The Strain Producers Talk Corey Stoll's Wig, Changes From del Toro's Novels

The Strain Corey Stoll Wig

FX’s The Strain is hair-raising — as in it raised questions about star Corey Stoll’s coiffure at a Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour panel on Monday in Beverly Hills.

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While viewers are accustomed to seeing the actor sans tresses in projects like House of Cards and Law & Order: LA, Stoll’s Strain alter ego Dr. Ephraim Goodweather sports a wig.

“We have a long way to go, and if you know the [book trilogy which the TV series is based] or you know where it’s heading, we needed the character to have a change of look [in the future],” co-creator and co-author Guillermo del Toro explained. At some point down the line, Dr. Goodweather needs to “able to mix into the normal population without being seen.”

Added executive producer Carlton Cuse: “Our vision of this character has to move from point A to point B, and that was part of the conception of character.”

For his part, Stoll was “skeptical at first” about the look because he thought the producers were “trying to make me fit a mold of a particular kind of hero or TV actor,” he said. “But it was the opposite. It helped increase the eccentricity of the character. It functions as a mask.”

Although Stoll’s physical appearance is directly inspired by the source material, there will be deviations in other areas. With some plot points, “we will get there in a much more baroque way than we would in the book,” del Toro previewed.

Warned Cuse: “If you read the book and you think that’s going to be a guide to what’s going to happen on the show, you’re wrong. The order of events, the type of events, the way things happen, the fate of the characters is not completely determined by the book.”

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11 Comments
  1. R.O.B. says:

    “If you read the book and you think that’s going to be a guide to what’s going to happen on the show, you’re wrong.” GOOD! Because I really like Guillermo Del Toro, but the books were disappointing. When I saw that Cuse was on board, I figured he’d flesh out the characters a bit more (except what is up with Shawn Astin? Does he even realize he’s on camera?).

    And I was hoping to hear as well that there was a (temporary) purpose to the toupee, because it is pretty distracting.

    • Tee says:

      Took me a while to realize that was Sean Astin and NOT Jerry Ferrara. I thought at first, how weird that Turtle is in this project. Then I realized Samwise Gamgee was, and it made more sense.

  2. wordsmith says:

    So, just to clarify, it’s actually supposed to be a wig? As in, the character is wearing a wig, and not just the actor? Or do they just mean that the character is going to shave his head at some point?

  3. ? says:

    Okay, fine. But that hairpiece was the BEST they could do?!

  4. jag says:

    Hello blacklist. Ur a runner up as of this moment.

    • DL says:

      For what? Best show on TV? I’ve really been enjoying both The Strain and The Blacklist, but in terms of the best television around right now, Hannibal eats them both alive. ;) To say nothing of GoT, Fargo, et al.

      • Aprilcot says:

        I think jag is referring to the terrible wigs on both shows. I love The Blacklist, but Megan Boone’s awful wig was terribly distracting to me (and lots of others as well). Corey Stoll’s is the same, but at least it appears to serve a purpose later in the series. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why they feel the need to cover her natural hair with that wig.

        • Carrie says:

          I always say that in the early eps of Blacklist, they combed her wig with a squirrel. It got better later on.

  5. Mikael says:

    I love The Strain. I haven’t been glued to the tv like this in a while!

  6. Ray says:

    That wig is easily the scariest part of the show. I find the Master vampire hilarious, to be quite honest. The way he flails about makes me laugh out loud.

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