In this week’s Legion of Leia Women in Sci-Fi profile, we talk with McKenzie Westmore who hosts Face Off on Syfy. The makeup competition show is one of my favorites and highlights the incredible talent behind-the-scenes. Westmore has a long family history in the makeup business, all the way back to her great grandfather and has appeared as an actress in films like Raging Bull and Star Trek: Insurrection. She guest starred on Weird Science and Star Trek Voyager and starred on Passions. The new season of Face Off premieres this July on Syfy. If you haven’t watched it yet, you must check it out!
Legion of Leia: You know I’m a huge fan of Face Off and makeup is an integral part of the sci-fi world. How did you get involved with the show and beauty in general?
McKenzie Westmore: Well makeup is literally in my blood! lol! At the turn of the century my great grandfather who was the wig maker to the queen & king of England made his way to the US where he started a wig company. All that knowledge accompanied by his sons entering into the family business turned into some of the first pioneers in the Hollywood movie makeup business. Growing up around makeup and having a fascination with my families history has always been a driving force for me. When Face Off came about and they approached me to audition it seemed the perfect fit!
Legion of Leia: We’ve spoken before about working with your dad, but I’d love it if you’d tell the Legion of Leia about it.
McKenzie Westmore: Growing up I always wanted to be an actress & singer but as I would help my dad in the lab and was learning the family trade I didn’t want to let all that die so I strongly considered being a makeup artist back then. I took classes, helped my dad out here & there but at the end of the day my passion was acting. My dad has always been so amazing in encouraging me to always follow my dreams. Now flash forward to Face Off, this is the best of all worlds for me! I’m still doing what I love with hosting but to have my dad there and working with him is just the icing on the cake :)
Legion of Leia: You grew up around sci-fi, so I’m very curious about the first sci-fi or fantasy character that spoke to you.
McKenzie Westmore: I’ve always been in love with Data (played by Brent Spiner) from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was always fascinated with that character. I also loved the Borg Queen. What fascinated me there was the great mix of beauty, sex appeal, yet extremely scary & dangerous!
Legion of Leia: This is all about women in sci-fi. What does it mean to be a part of that world, as a host, actor and beauty expert?
McKenzie Westmore: I’m honored first of all to be part of the Sci-Fi world. Having grown up in it with my dad being part of the Star Trek world for 17 years I’ve always felt a close connection. What I love most about Sci-Fi women in general is there is always that sense of class & beauty but more importantly a great strength. As a host I try to embody that strength. I like being a strong role model for young women out there.
Legion of Leia: What new projects do you have coming up?
McKenzie Westmore: I’m currently working on formulating a cosmetic line. Very excited about that and will have more information soon. Fans can always reach out to me via twitter @mckenziewestmor to keep up with the latest news in regards to me, my family & of course Face Off.