Why The Strain's Makeup Removal Process Is A Complete Nightmare

Warning: Season 1 of The Strain is spoiled in this article. If you're not caught up to at least Episode 10 - “Dear Ones”, certain plot points are going to be spoiled. You've been warned.

Earlier this month, FX's The Strain hit New York Comic Con with a party celebrating the Blu-ray release for Season 1. While there, I was able to interview Natalie Brown, the actress playing Kelly Goodweather - ex-wife (and now ex-human) estranged from Corey Stoll's Eph Goodweather. Some would think that the most horrifying fate on a vampire show is, of course, being turned into one of the undead. However, it sounds like we've had it wrong all the long, as Kelly's fate meant that Brown was heading to the one place actors dread: the makeup chair.

The makeup that's required to turn countless actors into the many Strigoi on The Strain involves quite a labor intensive process, and while it's a pain to get all of the pieces glued and layered, Brown says it is all worth it.

"3.5 hours of the application process. Half an hour to glue this lid of mine down, and another three hours of prosthetics, painting, airbrushing...[it's] such beautiful artistry that the artists do.”

However, all of that artistry is meant to last a whole day of shooting, which means that when it's time to go home, it's going to take a lot of effort to turn Brown and her undead colleagues back into someone who can go home at night without getting weird looks from strangers. Confirming as much, Natalie Brown says, “The removal process is not so fun."

“[It takes] a lot of patience. Usually by the time you wrap, it's ended a long day at midnight and everybody wants to get the hell out of there and go home. But you can't rush the process, because otherwise you'll just tear the skin. So it's a lot of patience, yeah... loving, tender care."


Although Natalie Brown has been on Syfy's occasionally makeup heavy Being Human, she has also always played a human. So despite the arduous process of application and even more nightmarish removal, she was still "very excited to finally have the opportunity to explore the dark side" and get her "monster on."

As for whether we'll see the continuing adventures of Kelly Goodweather: Maternal Bloodsucker, Natalie Brown couldn't say anything “officially.” Unofficially, she knows how big of a part Kelly plays in the next two books, through both possible flashbacks and her service to The Master in trying to lure Zach into their clutches. So yeah, there's a good change that Brown will see the makeup chair yet again when The Strain goes back into production for Season 2 at some point in the near future.

The Strain will be back at some point in 2015, and if the show's schedule follows this year's trajectory, we'll probably see it during the summer. In the meantime, you can re-watch all of the episodes on FXNow, as well as purchase season 1 on Blu-ray and DVD on December 2nd.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.