Nicotero led the zombie apocalypse in the first season of “The Walking Dead” then stepped beyond his makeup role to take on tasks as writer, director and executive producer in season two. “It’s been a fascinating turn in the last three years,” says Nicotero. “I’m also working on original content.” In addition to “The Walking Dead,” he designed makeup effects for films such as “The Grey” and one of “Breaking Bad’s” most explosive images. “Vince Gilligan is great to collaborate with; he has a child-like glee for this kind of stuff,” Nicotero says. Alongside continuing work on “The Walking Dead” and upcoming features “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” and “Seven Psychopaths,” Nictoero’s studio, KNB EFX Group, celebrates 25 years, with recent projects featured in “Oz the Great and Powerful” and “Django Unchained.”
The word “flexible” best describes Anderson’s recent work, from the makeup effects created for “Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol” to the creature effects in “Cabin in the Woods” to Steve Carell’s makeup in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” While the two-time Oscar winner primarily supervises teams, he maintains a hand in makeup application. “Being a father and knowing how quickly things can go wrong I always choose the children. In ‘Cabin in the Woods’ I had to glue a gaping maw over a little girl’s face. I wanted to make it fun for her.” Upcoming projects for Anderson’s AFX Studio include work on “Lawless.” He’s also the designer and makeup department head on J.J. Abrams’ untitled “Star Trek” sequel and is looking forward to applying Spock’s makeup.