Christina Gandolfo
March 16, 2021
Me and My Emmy

Me and My Emmy: Debbie Zoller

Makeup artist Debbie Zoller discusses her "frosting on the cake" Emmy win.

Primetime Emmy Tally: One

How She Got the Gold: In 2019 for outstanding makeup for a limited series or movie (non-prosthetic), for FX's Fosse/Verdon.

Now for the Noms: Zoller has been nominated as a makeup artist 11 times.

The Next Best: "In 2018, I was nominated for Twin Peaks: The Return. After losing yet again, I was at the Governors Ball and saw the amazing actor William Shatner. I had worked with him on multiple Star Trek series and films.

I walked up to him and said, 'Mr. Shatner, I just lost again, and it would be a huge win for me if I could take a photo with you.' He jumped right up and gave me a hug. He truly made me feel like a winner that night."

Be the Change: "After graduating from UCLA, my focus was to become a costume designer for film and television. After my first project in a costume department, I realized I had a huge passion for makeup, especially special effects makeup. I enrolled in a makeup school, then started at Roger Corman Studios as a makeup artist.

It was a great opportunity to learn my craft while on the job. Many of the people I met at RCS are still my friends and colleagues."

All That Jazz: "Fosse/Verdon was a huge undertaking. Diving into all the research to re-create so many of Fosse's epic films was a dream come true. It was as if I'd been preparing for this one project my entire career. Winning the Emmy was the frosting on the cake."

Greatest Gift: "I choose projects that allow me to tell stories through the beauty of makeup. I'm grateful that many of these have spoken artistically to my peers, inspiring them to nominate me and my team. That's the ultimate gift, when your peers appreciate the work you have created."

Click for more Me and My Emmy articles.

This article originally appeared in emmy magazine, Issue No. 1, 2021

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