McKenzie Westmore hosts Syfy’s hit reality competition show, Face Off, featuring special effects makeup artists competing in elaborate challenges. A fitting gig — her family helped define the role of makeup artists in motion pictures, starting with her great grandfather, George Westmore. Learn why McKenzie says family is key outside of work too.
by McKenzie Westmore
as told to Julie Weingarden Dubin
I never considered hosting a television show because my background is in the scripted world of acting. After a 10-year run on the NBC soap opera, Passions, reality TV was the furthest thing from my mind. However when the concept of Face Off came to me I thought, “How can I not do this?”
It’s everything my family history is based on.” (My father is Academy award-winning Star Trek makeup artist Michael Westmore.) When I was approached to possibly host Face Off I went through four auditions and I finally got the job.
Loving my job
It’s so much fun being a host! At first it was a big change because instead of playing a character, I was just being me. I’m grateful for the people I meet and the artistry I experience every week. And now I get to work alongside my dad — a dream come true! (Face Off’s Season 4 premieres Tuesday, January 15.)
Hollywood’s not all glamour. It’s work like any other job and I treat it as such. I feel very lucky to be where I am in this industry and I never take that for granted.
Keeping it real
My greatest role is raising my 6-year-old son, Maddox. I juggle motherhood and hosting the show with the help of my family — I co-parent with my parents. I’m very thankful for my family’s support. It takes a village!
I believe I’ll be able to keep Maddox grounded. I’m careful not to make a big deal about what I do. He has an understanding and he comes to the set but for the most part, I’m just Mom. Yes, I’m on TV and I do red carpet events but at the end of the day it’s all about the warmth of home. My son is more excited that I volunteer at school and help with the drop-off line than any TV show or magazine cover.
Motherhood didn’t come naturally to me. At first, I suffered postpartum depression but as time went on and I battled through that, I came to love everything about being a mom. Maddox has made me a better person.
How motherhood rocked my world
I love seeing him grow into a young man and I love the conversations we have. It hasn’t been the easiest these last few years going through a divorce, but he’s becoming stronger and I’m becoming stronger.
My son’s taught me to slow down in life. There’s so much more to enjoy when you see it through a child’s eyes. I just hope I can teach Maddox the same values my parents taught me.
Realize you can’t do it all. It’s so important to lean on friends and family. Even finding support groups in your local area or online, makes a difference. Talking to other people who are struggling helps so much. Know that you are never alone.