On ‘Warm Bodies’ Set, We Become Undead For The Day

MTV News' Christina Garibaldi transforms into a zombie on film's Montreal set.

MONTREAL — The thought of being in a major motion picture conjures bright lights, stylish clothes and a good-looking co-star. Well, that dream recently came true for me … minus most of the glamour.

For my movie debut, I was transformed into a zombie — yes, a brain-eating, corpse-like figure — for the new flick “Warm Bodies.”

Back in November 2011, I traveled to the set of “Warm Bodies,” which is based on Isaac Marion’s novel that follows the story of R, played by Nicholas Hoult , as he develops a special relationship with a human in a postapocalyptic world.

Unfortunately, I was not the one to capture Hoult’s heart in the movie; that honor belongs to Teresa Palmer. But I did get to act alongside the lead zombie, who gave me some helpful tips on becoming “zombie-fied.”

“The thing we are trying to stay clear of is overdoing it,” Hoult explained. “It’s just like your body’s real tired and heavy, just kind of slump around, you know, on your way back to the club, and your momentum is more carrying you than anything else.”

But it’s not just the movements you have to nail down; it’s the look as well. After hours of intense makeup, which included the application of scars and pronounced veins, I was painted with dirt on both my clothes and in my hair, and completed the look by swallowing brown food coloring to make my mouth look, zombie-like. In other words, I was ready for my close-up.

Before the big scene, which is featured in the first four minutes of the film, director Jonathan Levine provided some last-minute tips to accurately portray a zombie.

“It’s kind of in your eyes,” Levine explained. “You have to be this trapped soul trying to get out, kind of like dead eyes, but still a flicker of life.”

However, there are some things to stay away from when pretending to be a member of the undead, and luckily, Rob Corddry, who plays R’s zombie best friend in the movie, was there to lend a hand.

“When you feel the camera is on you, look right at it and wink,” Corddry quipped. “If you want to get cut out of the movie, that’s what you do.”

“Warm Bodies” is in theaters now.

Check out everything we’ve got on “Warm Bodies.”


Christina Garibaldi has been an on-camera reporter for MTV News since 2011. When not interviewing or writing about her favorite stars, she keeps herself busy with baby animal videos and boy bands.
@ChristinaMTV