What can you tell me about McKenzie Westmore, who hosts “Face Off” on Syfy?
—Allison Sedaris, Brooklyn, New York
McKenzie Westmore, 36, was the perfect choice to host a makeup competition series such as “Face Off,” because she is descended from several generations of special effects makeup experts. So much so, that her family earned its place in history when they were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2008 for their contributions to more than 2,000 films and TV shows.
In fact, Westmore’s father Michael, who was the legendary makeup artist behind the TV series “Star Trek,” has appeared with her as a mentor on “Face Off.”
“I absolutely love and adore my dad,” the San Fernando, California-native says. “To get to work with him and walk through the makeup lab with him, is just the greatest gift a daughter could have. He brings his expertise and does what he can do to help the [contestants] improve their scopes, their designs, their color palettes, whatever it is that they have questions on.”
That said, Westmore’s family connections to special-effects makeup go back to her great-grandfather George, who set the bar for film and television makeup and essentially pioneered the field. But instead of joining the family business behind the camera, she decided to work on the other side, pursuing a career in acting.
Westmore landed her first role at age 3, as Robert De Niro’s daughter in “Raging Bull,” and followed that up with roles on “Weird Science,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Miss Match,” as well as the feature film “Star Trek: Insurrection.”
But she is best known for her roles in daytime drama, first playing Dr. Riley Sinclair on “All My Children” from 2008-2009. Then as Sheridan Crane Boothe on “Passions,” from 1999 to 2008.
As for hosting “Face Off,” on which the makeup effects can be spectacular, McKenzie doesn’t go for anything too dramatic, but does work with her makeup artist to create individual looks.
“What I do on the show is more in the beauty world or the cosmetic world, not so much special effects. Everybody always jokes that I’m Marilyn Munster, amongst all the other Munsters,” she says with a laugh.