night and America will have a say on which contestant they feel came up with the best make up.
Kyle Nolan: Once again, you have this amazing array of guest judges that you get to work with for the foundation challenges. Could you talk about some of the folks that you get to work with his season and is it at the point where they ask you to be on the show or do you still seek them out?
McKenzie Westmore: Do you want to take that one?
Ve Neill: Ooh, I don’t know that.
McKenzie Westmore: You know, I think it’s a little bit of both. You know, there are some people that are dying to be on the show and they’re loving it and there’re are some people that we, you know, always reach out to to see if they’re interested for – especially if it’s a particular challenge and it fits them.
You know, we have an array of amazing guest judges this year. We start off with Sean Astin as you were first mentioning with the very first foundation challenge. We have other great guest judges that come in. We have Brian Grazer, we have Laila Ali, we have Kevin Smith, who I actually was tweeting back and forth with this morning regarding his appearance on the show. So there are some really fun, amazing guest judges that come in to join our already amazing panel of judges.
Kyle Nolan: Do the judges get to see any of the foundation challenge work and does that factor into the decisions at all?
Ve Neill: You know, we don’t get to see anything except for what’s really brought to us right on stage. You know, it usually doesn’t factor into it. The only time it does factor into it is when we are told that somebody had immunity. They will tell us what the challenge was and they’d say who won it or who is immune, but other than that, we really have no knowledge of any of the pre – the challenges that go on before that we don’t see. We just solely on what we see right on the stage, which is what you guys see. We don’t even know what goes on in the houses or anything and we don’t even know what the challenges are until we actually get to work that day.
Kyle Nolan: McKenzie, when these artists get paired up there’s often this clash of personalities. Are you aware of any of that behind the scenes drama that’s going on?
McKenzie Westmore: I am, I’m privy to, you know, most everything that does on, just as being the host and being kind of the conduit for everything and being so intertwined with the contestants, as well as the judges. I am in the loop on all of the ins and outs and, you know, what’s going on in the lab. I really don’t deal with much of the house stuff because I’m not there.
You know, I might hear some of the things that are going on but I don’t take part in any of the house drama, I guess you could say. But I always know what; going on in the lab. Obviously, I’m there with the guest judge for the foundation challenges, so I do see all the ins and outs and all the workings that do happen on a daily basis.
Kyle Nolan: And do either of you keep in touch or work with any of the past contestants or winners?
McKenzie Westmore: Oh, yes.
Ve Neill: A lot of times the past contestants, you know, we will have a little bit of contact. As in the first season, Conner – on the first season, Conner came and did the Hunger Games with me, so I kept – and I’m still in contact with Conner. We, you know, we email and occasionally speak.
McKenzie Westmore: Yes.
Ve Neill: I was actually hoping that he’d go on the second Hunter Games with me but I think I’m going to have to hire locally again, which is why he got hired the first time, because he was local in North Carolina. So, that being said, I think it’s just such a wonderful opportunity to any of these – with – for any of these artists to be able to stay in touch with us because, you know, we would love to be able to help them out eventually, you know.
McKenzie Westmore: Absolutely.
Ve Neill: And they don’t even have to be the winner. I mean, I still talk to…
McKenzie Westmore: No.
Ve Neill: …a lot of the guys. They come and do things at tradeshows with me and do demos and it’s really to see all the, you know, see their progression and how they, you know, advanced over the, you know, the – since they’ve come off the show. So, it’s really quite fun to stay in touch with everybody.
McKenzie Westmore: It really is. There are a couple that I’ve kept in touch with and my dad actually hired Gage to do a Bollywood film this past year. And so…
Ve Neill: Oh, cool.
McKenzie Westmore: Yes, I know. So you’re right, when you…
Ve Neill: I didn’t know that, that’s bitching.
McKenzie Westmore: I know, it’s that so cool. Yes, he sent him over to India and had him make up the – who’s considered like the George Clooney of India.
Ve Neill: Wow.
McKenzie Westmore: And my dad is still very much involved in India, so it was really, you know, it was kind of neat to see somebody like Gage, who like you just said Ve, you know, isn’t – wasn’t the winner but, still an amazing talent.
Ve Neill: Yes.
McKenzie Westmore: And a lot of people do continue to get great work after being seen on the show and after they are able to showcase their talent.
Ve Neill: Yes, it really opens up a lot of doors for them. And, as you said, they don’t even have to be the winners. I mean, I’ve occasionally – they’ve managed to get a hold of my email or they contact me through Facebook, but it’s always nice to hear, you know, gosh I’ve gotten so many, you know, it’s been such an advantage being on the show. I get contacted all the time now to do local things and, you know, blah, blah, blah. It’s really kind of fun. I’m so happy for the contestants because it’s such a great opportunity for them to advance their craft. So, I’m really happy that the show has been able to do that for so many artists.
Kyle Nolan: McKenzie, have you ever worked with your father or been interested in getting involved in the family business?
McKenzie Westmore: Oh, absolutely. There was a time when I was a teenager and I actually was taking my makeup classes and, you know, I around the same time had read an article where they were calling my dad the last of the living dinosaurs where they really ran every department. You know, everything from sketching to working in the lab to applying it on stage and on set. And it broke my heart when I read that article and so I started to take classes and I started to study and really I would help him out in the lab.
And after a while I just – I pulled my dad aside and I said, you know, I love what our family is about, I love what we do, I admire you and your work so much but I want to be an actress. I want to sing opera. I want to do, you know, a different – go in a different direction and he said are you kidding me, follow your dreams. That’s what I did, I followed what I wanted to – my dreams and I support you in whatever you want to do.
So yes, there was a time when I came very close into going into that direction, so I feel so lucky and blessed to be a part of Face Off because it’s like the best of all worlds for me. You know, I get to still do – I wouldn’t call it acting. Obviously, hosting but it’s still in a vain that I love and it’s in a world that I absolutely have so much admiration for. From what, you know, what my dad does and our judges, with Ve, with Glenn, with, you know, Patrick and Neville. You know, what they all do is just – every day is so impressive to me.
Kyle Nolan: Ve, has there ever been any talk about having the judges do a challenge against each other?
Ve Neill: Not yet. Oh, against each other. I don’t know if they could because I don’t know that we’re all – I don’t think we can all do all that stuff. So, I mean, Glenn could do it all because he, you know, runs a lab and stuff. But, you know, it’s been so many years since I’ve been in the lab and I don’t think…
McKenzie Westmore: I think you’d kick his butt, Ve. Come on.
Ve Neill: Huh? I could if I had to.
McKenzie Westmore: I think you’re underestimating yourself….You’re totally underestimating yourself. You would kick you know what
Ve Neill: I just prefer not to. The whole idea is really, truly frightening to me.
McKenzie Westmore: It is though, right.
Ve Neill: It’s really hard to have all that criticism going flinging around, you know, especially when you’re like over 40. You know, you don’t want to hear that stuff anymore.
McKenzie Westmore: You’re funny.
And here’s some of the questions other folks asked during the call:
Can you talk more about how the challenges are going to be different this year?
Ve Neill: Oh, wow. How they’re going to be different. Geez, there’s so many different ones. I mean, can we talk about…
McKenzie Westmore: Wouldn’t you say that we kind of went bigger and broader this year?
Ve Neill: We did go bigger and broader, I think. I think we have – and we’re seeing a lot more full body and all kinds of great things from our artists. It’s pretty amazing some of the things that – the opening show is going to be absolutely spectacular. We have some of the best talent we have had on the show in a long time. So, I’m pretty happy about that.
We have – one of our challenges was a Star Wars challenge, which was pretty great and…
McKenzie Westmore: That was amazing.
Ve Neill: Yes, that was pretty fun. And we did a Who challenge and Brian Grazer was our guest judge and it was pretty fun to have him there seeing as he was, you know, one of the producers on the film. So, it’s going to be pretty fun and terrific and there’s a lot of really great wonderful makeup you’re going to see this year.
When you’re judging, do you feel that it’s more important for them to follow the specifics of what you tell them or more important that they go outside the box? How do you draw that line of one over the other?
Ve Neill: Well, it’s important for them to follow the specifics of the challenge because sometimes, and it has come up, that we find two that are really, really spectacular make up and we literally judge it just by did they follow the challenge exactly.
So, you know, we can have a really spectacular make up but they’re missing part of the challenge. And, you know, and so when that – and when it comes to that, we have to really just say okay, well there both really great make up but this one follows the challenge precisely. And a lot of – you know, several times this has happened and we have had to choose the one that’s followed the challenge precisely.
So, I mean, that doesn’t mean that they can’t think outside of the box but they do have to incorporate all the elements of the challenge.
What are some of the challenges that we have to look forward to this season?
McKenzie Westmore: We have a lot of cool challenges this season. We start off with a bang of Star Wars. We have super heroes, we have dancing Chinese New Year dragons, we’ve teamed up with a charity, Kids Say Yes to the Arts, that was one of my personal favorites where children brought in sketches of monsters – 7-year-olds brought in sketches of monsters and teamed up with the contestants to bring their monsters to life. So there’s a good array this year.
Ve Neill: Yes, there’s a lot of different fun challenges this year and we’ve had some pretty spectacular guest judges with us as well.
What personal challenges did you face doing the show this season?
Ve Neill: Oh, well, I don’t know that I have any challenges. I really enjoy working on the show and I think it’s just fun to see, you know, all the creative work that’s done here and it’s really amazing.
I love seeing what the artists come up with, you know, every week and it’s truly a blessing to even be here. I mean, it’s just so much fun.
McKenzie Westmore: It really is. I mean, I know for myself there’s sometimes I feel like I get my own challenges when I’m doing some of the working with the contestants and explaining some of things. It really wasn’t anything I can think of with Season 3, but I do know in Season 2 we had the challenge of dangerous beauty and I have a horrible, horrible fear of bears. And they had that bear right behind me as I was announcing the challenge and I really kind of blacked out and don’t remember explaining most of the challenge to them because of that. You didn’t know that Ve, did you?
Ve Neill: No, we’re not privy to a lot of the stuff that goes on…I only get to stay the week.
McKenzie Westmore: I’m there every day, so that’s why there’s days where I feel like I’m getting my own challenge. I’m like, okay, what and I – what fear and I going to conquer today.
Ve Neill: I think you challenges are standing up on those dang high heels.
McKenzie Westmore: Yes, that’s true. That’s another good challenge for me, you’re right.
Ve, do you guys always agree or disagree, because you seem almost like you’re in agreement a lot of times in the judging?
Ve Neill: Well, you know sometimes, you know, it’s been we’ve, you know, we’ve come against each other but not – you know, usually, it’s pretty clear cut. Sometimes we think well, I like this one more but, you know, I understand why – where you’re coming from. And yes perhaps maybe that one is better because, you know, they followed the challenge more of they used – you know, we – they were supposed to do this and they did that and the other guy didn’t do it even though it’s a really great makeup.
So, you know, we wind up agreeing most of the time after we’ve had a chance to hash it out, you know. I don’t think we’ve ever really had any major disagreements because, as I said, sometimes it’s just very clear cut who, you know, the winner would be.
Could you talk more about the Cyborgs and the Pirates of the Caribbean challenges?
Ve Neill: The cyborgs was very cool. That was the one we had – was that where we had Gale Anne Hurd she came in for cyborg and that was an amazing challenge. That was really fun. They did some really interesting and different takes on cyborgs.
McKenzie Westmore: I’m picturing it right now. Oh my God, there were some amazing makeups in that one that I remember.
Ve Neill: Yes, it was pretty fun.
McKenzie Westmore: And the Pirates one, I know you guys loved the pirate one. There were some fun things that happened for you guy in the Pirates on, Ve.
Ve Neill: Yes, I mean, that’s always great to see pirate stuff. I, you know, I’m a big pirate fan, obviously
McKenzie Westmore: Obviously.
Ve Neill: They were, you know, the challenges are always so unique and it’s also so fun to see somebody else’s take on something you’ve done before. So, it was really fun. I, you know, I enjoy the show so much, it’s really refreshing to see somebody else’s, you know, work on something that you have, you know, obviously done and it was pretty entertaining, I got to say.
Are the cyborgs the same type that we see on Star Trek or are they different?
McKenzie Westmore: Yes, there were some similarities to some of – not necessarily – I mean, the Borg queen is an example that I do give them in their challenge as an inspiration. So they definitely had that direction to go in but they really went outside the box of what they would consider to be their own version of a cyborg, not necessarily the Borg queen of Star Trek. So there were some pretty amazing make ups that they did present to the judges that really, you know, encompassed what the challenge asked for.
Is there a film or show that has made you wonder how someone achieved a certain look?
Ve Neill: Wow. Gosh, that’s a pretty broad question. I’d have to really start thinking about that. Seeing as I know how they do most of the stuff. I’ve never really thought about how did they do that. Although, you know, with a lot of CGI stuff these days, it does make you stop and wonder, you know, occasionally about how did they integrate, you know, the CGI into the makeup. And that’s really cool, I wonder, you know, who set it up and, you know, how they figured it out. But, I’m not sure that I can think of anything right off the back like how’d they do that. Can you McKenzie?
McKenzie Westmore: Not – no, I’m kind of blank on that one.
Ve Neill: We’re just too damn smart I guess. That’s what happens when they take all the fantasy out of your work. When you already know how to – how they did that. It kind of takes all the fun out of it, doesn’t it.
McKenzie Westmore: That’s funny.
Could you talk more about the casting process?
Ve Neill: You know, I don’t really know because we’re not involved with the casting at all but McKenzie, do you know. I mean, I know they do a lot of interviews at all the different functions and try to find people. And I think eventually they have to do, like, some sort of makeup test or something to get in.
McKenzie Westmore: Exactly, they had to do a makeup on themselves and they also have to do an interview. I’ve – there’re a lot of – I know I’ve seen a lot of the videos even on YouTube from some…
Ve Neill: Yeah, I have too.
McKenzie Westmore: …that are – yes, it’s kind of fun to watch some of them to see…
Ve Neill: And some of them are pretty inventive, as well.
McKenzie Westmore: Yes, they are with what they come up with and what they use and what they – you know, how they go about creating a makeup on themselves.
Ve Neill: Yes.
McKenzie Westmore: But they, you know, they’ve have to showcase their personality and they have to showcase their talent. It’s a full package.
The premiere episode is 90 minutes, what can fans expect from that big debut?
McKenzie Westmore: We’ve got a – it opens up with a great foundation challenge to showcase the contestants’ talent and to show us a little bit about who they are. Sean Astin joins me as a gust judge with that one. Then we move into our big opening with Star Wars. So, I will let Ve take it from there as to what we saw on stage, because that was pretty amazing.
Ve Neill: Sorry, I almost dropped the phone. The Star Wars challenge was pretty fantastic. I mean, there was a lot of really great makeups and there was also a couple of surprises because some of our contestants are quite young and I was really surprised to find out that one of our young lady contestants had never even seen Star Wars.
McKenzie Westmore: We had a couple of them.
Ve Neill: Yet, he came up with a really fantastic, you know, kind of makeup. So, it -you know, a lot of times they can’t really explain why but they just, you know, some people just have the innate talent and it just happens without them even trying. So, it’s really kind of fun to see, you, people’s imaginations. I mean, to actually create, you know, an alien in the whimsical kind of fashion that when you’ve never seen the movie. I just–you know, we were all kind of dumbfounded. It was kind of actually a really fun moment. But, they – some of the makeups were just so much fun. I — you know, they were just amazing and I was excited to see them. It was just really, really a fun challenge.
How long does it does the reveal and elimination process actually take?
McKenzie Westmore: It takes a while. It takes more than two to three hours.
Ve Neill: Yes, we’re here several hours as well. And, you know, it happens over the course of the evening because – a question that we were asked earlier was, you know, what it, you know, the process and what do – do we know anything that goes on. And as I explained earlier to one of our other – one of the other interviewers is, we don’t actually ever really know what goes on except for what we actually see right on stage, which is, you know, really kind of great because we’re completely, you know, we don’t get tainted by anything that has gone on previously.
Like, we don’t know what goes on in the lab, except if we’re there doing a walkthrough we’ll see a little bit of stuff but not most – not very much. We don’t have any idea what goes on at the house or anything, so we actually can only do our judging by what we see in front of us. And, you know, we do have to question – you know, we’ll – we see a little bit of the makeups ahead of time while their doing their run-throughs.
And then we’ll go out on stage and then we see them in person and then we go up and we do a close up of it. And then, of course, we ask the artist, you know, in depth questions as to who was responsible for all the different, you know, for the different parts of the makeup. You know, who designed, you know, who created this, this did that, who made – you know, who make the wings, you know, whatever the character has on them. So, you know, we do try to, you know, get as much information from the contestants as possible so that we know who is responsible for which area.
And, you know, it’s very important when they’re doing challenges where they’re teamed up with each because you – that determines who is the winner of that team or the loser, as it may be. So, we do have quite an in-depth question and answer period with them. You know, you probably don’t get to see it all on air because it would talk too long. But, we’re pretty thorough with our, you know, with our questions to the contestants.
McKenzie Westmore: That is a lengthy process, for sure.
How has the dynamic changed on the judging panel with the addition of the new judge, with Patrick only there for a brief time?
Ve Neill: I don’t know that the dynamics itself has changed because Neville is also in the same field as Patrick, so we have that same creative juice flowing there. I mean, we have a, you know, designer, you know, creature designer production type designing person.
So, we still have that same – he still has that same, you know, — the same questions, let’s say, that Patrick would have. So, we still have that dynamic there with, you know, Glenn, who is the, you know, fabricator and myself, who’s the makeup artist and then the designer.
So we still have all that going and it’s working very smoothing, really well. You know, not that we don’t miss Patrick, because we do. But Neville has been an amazing addition to our panel and we’re very happy to have him because he is also, you know, quite a spectacular character himself and it’s really great to have him with us.
What aspect are there of Face Off that a young makeup artist or somebody who wants to get into makeup as a career can actually take from watching the series that might turn them on to this as a possible career?
Ve Neill: Well, I’ll let you answer McKenzie and then I’ll answer.
McKenzie Westmore: Okay. Well, I mean, yes, certainly we do get a lot of fan letters that have a lot of either parents coming up to me and saying, you know, I’m so grateful for this show because, you know, my child – my 10-year-old, my teenager, whatever it is, now knows what they want to do. They want to go into the world of makeup. Or even kids coming up saying that they love the who, that this is what they want to do. They found their calling.
It really is amazing for us to see it on our end of, you know, all the workings of the show and what it brings out in the contestants. From my point of view and what I deal with as opposed to what, like, Ve deals with on the judging side and truly looking at the artistry and the creativity of it. for me, I look at the personality and see how they’re working together as teams, as individuals, you know, because that is such a huge part of this industry is can you work in a lab, can you work on a set, can you – you have a, you know, a good enough personality to be able to either work individually or help, you know contribute to other people’s – someone else’s makeup. So, and then obviously, there is the artistry, which Ve I’ll let you go in on that.
Ve Neill: Well, I was going to start by talking about that as well. I mean, it’s really important that they know that it’s just not painting a face.
McKenzie Westmore: Right.
Ve Neill: You have to be able to, you know, run your – run a group of people to, you know, to actually get the makeup done. You know, you have to know how to speak in a group of people. You know, you have to know how to talk to them, not down to them, but to them. You know, everybody – it’s something that I don’t think a lot of people that have not been on the show, you know, especially because they’re working individually. They’re just little people that have been working on, you know, like in their garage or whatever and they’ve never actually had to work, like, on a team. And I think that that’s something that’s really important that happens lot on this show. You really see where people are going to have a weakness working on a team or working with a partner.
A lot of people don’t know how to delegate and a lot of people don’t know how to follow. They, you know, they want to kind of take over and not, you know – it’s just – it’s so important – I think that’s one of the most important things that I would think that somebody might learn from this show is how to work with somebody else and how to work with people, because it’s not a one man job. You know, this is – it’s teamwork and you have all know how to work tighter and get along together and know who’s -you know, it’s really good to be able to put a team together with people, you know, your short comings. You know, who’s good at making molds, I know we’re going to have to do big molds on this one.
We should have this person on our team. Who’s really [great at] sculpture, we should have this person. You know, they have to know how to delegate and how to hire. So, it’s kind of – -it kind of gives them a little bit of a glimpse of how to actually run, you know, a team of people to get the job done. And I think that’s probably one of the most important that. And obviously, how to get along, you know, just in general with other people, you know.
What advice would you give young would be makeup artists that want to get into the business or are maybe hoping to get onto show like Face Off at some point, in terms of the skills that they should be developing as an artist?
Ve Neill: Well, I think they sort of have to start developing everything because, as you can see on the show, you pretty much have to know how to do it all.
I’ve always said, oh my God if you put me on this show I’d probably flunk out the first week, because…
McKenzie Westmore: Oh, come on.
Ve Neill: …I mean, I’ve never had to do every single one of those jobs. I’ve don’t them individually but I’ve never done them all at once. And it’s very difficult, I mean, you have to really be able to know how to, you know, roll with the punches, as it were, and you really have to know a little bit of everything now.
It’s like I always say, I don’t want to work in a lab but I know everything there is to know pretty much about working in a lab and all the different products, because you have to in order to be able to do your job properly. So I think, you know, knowledge in general and just, you know, having a little bit across the board is really helpful, especially on this show. You know, it’s probably – a lot of people just have – just know enough to get themselves into trouble, as it were, but it’s definitely on this show because, you know, I think a lot of times the kids, when they’re in the lab, they kind of probably help each other, or say oh, don’t do that you should try that or…
McKenzie Westmore: Yes, they do.
Ve Neill: You know, I’m sure it’s not like a, you know, one off thing where everybody goes, I’m not going to tell anybody anything because I want to win, you know. I think there is a little bit of camaraderie that goes on there and I think they are supportive of each other because, you know, it’s like anything. You can tell somebody how to do something but, if they can’t do it, it doesn’t matter, you know. So it never hurts to get somebody a little advice, I always so.
McKenzie Westmore: You know, I always feel like some of the one that we see with a real strong sense of talent and a strong sense of person , really having a sense of who they are and what is their signature to what they do, are the ones that really have a good background in schooling. You know, coming from some of the makeup schools.
So I think it’s always a plus, as with any field. I mean, even I would say this when people come to me and they say, you know, how do I be an actor. And I would say, well study. You need to study and I think it’s very important that these people do take the time to do some of the training and just study and to learn the craft because it is, it’s business, it’s a craft. So, to take that time to learn at any age, it doesn’t matter when, it’s a talent that, you know, it’s innate and it’s also learned and it’s within everybody, I feel.
Ve Neill: Yes, I really think that school is really important now. There’s, you know, makeup has advanced so much that it’s really important to have schooling. There is just way too much to learn by yourself or even my asking questions.
McKenzie Westmore: Oh, yes.
Is there something that many of the contestants that come in are not familiar with or that they need to learn when they come on the show and a lot of them don’t?
Ve Neill: I don’t think a lot of the kids know how to airbrush and they attempt it and it comes off just being kind of messy.
McKenzie Westmore: Yes.
Ve Neill: But that’s schooling as well. That’s – there’s…
McKenzie Westmore: That’s schooling, exactly.
Ve Neill: Yes, it’s schooling, it’s, you know, it’s practicing. I mean, it’s like anything. If you don’t practice, you’re not going to get any better and a lot of people even if they go to school don’t get any better because they don’t practice, they stop when they get out of school.
It’s like, I – you know, it’s like I always tell everybody, it doesn’t matter if they’re not going to pay you for the job, go do it anyway because you need the experience.
McKenzie Westmore: Right.
Ve Neill: And I think experience is what wins this show, pretty much.
Ve, do you like when you create the makeups and then they add to it with CGI, or would you rather it just be straight makeup?
Ve Neill: Well, it would depend on the makeup and it – you know, a lot of times, I think CGI is a great enhancement to makeup. It depends on how it’s used. Like I just – you know Spiderman just came out and they used, you know, enhancement with CGI on that and, you know, I – they told me they were never going to see him change into the lizard so we – you know, I created these makeups and still enhanced it with like CGIs. So I was kind of oh, all right. Well, that’s cool. You know, I know they were going to have to see him turn into the lizard after all, you know, it wasn’t just going to happen on its own. So, it doesn’t really bother me.
I think CGI has its place and it can really be use, you know, as a great enhancement to makeup and I am not opposed to it at all.
Can you talk just a bit about working on Hunger Games?
Ve Neill: Which one, the first one or the one I’m about to do?
Well, if you can talk about the new, preferably the new one. But…
Ve Neill: Well, you know what, I don’t — I just actually had my first creative meeting with Francis Lawrence and he’s lovely. I did the film Constantine with him and he’s really a really terrific visionary so I think the next one’s probably going to be even more spectacular than the first one.
The first one was so much fun to work on and the kids were great. You know, everybody had a, you know, a really good time. It was a really positive atmosphere to be in and it was really fun to do the film and I was so happy that it was so successful because it does have such a great fan base and it would be really a bummer to not, you know, make the fans happy. And that was something that we were really concerned about.
We wanted to try to stay as close to the book as we could, you know, and still make it, you know, a good movie and, you know, something that was actually plausible within, you know, the realities of makeup and whatever. Because, you know, in the book it was so much crazier than we actually did it.
But I did some tests on things and it just didn’t look right. I mean, it’s one thing to imagine it on a page, but to actually put it into a 3-D visual, it just – some things just don’t work right. They look silly or too makeupy or, you know, something like that.
So Franc – I was very happy with the way the film came out and I think the next one’s going to be even more fun. There’s just so much more makeup effects in it. So much action. The script is absolutely fantastic and Francis yesterday said to me – I just flew to Atlanta yesterday to go talk to him and he said that – he said the scripts even going to get even better. So, I can’t hardly wait. I’m really looking forward to doing the next film as well and I think it’s going to be pretty – visually, I think it’s going to be really spectacular.
Assuming there is going to be a fourth season, can you guys say if production has actually started on that yet?
McKenzie Westmore: We are not at liberty to say anything. I know Syfy – I don’t even know how to really answer this except that Syfy will let everybody know as to what – which direction things are going in as soon as they can.
Last season RJ looked like the biggest fan of everybody that came, on this season is there one particular contestant who you would say is the biggest fan of Face Off?
Ve Neill: Yes.
McKenzie Westmore: Maybe Alana, do you think.
Ve Neill: God, you know, I don’t know. I’m trying to think of somebody that’s like really. I think everybody this season is kind of like – they’re all very dreamy like.
McKenzie Westmore: Yes, they are. They’re a very happy group.
Ve Neill: They’re a happy group. They’re all very respectful of us. They, I mean, they – yes, maybe Alana. She seems to be really, I don’t know. It’s almost like they’re being very respectful this year because they don’t – they’re afraid – now they’ve seen two seasons and they go, oh my God, I don’t want to say that. I don’t want to do that.