Actor Zachary Quinto recently spoke on his portrayal of Charlie Manx for AMC’s upcoming series, NOS4A2, which is an adaptation of Joe Hill’s (Stephen King’s son) third novel. The horror series will follow a young artist named Victoria “Vic” McQueen, who discovers that she has the ability to track Charlie Manx — a supernatural entity who feeds off the souls of children and leaves them in Christmasland for eternity.
Quinto worked in close collaboration with special makeup designer Joel Harlow, who is also responsible for the character and creature designs in the recent Star Trek films. With his team, Harlow created each version (ages 65 -100) of Manx’s character through simultaneous sculpting stages, where they could gauge how much to add to each one. Once finished, the sculptures were “broken down into key pieces, including the cheeks, nose, neck, forehead, ears and even hands, with molds fashioned to generate silicone prosthetics.”
“Most of the silicone appliances overlap each other in a very specific way so that when you’re finished gluing everything on, it’s a matter of painting and adding contact lenses. The makeup technique is very similar throughout all of the stages,” Harlow explained. “It’s just that the sculptures are different.”
“There are five phases of [Manx’s] aging process,” Quinto added. “We isolated what each of those phases would be, so I was able to adopt specific physical characteristics that would correlate with each one and become progressively more grotesque and decrepit.”
Despite taking some creative liberties, Harlow’s team also gained inspiration from different elements present in the source material: “His teeth are deteriorated, yellowed and broken, as are his fingernails, and they get progressively more so over time,” Harlow mentioned. Adding although some elements were more extreme, they may be necessary to convey the level of desired “realism — otherwise he would just stand out too much.”
“It’s really important to understand from a psychological perspective … the horrific nature of the trauma he experienced as a child,” further explained Quinto. “If we as human beings don’t deal with trauma … and emotional wounds don’t get healed, they live in places in our bodies. So the oldest versions of Manx are these incredibly twisted and decrepit, locked-in expressions of what he didn’t face and what he didn’t process in his younger life.”
Below the official trailer can be viewed: