“The Walking Dead” on AMCtv.com
It’s Monday, which means AMC has released a new “Dispatch from the Set” of “The Walking Dead.” This week costume designer Eulyn Womble describes how to make fake pus and chooses her ideal wardrobe for the zombie apocalypse.
Q: Any big wardrobe changes this season? Do our survivors finally get a fresh set of clothes?
A: They never get a fresh set of clothes. [Laughs] It wouldn’t be “The Walking Dead” if they looked clean… Maggie is much much tougher this year. She’s left the whole farmgirl thing behind. Nothing cute or frilly anymore. Daryl is also changed. This season he has a poncho. It’s not quite Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It’s got a little bit more edge than that.
Q: What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned since Season 1 about dressing the cast and the walkers?
A: In Season 1 the walkers had a lot more personality. We made them individual. As the story progresses, we’re trying to turn them into a herd, with one mind. So you’ll find that when we dress them, the tops and bottoms match, so it’s gray on top, gray on bottom so they melt away and blend together. In the cast, from the first season to now, they didn’t know if this whole apocalypse thing was going to last. They had more hope that it would just fix itself, and they were clinging desperately onto who they were, onto their jewelry, their fancy little earrings and sandals. Now they know they have to be prepared.
Q: Greg Nicotero told us that the walkers are becoming more decayed and putrefied over time. Are their clothes getting more decayed as well?
A: Absolutely, they are. If you look closely, you’ll actually see pus [on their clothes]. We actually paint it on. We’ve got the clothes more tattered, but they’re rotting from the inside. And I’ve said this before: I really do want the audience to smell them when you see them on camera. We try to make them as gross as possible.
Q: What’s the pus made of?
A: Paint. It’s different colors that we mix up to match the clothing that we create… We’re like, “add more pus” or “add more blood.” Blood is a huge deal on the set as well. They’re all different and they’re all labeled, and it’s very specific how we know what’s fresh zombie blood, what’s old zombie blood, what’s fresh human blood, what’s old human blood.
Q: You burned some of the walkers’ clothes with a blowtorch last year. Got any new gadgets to beat up the clothes?
A: We’ve got some specially made graters that we had made by construction. Very dangerous. They look like cheese graters, but more hardcore, attached to wooden pedals. It’s a hell of a tool.
Q: What can you tell us about Michonne’s wardrobe? Where did you find her cape?
A: Oh my gosh. So much fun to do… I didn’t want to get too futuristic with the cape. That’s why we used burlap. I think it just adds nice texture and a great silhouette. Her boots are amazing. They have studs on them. Everything she has can be used to kill zombies.
Q: How about the Governor?
A: [David’s] gorgeous and he has a presence. He doesn’t need a whole lot. I wanted him to look like the everyman but with a little bit of edginess. He has a couple of signature pieces that look like modern day armor I suppose. He has a vest… and then I’ve introduced a coat. I [want people] to question why he has too many nice things compared to what his people have.
Q: You’re originally from Cape Town, South Africa, home of the Great White Shark. Do you have an opinion on the infamous Shark vs. Zombie battle in the Italian film Zombie? Who should win?
A: [Laughs] I think probably the zombie because they just don’t stop. The shark is practically prehistoric so it probably doesn’t know to bite it in the head, to pierce it right in the brain to stop it. It would probably swallow the zombie whole and get eaten from the inside out.
Q: If you were living in a zombie apocalypse, what items of clothing would you never leave home without?
A: Hershel’s pants, Michonne’s vest, Maggie’s tank top, and it would be a toss up between Glenn’s boots and Michonne’s boots because they’re both pretty hardcore. And Dale’s hat!
“The Walking Dead” returns for a third season on Sunday, October 14th.
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