Now, Wooley is one of eight veteran contestants invited back to compete against eight newcomers on Season 5 of the highly-rated and acclaimed series.
“Not many people get a chance to do something like this one time. To have the chance to go back and do it a second time, it’s really exciting,” said Wooley, a native of Goodsprings and a graduate of T.W. Martin High School, in an interview with the Eagle last week.
Season 5 of the popular series debuts at 8 p.m. today on the SyFy network.
Wooley, who works as a special effects makeup artist, said he knew early on while growing up in Walker County that he might want a career doing special effects makeup. Once he saw the hit movie “An American Werewolf in London,” he was hooked for good.
“I kind of figured out I wanted to do this as a career pretty early on, when I was maybe 15 or 16 years old,” he said. “That’s what I loved doing.”
But someone from Goodsprings competing on the SyFy network?
“Never,” he said, “especially me. I never dreamed that I would be on TV, unless there was a tornado or a UFO involved.”
Work creating monsters and ghouls in haunted houses and in a handful of horror movies led Wooley to Season 3 of “Face Off,” where he quickly became one of the most popular contestants.
Still, he said he was disappointed when he got voted off in Season 3. This time around, he said he may do some things a little differently.
“Last time I got a lot of criticism from the judges for not concentrating on makeup enough,” said the 47-year-old Wooley, who now lives in Tucker, Ga. “This time, that’s the plan, to concentrate more on doing makeup.”
Wooley said he’s received a lot of feedback over his return to this series.
“I’ve got a lot of fan reaction about being back,” he said. “After I got eliminated last time, there was a lot of people who were upset. It’s been a lot of positive feedback. People have been really happy that I’m back to try it again.”
This season, Wooley will be competing against seven other veteran contestants along with eight newcomers. “I’ve had a blast,” he said. “I had no idea who was going to be back on with me, so when I finally got to see who I was going to be competing against, it was exciting.”
Among those Wooley will be competing against is Robert “R.J.” Haddy, who competed on Season 2.
“R.J. and I have been friends for about a year now, and we didn’t know that the other one was going to be on the show,” Wooley said. “So when I saw that he was back, I knew this season was going to be a lot of fun.”
Wooley said the criticism he received on Season 3 was tough to hear, but it helped him be a better competitor this time around.
“Nobody really likes to get criticized, but the criticisms they gave were helpful,” he said. Since competing on Season 3, Wooley said he’s stayed busy doing what he loves.
“Since last time I was on the show, I’ve worked on a couple of films, one in Georgia and one in Jacksonville, Fla.,” he said. “I’ve got one in Orlando I’m working on at the moment. And then I have my regular work at Netherworld Haunted House, which is pretty much yearround.”
“Face Off” is hosted by McKenzie Westmore, along with judges Ve Neill (The Hunger Games, The Amazing Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean), Glenn Hetrick (CSI: New York, The Hunger Games, Heroes) and Neville Page (Avatar, Prometheus).
World-renowned makeup artist Michael Westmore will return as the official mentor to the contestants. In tonight’s premiere, contestants compete in a Foundation Challenge where they must complete the looks of a costumed partygoer for an elaborate costume ball, with colorfully dressed cast members from SyFy’s new docu-series “Heroes of Cosplay” in attendance for inspiration.
Other challenges this season include creating a futuristic Frankenstein and his bride, a whimsical character inspired by Mother Goose nursery rhymes, a Morlock-inspired subterranean humanoid beast, an alluring Halloween character complete with an articulating ‘treat,’ a stylized alien for an out-of-this-world performance with world-renowned circus troupe Cirque Berzerk, a grim character inspired by one of the seven deadly sins, a scary ghost with a comedic edge,a dark elf warrior for a fantastical elven army and an exotic flying creature/human hybrid.
The “Face Off” contestants will be whittled down each week until the final remain for a finale showdown.
The winning special effects makeup artist will receive $100,000, a 2013 Fiat and a VIP trip from Kryolan Professional Make-Up to one of its 85 international locations.