Adult Swim’s new incredibly funny, live-action series, “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell,” from “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” creator Dave Willis and “Squidbillies” writer Chris ’Casper’ Kelly tells the story of a Gary, a middle-management demon working in the corporate hell that is…Hell. The series follows the grief of Gary as he struggles with his overbearing boss (Satan), his kiss-up intern (Claude), and his mounting self-doubt and utter feeling of meaningfulness. All while, ya know, being in Hell. I chatted with “Your Pretty Face” stars Henry Zebrowski (Gary), Craig Rowin (Claude), and Matt Servitto (Satan) about their roles, being covered head-to-toe in red makeup, and more!
MTV Geek:Could each of you just run down who your characters are, and just tell me a little bit about each of them? Starting with Henry.
Henry Zebrowski: Hey, I’m Henry Zebrowski, I play Gary, who is a lovable—yet leaveable—demon in hell. The show follows Gary, who is just a little too nice to be in hell. We’re not really sure why he’s then there for some reason, but we do know that he is constantly being tortured by his boss, Satan, and one-upped by his intern Claude, played by…
Craig Rowin: Me! Craig Rowin, Hi! I play Claude on “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell,” and yeah, I’m the new…on the first episode I’m the new intern in hell. I’m Gary’s intern and I quickly start climbing the ladder, and I start working my charm on satan, and start basically stabbing Gary in the back and all for the love of satan.
Geek: And Matt?
Matt Servitto: And on that segway, I’m Matt Servitto and I play Satan; much to Henry’s chagrin it’s not a show about a guy name Gary, it’s a show about a guy named Satan who runs a little corporation called Hell and gets his rocks off torturing the people that work for him and enjoys a good cup of coffee. Once I started drinking the coffee, I really felt like I found the character.
Geek: How did each of you get involved with the show?
Zebrowski: I thankfully got an audition, and then I went and I auditioned for Dave and Chris in LA, and it was, it was great. It was kind of magic, I fell in love with them. I wish that they were my parents.
Servitto: I’m sure your real parents would love to hear that.
Rowin: I similarly auditioned for Dave and Chris and I’m a huge fan of those guys’ work, they created…or Dave co-created “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Squidbillies” and Chris has written for “Squidbillies” and a bunch of other Adult Swim shows. And I basically worked on the script, just rehearsed as much as possible for an audition which I usually don’t do, I usually begrudgingly go in, and I just, you know, showed them the goofs and the laughs, and then afterwards I just was like “Guys I love the script and I’m a huge fan, hire me or I’ll murder you,” and they did.
Zebrowski: Yeah that was important, that was an important thing, they don’t teach you that in acting school. And then a lot of times if you wanna get in there you must threaten the people who are in charge.
Servitto: And I have no story, I auditioned for the show and got the role. I wish, I really do I wish there was a great anecdote. I didn’t cook for them, I didn’t threaten them, I just auditioned for them. And they saw quality work, before me and after me, and I think wanted to find a mediocre actor to fit in with the other two mediocre actors that they hired and I think I fit right in. It’s a nice ensemble.
Geek: And Matt, you’ve done a lot of TV stuff, are you, I don’t think you’ve done anything in this shor–
Servitto: Read me, read me the list, read me the list
Geek: Hang on, let me bring up the very trusty IMDB and I will read everything for you.
Zebrowski: No, we know the list, we all heard the list…
Rowin:He’s done this with every interviewer, every interviewer he makes them do this. Don’t fall for it. He made me do this, he made me look over the IMDB when we met him…
Geek: How do you feel about working on the shorter format of the episodes, you know, typically you’re doing more regular TV—these are 11 minute episodes, how do you feel about working like that?
Servitto: Well I think the thing with comedy is actually shorter is better, the, you know, brevity. So often a lot of the shows on television, they’re usually about ten minutes too long. It’s funny for about ten minutes and then they have to fill a half an hour and then they have to put commercials in it and it really kind of waters down a lot of great talent, and it’s just a format that has been handed to us from long ago—a template that just doesn’t, I think for the most part, work anymore now that you have the Internet, some of the best comedy is being done in very short form, black out sketches on the internet, and in places like Adult Swim where they’re doing, you know, shorter episodes and more episodes and I think they translate easier to binge watching on the Internet, and as I said, I just feel like we don’t have to, we don’t have this gun to our head to stretch out these gags for a half hour, an hour at a time. But anyways, I love it. And also, it’s very hard to be in that make-up for a long time.
Rowin: And I’d just like to throw in there that, as Shakespeare says, “brevity is the soul of wit.”
Zebrowski: Also, did you know that Shakespeare invented the word “detective”?
Zebrowski: Actually, I think that’s Edgar Allan Poe. Aw, man, I’m so bad at these!
Servitto: Eddie, I’m sorry, we wanted you to know what it felt like to be sitting around set, as we do the show. It’s conversations like this that, you know—
Rowin: It’s like this, but unfortunately, on the phone you can’t see the ugly
Servitto: You can’t see our make-up, the red face and the horns, it’s so much funnier when you’re wearing demon make-up…
Zebrowski: Yeah we just put on our slippers and smile, man.
Geek: You’re all wearing the make-up right now, right? You guys just wear that all the time?
Geek: Yeah, I am too, actually, so it’s okay.
Zebrowski: That’s great.
Geek: And tell me about the make-up.
Rowin: The makeup, this is Craig, basically the two guys who do the makeup and do a lot of the physical effects that are not CGI are these guys Shane Morten and Chris Brown — and not the one that is a dancer and a singer — and they basically, every morning we get in a chair, they spray us with alcohol-based red paint for an hour, they glue our heads with horns, and they basically created the look of all that stuff and they’re pretty much evil geniuses, and we shoot the show in Atlanta and when you walk the streets of Atlanta these guys are like no joke celebrities, like when we would go out with them every fifteen steps people would be like “Shaneeee, what’s goin on man” because they’re very into the horror world down there and they’re pretty much visual badasses, it’s crazy.
Geek:And it must be uncomfortable working like that, how long are you in it all day?
Zebrowski: Well I will say that it did cause the many beautiful costume women to have to constantly tuck our pants in, tuck our shirts in, that was nice.
Rowin: I could not zip my pants at all, it was bad.
Servitto: You’re not allowed to, with the makeup on our hands you’re not allowed to touch anything, it could turn it red. So we had people that had to help us go to the bathroom, tuck our shirts in, wipe hair out of our face, so it really teaches you to keep your hands to yourself.
Zebrowski: It was like being a baby again, which is a relief.
Rowin: But so the weird thing was after a long day on set, we’d get the makeup off, and Matt would still ask me to help him in the bathroom.
Zebrowski: Well he did that to a number of waitresses, and the maids, and it was all over, he would point to–he’d have a “Sopranos” DVD hanging out of his pants.
Servitto: I’d have to say weeks after we wrapped the show, I was still sweating pink. My sweat was pink for weeks after we wrapped cause that makeup was deep, deep in. We all stayed in the same hotel in Atlanta when we were shooting, and invariably we would ruin our sheets and all of our towels every single night and I think our maid thought we had some weird occult sex triangle going on between the three of us…
Zebrowski: I mean, we did- it had nothing to do with the sheets.
Servitto: Yeah, that’s ridiculous why they would, yeah.
Rowin: We kept that clean.
Geek: And you guys have done six episodes?
Zebrowski: That’s right
Geek: And will you do more?
Zebrowski: We have to get the American people to ask for more to come.
Servitto: We’re pretty sure, I think there’s a good chance that we’re going, you know, to do more, and we are finished, we are wrapped on the first season, have been for a while, they took a lot of time in post-production, there’s a lot of production value to the show that took months and months to do, and so we’re on hiatus, and hopefully we’ll be back soon making more.
Geek:Great, all right. Well thank you very much for taking the time to do this, I appreciate it.
Zebrowski: Thank you for having us.
“Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell” airs Thursdays at Midnight on Adult Swim.