Find your voice. I started out wheezy, like if a bellows had a voice box. Then I had to imagine that rigor mortis has set in, so his jaw is kind of stiff but starts loosening up as he comes more to life.
Work on your dead guy stare. Maybe have one eye really big, like an owl, and the other one nearly closed. I came up with [that] when I was playing around with stupid facial expressions in the mirror. I thought it was [something] everybody could do, but when I showed it to the directors, they were like, do that!
Keep your face really still. There’s really no trick. You just do it. There was also an element of not wanting to [mess up] the take and ruin Paul’s beautiful performance.
Know when to go to the stunt corpse. We used a dummy when the raccoon was attacking Manny. The moment they set [the raccoon] free, it would just jump on the dummy’s face and start scratching at his eyes. Raccoons are vicious.
Embrace your postlife superpowers. Paul uses my teeth to shave. That one was actually my idea. I ended up with a load of fake beard in my mouth.
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picture source: Joyce Kim