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Continuing our conversation with FACE OFF contestant Gage “Munster” Hubbard, begun here.
FANGORIA: You mentioned this on your Facebook page, so I’m not really revealing a secret. So I’ll ask you as if I don’t already know—What was your original concept for the zombie challenge?
GAGE HUBBARD: [Laughs] The original concept was a Zombie Jesus. I didn’t even think about it, I just started doing it. I was sitting there sketching everything out, and I was about to start sculpting out the face. And Sam looked over at me and she said, “What are you doing? What is your concept?” And I was all, “I’m doing a Zombie Jesus.” And she was, like, “Oh? Are you sure that’s going to be OK?” And I was all, “Why wouldn’t it be?” She’s like, “I don’t know, you might want to ask.” And I was, like, “Really? I don’t think so.” [Laughs] And I just kept going. It didn’t even cross my mind that they wouldn’t be all about it. We were on the show to be artistic and be creative and do our thing. And they very much gave us free range to do whatever we wanted. So I’m sitting there doing it, and there was a camera parked at the front of the table. And then I hear this voice, “Um, Gage…” And there’s two people from casting and one executive standing there. “We’re actually not sure we can do that. We’re not sure we can do a Zombie Jesus. I’m Catholic”—Her name was Mary, she was the sweetest woman ever. “I don’t see a problem with it, I understand exactly what you’re doing, but we have to check with the executives with NBC and Universal. So would you mind just stopping what you’re doing for now until we get an answer?” And I was, like, “OK…”
And time kept going on and on and on. It was maybe 35 minutes into waiting, and the clock is still ticking down, and I’m, like, “OK, I need an answer. This is cutting into my time.” And they finally came back. “We got an answer, and it’s absolutely out of the question. You can’t do it.” And I got really upset. Maybe it’s me being stubborn, or me being an artist, but I was, “That’s not fair! You’re censoring me! The whole purpose of the show was to push the envelope and push boundaries. Zombie Jesus is exactly what you should do if you want ratings, because if there’s anything that Madonna taught us with ‘Papa Don’t Preach’…” [Laughs] “You have to let me do the Zombie Jesus.” “You can’t.” “Then I’m going to do Zombie Gandhi.” “You can’t do that either.” And I was all, “You’re stifling me creatively. That’s exactly what I want to do.” And I told them I was going to do it very dignified—he wasn’t going to have guts spilling out, he wasn’t going to be nailed to a cross…It was going to be done tastefully, it was going to be done elegantly. And they said absolutely no way. Apparently SOUTH PARK tried to do something with a zombie Jesus and they ended up getting death threats sent to the network.
It’s funny, because I posted about it on my Facebook, and I got such overwhelming response my boyfriend and I sat down and sketched out a script. So we’re going to shoot a trailer for that. It’s about a zombie plague that happens when Jesus is crucified.
FANG: Get ready for those death threats!
HUBBARD: [Laughs] We’ve all gotten a huge amount of death threats just from being on the show, from the people in the forums. I’ll just throw it on the pile [laughs].
FANG: So what are your thoughts about appearing on the show in general?
HUBBARD: I actually loved it. It’s funny because I know several other of the contestants don’t handle pressure well—one in particular [laughs]—and I know living in that situation is not fun. We made it look pretty effortless, but it wasn’t. Every day was very, very stressful. You woke up nervous, you woke up with anxiety, you woke up stressed out about what was going to happen that day. That whole aspect of it, the whole competition aspect of it and competing wasn’t fun. But the cameras being around was really fun. The camera guys were really great. I really enjoyed it, I had a lot of fun.
The competing part? Maybe not so much. I suffered for a month afterward. I had really horrible dreams. I’d wake up in a cold sweat thinking we were still in the competition, and I’d be dreaming about these crazy challenges, and wake up really nervous and feeling that same anxiety. And I was, like, God, am I going to have to see a therapist for this? [Laughs] I’ve been in constant contact with everyone from the show and everyone’s had the same exact experience—you wake up and you’re really panicky and anxiety-ridden.
But I had a great time. I thought it was fun, and I don’t have any complaints. I don’t regret a minute of going on the show. In fact, I look back and think, “What if I hadn’t done it?” And that’s why I’m so glad I did. I know a lot of people in the industry were, “I don’t know about that. I don’t know what I think about that.” And I was all, “You all are crazy.” We should be happy that someone is trying to take what we love and bring it to the forefront. That’s the whole reason I did the show. If I could show people why I love what I do? I’d love to share that with the world and show people that there’s still a demand for practical effects.
For info on Hubbard and his work, including limited-edition T-shirts based on his “Hansel and Gretel” design, check out his official site.
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