Watch Walton Goggins Transform Into FALLOUT’s The Ghoul

Prime Video’s Fallout series has now been released, which means we can dive deep into the show and its mysteries. But even before fans knew anything at all about this Fallout adaptation, one character attracted a lot of attention. And that character is Walton Goggins’ The Ghoul. Losing his nose and ears and gaining a whole lot of weathering, Walton Goggins becomes unrecognizable as he steps into Fallout‘s world. Incredibly, the Fallout series used practical effects and makeup to alter Goggins’ appearance completely. To help us fully appreciate what went into this change, the actor shared a timelapse of the process, and it’s really stunning. You can watch Walton Goggins transform into The Ghoul in the video below.

Walton Goggins Shares a Timelapse Video of His Transformation Into The Ghoul

In Fallout, ghouls are human creatures who are transformed by radiation. The radiation their bodies absorb allows them to survive for a long time in the wasteland of Fallout‘s universe. However, it also completely transforms their appearance. In the Fallout series, we can really see the impact of ghoulifcation clearly thanks to Walton Goggins’ portrayal of both The Ghoul and his former self, Cooper Howard. When playing Cooper Howard in flashbacks, Goggins looks like his normal charming self. But when we visit with The Ghoul in the Wasteland, we see a different figure altogether.

Walton Goggins becomes The Ghoul in timelapse video of practical makeup transformation
Walton Goggins

Goggins shared that the practical transformation into The Ghoul was both an aesthetic and emotional experience. He noted, “The thing I was most surprised about, other than actually seeing it come to life whenever we got to these sets, I didn’t anticipate how lonely it would be for me as the Ghoul… It was a process. When I first walked out of the trailer, people either couldn’t take their eyes off you or didn’t want to look at you at all. I felt very closed in that experience. I was just alone inside of this guy’s head.”

Walton Goggins Ghoul on Fallout
Prime Video

While that sounds like a tough spot to be in, the literal act of transforming into The Ghoul seems to have helped Goggins to embody the character. This also reminds us just how much each part of a production contributes to the story of its finished product. Additionally, it speaks to the incredible level of skill the FX makeup team on Fallout possesses. Goggins shared that makeup artist Jake Garber managed to reduce the process of becoming The Ghoul from five hours to under two. Watching the timelapse video, two hours seems like a wildly short time to bring The Ghoul to life.

Another Look at Walton Goggins Becoming The Ghoul via Makeup and FX

Prime Video also shared a featurette which offers us another look at the incredible transformation that takes place as makeup and skill help Walton Goggins become The Ghoul.

Makeup artist Jake Garber shares, “I love doing character makeup, and I do kind of look at this as something along those lines.” Meanwhile, Jonathan Nolan adds some insight into why The Ghoul’s look is so successful. He notes, “The makeup was still thin enough that you can see all the expressiveness of [Walton Goggins’ performance but also textured real enough to capture the look and feel of The Ghoul.”

Walton Goggins transforming into Fallout's The Ghoul via makeup and FX
Prime Video

Hilariously, Goggins noted that he scared himself after transforming into The Ghoul. He shared, “There was one time when we were in Namibia, I was so exhausted, and I had this stuff on… and I woke up from a very strange nap, and I happened to be sleeping in front of this mirror, and I woke up, and I was like “OH MY GOD. Goddamn. Like it really freaked me out. I scared the sh*t out of myself, is what I’m saying.”

Walton Goggins’ Wasn’t Sure If The Ghoul’s Fallout Makeup Would Work

Walton Goggins additionally shared with Deadline that initially, his Fallout transformation into The Ghoul intimidated him. He noted, “The very first time we did the application (of his mask), I asked to be left alone for an hour and a half outside and Jonah (Nolan) came by… I just sat outside by myself and just photographed it like in the sun and in the shade. I was extremely intimidated but excited to see how this Ferrari would work. And then the very first day of filming, I was extremely insecure. It was extremely uncomfortable. And I didn’t know what the audience was seeing and what they weren’t seeing.”

But Nolan set Goggins at ease. Goggins reveals, “I said, ‘Man, do you see this? Are you understanding what’s happening inside?’ And he said, ‘We got it. We see it all. It’s all in your eyes, man. Just do whatever you want. You have the freedom to do what you want.’ And then once I settled into that, I had him, because it was so well-defined by what they wrote.” 

The Eyes Were Key to Fallout‘s Ghoul

Goggins and the rest of the Fallout team did feel it was very important for the Ghoul to retain some human aspects. Goggins reveals, “We kept working with the pieces, and Vincent made them thin enough where you know that it’s me and you can see my face and you know what he’s thinking just by looking in his eyes.” And adds, “At one point, we talked about using contact lenses. I went to the doctor and we had them made and put them in, I think, the very first time we did the first application, and immediately, we all looked at it and said, ‘This isn’t right. All of a sudden, you become non-human. We have to see your eyes.’ And so that was a big part of it right out of the gate.”

Maybe someday, the Fallout series will present The Ghoul with a ghoulification cure that will allow him to transform back into a human. For now, we’ll just play Walton Goggins’ timelapse transformation video backward and imagine what it’ll be like for The Ghoul to have a nose again.

Originally published on April 22, 2024.

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