How Fallout's Walton Goggins Transformed Into The Ghoul - Looper (2024)

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How Fallout's Walton Goggins Transformed Into The Ghoul - Looper (1)

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ByNina Starner/

On April 10, Amazon Prime dropped the entire first season of the highly anticipated video game adaptation "Fallout," and audiences finally got their first good look at Walton Goggins' character. When they did, they were probably blown away by his intricate prosthetics and makeup; the "Righteous Gemstones" star is completely transformed as the lone ranger known as the Ghoul.

In actuality, Goggins plays not one, but two characters on "Fallout." In flashbacks to 2077 — the year that the world was destroyed by the Great War and countless nuclear bombs — we watch as Goggins' former TV star Cooper Howard grapples with the fact that his wife Barb (Frances Turner) works with a suspicious company called Vault-Tec. As she prepares for a potential nuclear disaster and readies vaults (which are filled with dark secrets)so that some people can survive the apocalypse, Cooper grows more and more concerned ... which brings everything back to the series' first scene, where Cooper and his daughter Janey (Teagan Meredith) stare down one of the first nuclear blasts.

So how did Goggins transform into the Ghoul, a merciless bounty hunter and gunslinger who wanders the wasteland? According to the actor — who appeared digitally at the Deadline Contenders Television panel for "Fallout" — the experience was "extremely anxiety provoking" and led to him figuring out how to move his face and mouth with a ton of prosthetics and retainers that effectively erased his real teeth. "When I put in the retainers, these things that kind of covered these pearly white teeth, I couldn't speak. I couldn't get the words out," Goggins said. "I couldn't get the words out."

Walton Goggins says it took him hours and hours to become the Ghoul

How Fallout's Walton Goggins Transformed Into The Ghoul - Looper (2)

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During the Deadline panel, Walton Goggins said — alongside fellow actorsElla Purnell and Aaron Moten, showrunners Geneva Robertson-Dworet and Graham Wagner, and the show's production designer Howard Cummings — that it originally took five hours to turn him into the Ghoul, between the retainers and prosthesis (the latter of which turns his nose into a hollow, skeletal version of itself). Despite his initial anxiety, "The Shield" actor explained that he and Vincent Van Dyke, the show's prosthetics designer, managed to bring that five hour timeframe down to just two hours, and Goggins finally figured out how to play the Ghoul."So we got over all of that," he concluded.

Goggins also appeared on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" to promote the show in March, and told the late night host that the series worked hard to make sure the Ghoul wasn'ttoo intolerable to look at."We wanted him to be attractive, you know, we wanted the audience to kind of lean into his look and not be kind of repulsed by it," Goggins told Meyers. "And so I said, could you do Kris Kristofferson if he were 250 years old and had been walking the wasteland, and had been drinking all night?"

Plus, Goggins told Meyers that he's that much more grateful for his real face now. "I have so much gratitude for my nose," the actor said. "You wake up in the morning, you go, 'oh, I love you, you're so beautiful.'"

Walton Goggins' role in Fallout is yet another high-profile turn for the actor

How Fallout's Walton Goggins Transformed Into The Ghoul - Looper (3)

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These days, Walton Goggins is more in demand than ever and his major role on "Fallout" is just further proof of that. The character actor is known for a ton of projects, including "Justified" and "The Shield," and in recent years his profile has only grown; he even officially joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2018 in "Ant-Man and the Wasp."Goggins currently lends his voice to "Invincible," the popular animated superhero series also available on Amazon Prime, and he's also a featured player on the raucous HBO comedy "The Righteous Gemstones" as Baby Billy Freeman.

The reason that Goggins couldn't physically appear at the Deadline panel is also thanks to another major project — Season 3 of Mike White's award-winning anthology series "The White Lotus," which is bringing its third season to a fictional luxury resort in Thailand. As of this writing, nobody knows exactly who Goggins is playing on "The White Lotus," but hopefully, he's better looking than the Ghoul.

The entire first season of "Fallout" is available on Prime Video now.


How Fallout's Walton Goggins Transformed Into The Ghoul - Looper (2024)


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