The most disturbing things about Guillermo del Toro’s new vampire gore FX drama The Strain have been, in order, 1) the horrifying billboard and television teasers that featured a worm crawling directly into an eyeball, and 2) Corey Stoll’s wig. That’s it up there in the banner image, resting atop his head and looking like something in the wardrobe department found after Googling “harry connick jr hair cheap.” It’s kind of mesmerizing, especially when you know what Stoll really looks like from his other roles.
Anyway, Vulture caught up with Stoll recently to talk about the show, and in the process asked him about that bird’s nest of a hair piece. Short version: Yes, he’s heard you.
Guillermo said Ephraim had to have all this awful hair because his look will be changing.
Right, and I knew that from the beginning.
The wig has gotten a lot of attention.
I get it, too. For somebody who is follicle-ly challenged, I spent a lot of time talking about hair. At first, when I heard he wanted me to have a wig, I was resistant. I didn’t want the reason to be so I could look like a standard TV guy or a hero. Then that points to a bigger problem. I’m not interested in playing that character. I made a choice in my career to not get hair plugs and not hide the fact that I was balding, and I’ve managed to play all sorts of characters who have shaved heads. But Guillermo’s reasoning was so well thought-out. It isn’t arbitrary. It isn’t, I want you to look better.
Hmm. Fair enough, I guess. But tell me more about this reasoning, Guillermo del Toro.
“If you know the books or where it’s heading, we needed the character to change his look, to be able to mix into the normal population without being seen,” del Toro explained. “We needed him to have a look that could be altered … and unless he grows a beard or has an eye patch, we needed somewhere for him to go.” [THR]
Here’s the thing about that quote: He jumped to “eye patch” mighty quickly, which leads me to believe he might have actually considered it at one point. God, I wish he had given the character an eye patch now. It wouldn’t have been that much more ridiculous than the wig, you know?