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Vietnamese woman transforms ordinary actors into terrifying zombies

Vietnamese woman transforms ordinary actors into terrifying zombies

Saturday, October 22, 2022, 16:00 GMT+7
Vietnamese woman transforms ordinary actors into terrifying zombies
Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang, also known as Fiona, does makeup for a zombie movie. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang, a resident of Ho Chi Minh City, made her first foray into prosthetic makeup about 10 years ago after being inspired while playing an extra in a local movie.

Prior to entering the film industry, Hang’s makeup experience had been mainly limited to wedding makeup.

Over the past ten years, however, Hang has developed into a prolific prosthetic makeup artist, working on such films as Doat Hon (Hollow), Nuoc (2030), Trai Tim Quai Vat (The Instrument of Murder), Cu Lao Xac Song (Lost in the Mekong Delta),and the American monster film Kong: Skull Island.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang does makeup for a zombie movie. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang does makeup for a zombie movie. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

According to Hang, also known as Fiona, it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to six hours to do the makeup for a single actor or actress.

“I can do casual makeup, turn a young man into a senior citizen, and even create zombies,” Hang said.

“I learned how to do prosthetic makeup by myself during every movie I worked on. Every film has its own characters, so it’s always a learning experience.

“Vietnam had no school for prosthetic makeup when I first started my career, so I had to learn on my own and learn from those with more experience than me.”

According to Hang, one of the most important aspects of her job is understanding each actor’s skin type and how active they are in the film.

Such understandings help ensure that the makeup she does stays intact for as long as possible.  

“Hang is a highly skilled expert,” said Ngoc Tuan, an actor who played a zombie in Lost in the Mekong Delta.

“She is very professional and able to control the details from colors, hair, lens and more.”

Hang (left) speaks with an actor about his zombie makeup. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang (left) speaks with actor Ngoc Tuan about his zombie makeup. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang fixes a piece of silicon meant to resemble a zombie bite. In the past, when Hang had little access to high-grade materials, she used rice paper soaked in water to create wounds. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang fixes a piece of silicon meant to resemble a zombie bite. In the past, when Hang had little access to high-grade materials, she used rice paper soaked in water to create wounds. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang attaches a piece of silicon to mimic a zombie bite on an actor’s neck. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang attaches a piece of silicon to mimic a zombie bite on the actor’s neck. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
It takes Hang ten minutes to create a zombie bite on the neck of the actor. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
It takes Hang ten minutes to create a zombie bite on the neck of the actor. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang uses cotton wool to create a sore on an actor's face. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang uses cotton wool to create a sore on the actor's face. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang uses a brush to splash fake blood on an actor’s wound. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang uses a brush to splash fake blood on the actor’s wound. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang puts white contact lenses to mimic sclera on an actor’s eyes as she transforms him into a zombie. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang puts white contact lenses to mimic sclera on the actor’s eyes as she transforms him into a zombie. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
A finished zombie transformed by Hang in about 45 minutes. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
A finished zombie transformed by Hang in about 45 minutes. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang (right) poses for a selfie with actor Ngoc Tuan (center) after she turns him into a zombie with her makeup techniques. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang (right) poses for a selfie with actor Ngoc Tuan (center) after she turns him into a zombie with her makeup techniques. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

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Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang, a resident of Ho Chi Minh City, made her first foray into prosthetic makeup about 10 years ago after being inspired while playing an extra in a local movie.

Prior to entering the film industry, Hang’s makeup experience had been mainly limited to wedding makeup.

Over the past ten years, however, Hang has developed into a prolific prosthetic makeup artist, working on such films as Doat Hon (Hollow), Nuoc (2030), Trai Tim Quai Vat (The Instrument of Murder), Cu Lao Xac Song (Lost in the Mekong Delta),and the American monster film Kong: Skull Island.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang does makeup for a zombie movie. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Nguyen Thi Thanh Hang does makeup for a zombie movie. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

According to Hang, also known as Fiona, it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to six hours to do the makeup for a single actor or actress.

“I can do casual makeup, turn a young man into a senior citizen, and even create zombies,” Hang said.

“I learned how to do prosthetic makeup by myself during every movie I worked on. Every film has its own characters, so it’s always a learning experience.

“Vietnam had no school for prosthetic makeup when I first started my career, so I had to learn on my own and learn from those with more experience than me.”

According to Hang, one of the most important aspects of her job is understanding each actor’s skin type and how active they are in the film.

Such understandings help ensure that the makeup she does stays intact for as long as possible.  

“Hang is a highly skilled expert,” said Ngoc Tuan, an actor who played a zombie in Lost in the Mekong Delta.

“She is very professional and able to control the details from colors, hair, lens and more.”

Hang (left) speaks with an actor about his zombie makeup. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang (left) speaks with actor Ngoc Tuan about his zombie makeup. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang fixes a piece of silicon meant to resemble a zombie bite. In the past, when Hang had little access to high-grade materials, she used rice paper soaked in water to create wounds. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang fixes a piece of silicon meant to resemble a zombie bite. In the past, when Hang had little access to high-grade materials, she used rice paper soaked in water to create wounds. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang attaches a piece of silicon to mimic a zombie bite on an actor’s neck. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang attaches a piece of silicon to mimic a zombie bite on the actor’s neck. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
It takes Hang ten minutes to create a zombie bite on the neck of the actor. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
It takes Hang ten minutes to create a zombie bite on the neck of the actor. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang uses cotton wool to create a sore on an actor's face. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang uses cotton wool to create a sore on the actor's face. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang uses a brush to splash fake blood on an actor’s wound. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang uses a brush to splash fake blood on the actor’s wound. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang puts white contact lenses to mimic sclera on an actor’s eyes as she transforms him into a zombie. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang puts white contact lenses to mimic sclera on the actor’s eyes as she transforms him into a zombie. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
A finished zombie transformed by Hang in about 45 minutes. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
A finished zombie transformed by Hang in about 45 minutes. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang (right) poses for a selfie with actor Ngoc Tuan (center) after she turns him into a zombie with her makeup techniques. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News
Hang (right) poses for a selfie with actor Ngoc Tuan (center) after she turns him into a zombie with her makeup techniques. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre News

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Ngoc Phuong - Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

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