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'Face Off' exit Q&A: 'I'm not disappointed'

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Image Credit: Nicole Wilder/Syfy

Last night on Face Off, contestants were tasked with making creatures that could do the sand dance don’t you know (oh whey oh) and have a graveyard smash. Well, there actually wasn’t much dancing like an Egyptian or monster mashing, but there were some pretty foreboding mummies – this week’s challenge was to create an Evil Dead-inspired, mummified Egyptian god.

Though judge Glenn Hetrick offered some sincere praise for all of the makeups, ultimately David Greathouse (better known by the nickname “House”) was eliminated for his take on the Egyptian god Thoth. The judges criticized the makeup for its gold color, for the execution of transferring Thoth’s tablet inscriptions to his chest and for a mask that looked more Venetian than Egyptian.

EW talked with House about what went wrong with his makeup, his favorite work on the show, and what happens on those long van rides during the Face Off field trips.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: All of the remaining contestants are men. How did the vibe in the lab (and in the house) change when it got down to the final five?
DAVID “HOUSE” GREATHOUSE: Yeah, we knew we were getting close, and we knew that the five remaining guys were really top-notch guys. We had a feeling that it was going to come down to us. Then it was one more, one more. So one of us was going to go home. All five of us, we thought, were incredible artists. I was in a good club of guys. Even if I was going to be sent home, each one of us felt we were all extraordinary.

If you had the chance to do this challenge over again, what would you have done differently?
My model was a large man, very muscular man, and when I picked the model, I thought that I was in a little bit of trouble immediately, seeing how muscular he was. Ideally you want a very slim person for this type [of makeup]. I picked a larger model. That was strike number one. Number two thing that I would do differently – I thought my Egyptian headdress was a little basic. It wasn’t as cool as it could have been. I thought the nose could have come out longer. Some of my sculpting was a little rough on the chest. The hieroglyphics could have been more defined. And then I got another strike on the gold paint job – that was sort of a last-minute decision that I thought was going to work in my favor, but that actually worked against me, so I probably would have stuck with my more pale tones [rather] than using the gold. But ultimately, I still like it. I still like the look of it. I’m not disappointed with that character.

It was exciting to see you guys go to Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre. Had you been there before?
Yes, I have been there several times, and I do love it. The challenge really was up my alley. I love mummies and I love Evil Dead. I loved all of the challenges, but particularly this one, mixing the Egyptian god with Evil Dead.

I’m guessing that the trips to places like the Egyptian and Comic-Con were briefer than you would have liked, but still fun.
Absolutely, yes. Just visiting Comic-Con, as quick as it was, was great. Anytime we got to do a little field trip, whether it was going to the ocean or going to an old church, going to the Egyptian Theatre, all of them were very exciting. ’Cause you never know where you’re going. You get into the van, and everyone’s making guesses on where we’re headed.

The viewers never get to see those van rides on the show. What are those like?
It’s always very exciting, actually, the van rides, because everyone is guessing, “What’s our next challenge? Where are they going with this?” So we’re trying to predict what we’re going to do. Most of the time, we’re completely wrong. But it’s always very exciting when you’re starting that new challenge because you’re always very optimistic. It’s sort of a fresh start. You never know what they’re going to throw at you. I really enjoyed all the challenge ideas and wherever they’d take us on those little field trips.

What’s the van ride from the location where you get your assignment back to the lab like? Are the contestants allowed to work on their sketches then?
No, drawing pads are taken from us, but we are brainstorming to ourselves. It’s kind of a quiet ride. At that point everyone is really inside of their heads [thinking about] how they’re going to approach this challenge. So we’re kind of scheduling our time, we’re sort of sculpting in our head, and really visualizing what the character’s going to look like. So most of us are quiet on the way back. All of us are sort of locked into our own heads, pre-designing the characters.

Which of your makeups are you most proud of?
I liked several of them, but I have to say the number one that I get [feedback] from and that I guess have my best feelings for was Sweet Tooth Suzy from the candy challenge. That one really resonated with a lot of fans just because it was so bizarre and a little different, and the big mouth in the belly was a little humorous and shocking at the same time. That one was my favorite. I also had a great time doing the two-headed giant challenge with Wayne [Anderson] as my partner. I really liked that because we worked at the same speed and it was just great working with another talented artist.

What were some of your favorite off-camera moments?
Off-camera memories that I really enjoyed was just being in the backyard. We had a great view overlooking the San Fernando Valley. We would love to just go outside and soak up the atmosphere. We were really perched high on the mountain. You can see from downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena all the way crossing the valley. That part was wonderful. Also, there’s a little web video that they made of Wayne’s gym. I enjoyed working out in our makeshift gym in the garage. We just took C-stands and five-gallon buckets filled with dirt and grip equipment and we actually fashioned that into a gym. So that was one of the things that we enjoyed doing on the days off.

What have you been working on since you were eliminated?
I finished a movie called All Cheerleaders Die. We filmed that in Los Angeles, and that’s from directors Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson. That’s in post-production as we speak. I went straight into that [from Face Off]. There was a mix of straight makeup and special effects makeup. And I’m currently designing new masks for the rock and roll group Mushroom Head. I do all of their theatrical masks and stage shows.

Have you been watching Face Off as it airs?
Yeah, I tune in every Tuesday night. I work with Robert Kurtzman at [Crestline, Ohio effects studio] Creature Corps, so we have our Tuesday Face Off parties here. It’s always great to see the whole gang. There’s a lot of yelling and excitement and clapping and booing. We turn it into a little viewing party, and that’s always enjoyable. I have a great time re-living it. Even the stumbles that you make that may embarrass you at the moment just seem humorous and light-hearted to me. I took it all with a laugh and [as] just another good experience in life.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmilyNRome

Read more:
‘Face Off’ exit interviews: Meagan Hester and Eric Zapata on double elimination week
Michael Westmore on ‘Star Trek,’ 2013′s Oscar makeup nominees and mentoring on ‘Face Off’
‘Face Off’ season 3 winner Q&A: ‘I’m definitely not done. There’s a lot more in store for me.’

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