What’s a kid to do when almost the whole world is against him? Or, rather, against his kind? That’s the situation faced by Christian Convery’s character Gus in the new Netflix adaptation of Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel Sweet Tooth. Born as a human-deer hybrid, Gus is summarily shuffled off to the woods by his dad (Will Forte), only to have his stable if sketchy living situation shaken up by the deadly combination of a global pandemic and a group of ruthless poachers. Gus summarily hooks up with Nonso Anozie’s begrudging Jepperd, who he calls Big Man, and—by virtue of his love of maple syrup and all things saccharine—earns himself the nickname Sweet Tooth.
Convery is magnetic and charming on-screen, and fans will be drawn to not only his performance, but also to the incredible prosthetics he wears to turn into the part-deer, part-kid Gus. For the video above, we asked Convery about that transformation, and how he earned the horns. Here’s what he said:
It all started with me flying to L.A. and getting a cast of myself...They put layers of paste all over me, and I was breathing through two little pinpricks. That way they could get an outline for my skull cap that goes right here on my head. The skullcap could hold the antlers with little magnetic stubs. I thought it was really funny how [I] could just take them on and off like that.
My ears were remote controlled by a puppeteer who was sitting at the camera watching my movements and reactions. It’s more like teamwork. He’s controlling my ears and I’m giving him emotions and reactions that he can relate to... It kind of makes you feel like a deer, and it also doesn’t because you can take off the antlers.
There’s more from Convery in the video above, including the sweet snack he opts for on set and off. We’ve also got Anozie’s thoughts on how the show deals with the fear of others, and why he likes a sweet with a good, rich “mouthfeel.”
Image credit: Kirsty Griffin/Netflix