‘Gen V’ Writers Got ‘Lucky’ With Episode 5’s Gruesome Puppet Scene: ‘That Was a Coincidence’

“Our head of makeup was like, ‘Oh, I can build puppets,'” showrunner Michele Fazekas tells TheWrap

Asa Germann as Sam Riordan in "Gen V" Season 1, Episode 5 "Welcome to the Monster Club" (Photo credit: Prime Video)
Asa Germann as Sam Riordan in "Gen V" Season 1, Episode 5 "Welcome to the Monster Club" (Photo credit: Prime Video)

“Gen V” showrunner Michele Fazekas told TheWrap that the show’s team of writers lucked out when they learned their head of makeup, Colin Penman, knew how to build puppets. Penman’s talent helped them pull off their pitch for Sam Riordan’s (Asa Germann) violent puppet-fied fight scene in the Prime Video show’s fifth episode.

“We really got into the idea of shooting an action sequence exactly how you would shoot any action sequence. Nothing is different about it except for the fact that it’s puppets, and the sort of juxtaposing,” Fazekas told TheWrap.

Read on to find out how the puppet scene came together.

Warning, spoilers from Episode 5 of “Gen V” ahead.

As “Gen V” heads enters the second half of its eight-episode season, viewers learn more about the brutal experiments taking place in the secret laboratory called “The Woods beneath Godolkin University, as well the origin stories of the show’s heroes (and anti-heroes).

In Episode 5, titled “Welcome to the Monster Club,” Marie (Jaz Sinclair), Emma (Lizze Broadway), Jordan (London Thor and Derek Luh), Andre (Chance Perdomo) and Cate (Maddie Phillips) wake up from a collective blackout (after seemingly participating in an all-night bender) with no clue how they got there or what happened happened after they sparred with Sam in Dr. Edison Cardosa’s (Marco Pigossi) home. But Sam, who escaped the Supes’ capture, is still hiding out, at least until a swarm of gun-toting Godolkin University officers corner him. Already losing clarity on what’s real and what’s fake, Sam spirals into a hallucination that makes the soldiers appear as puppets, and he unknowingly wipes them all out in a bloody…well, confetti-and-popcorn-filled showdown.

Bringing Sam’s “You’re all f—–g puppets!” line from Episode 4 full-circle, Fazekas said the idea behind the scene came from the “Gen V” writers room.

 Sam Riordan (Asa Germann) in "Gen V" Season 1, Episode 5 "Welcome to the Monster Club" (Photo credit: Prime Video)
Sam Riordan (Asa Germann) in “Gen V” Season 1, Episode 5 “Welcome to the Monster Club” (Photo credit: Prime Video)

“We wanted to show Sam’s sort of perception of the world in a way that I’ve never seen it before,” Fazekas said. “Then when you come out of that sort of hallucination, [Sam] realized, ‘Oh, no. Those were people.’”

Fazekas went on to say that the head of their makeup department, Penman, just so happened to know how to build puppets.

“We got really lucky in that our head of our makeup department was like, ‘Oh, I can build puppets,’ and we were like, ‘What?!’ I mean, that was a coincidence,” Fazekas said, as she broke down preparation process for the scene. “When we pitched this initially, we were like ‘This is going to sound crazy.’ And [Penman’s] like, ‘Oh, I’ve done that before.’ We may have started [making the puppets] a little into the previous episodes, but he had done this before. I couldn’t believe it. We lucked out. He built them, we got puppeteers. The puppeteers came in and helped us. We designed the set… like, how do we design this set for puppeteers? That was all integrated. You would think it’d be like, ‘Oh my gosh, this humongous undertaking,’ except, oh, all of these people are subject matter experts. Great.”

As for Germann, Fazekas said the actor was totally into the writers’ vision.

“[Germann] loved it,” the showrunner said. “That’s a really big challenge for an actor because the puppeteers are there in, like, green, like, body socks. So he has to ignore that and just act against puppets. Amazing — and he’s game for anything, which is great.”

The full cast of “Gen V” includes Sinclair, Broadway, Luh, Thor, Perdomo, Phillips, Germann, Shelley Conn, Sean Patrick Thomas, Clancy Brown and Colby Minifie.

Fazekas and Tara Butters serve as showrunners and executive producers for the series, which was developed by Kripke, Craig Rosenberg and Evan Goldberg.

“Gen V” premiered Sept. 29 and airs new episodes on Prime Video every Friday.

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