[WATCH] ‘Saints and Strangers’ makeup was ‘collaborative effort’ with Native American actors

“The creative process has been amazing. It’s been a real collaborative effort with hair, makeup and costumes,” says “Saints and Strangers” actor Kalani Queypo in National Geographic Channel’s video featurette (watch above). Queypo knows firsthand the attention to detail that went into the production, as he spent hours in the makeup chair every day to prepare for his iconic role as Squanto. “There was a real openness to what we as individual characters could contribute,” he adds.

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The makeup team being submitted for the limited series at the Emmy Awards are Ayten Morgenstern, whose recent projects include “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Safe House,” and Fabienne Zadel, who worked on the TV series “SAF3.” Both artists are seeking their first Emmy nominations on July 14.

Morgenstern and Zadel’s team spent much of their time designing the intricate makeup for the many Native American actors, including Kalani and Critics’ Choice nominee Raoul Trujillo. Shockingly, only a pair of Native American actors have been nominated for a Primetime Emmy in the past 86 years: Benjamin Bratt (“Law & Order,” 1999) and August Schellenberg (“Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” 2007). Another, Cree Summer, earned a Daytime Emmy nom in 2000 for “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”

Nat Geo Emmy submissions: ‘Saints and Strangers,’
‘Story of God’ below-the-line category placements

At this year’s Emmy Awards, “Saints and Strangers” is eligible in the category of Best Non-Prosthetic Makeup for a Limited Series or TV Movie. “American Horror Story: Freak Show” won this Emmy race last year while the other nominees were “Bessie,” “Houdini,” “Olive Kitteridge” and “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.”

“Saints and Strangers” aired on Nat Geo over the Thanksgiving holiday and tells the story of the Pilgrims crossing the Atlantic on the Mayflower and their subsequent struggles with the Native Americans during their first year in the new world. “Mad Men” star Vincent Kartheiser plays William Bradford, the leader of the settlers whose great faith in a divine plan helps inspire his people in their new home of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

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