ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

If you were a mega fan of HBO's Westworld this year, then there's a good chance you'd probably been waiting for the series to arrive for some time. Filming on the pilot episode began way back in 2014, but it wasn't until over two years later that it finally aired on TV.

It took a mammoth effort to bring Westworld into our homes, with the Season 1 budget reportedly coming in at around $100 million. But while money and man-power are both things you know you need a lot of when putting together a show, with Westworld there was something else that was in high demand: Merkins.

Yep, it might shock you to hear, but throughout Season 1 of Westworld it's estimated that over 500 pubic hair wigs (a.k.a merkins) were handmade for the various "hosts" who appeared in the show in order to achieve that authentic wild west look.

Christien Tinsley, the head makeup artist on the series, recently posted the above picture on Instagram to pay homage to the many, many merkins used in Season 1, writing:

Merkins on the Mind...sounds like a title to a poem. For those who don't know, a Merkin is a pubic wig. We made hundreds of these for In fact a small army of artists would begin making these by the dozens daily after we got through the early morning makeup call. I don't know the exact number but I would say around 500 more or less. That's a lot of nude people needing a lot of hair!! It was important for me that the "hosts" had a pleasant "adult" quality. This merkin was hand laid by yours truly. Glued to glass, hair sprayed and floated for application. I was proud enough to take a photo, rather 70's of me!!

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[Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO]
[Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO]

Tinsley, who is an Academy Award winning makeup artist, has shared a few photos and videos of photos from his time on set, including this very gruesome image of a character who was shot in the face.

Tinsley points out that although you often don't see a clear shot of your work in the final cut of the episodes, it's still gratifying to know that your work is an important piece in making the series feel complete. And hey, that doesn't just extend to gun shot wounds either, without those 500 merkins things in Westworld definitely would have seemed a little bare.

Westworld will return to HBO with Season 2 at some stage in 2018


Have you see Westworld Season 1?


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