Actress/producer Rebecca Romijn will return for a third season as host of GSN’s body-painting competition series Skin Wars, which premieres Wednesday, April 20. Romijn spoke with Multichannel News programming editor R. Thomas Umstead about the show’s popularity and what viewers should expect from the new season. Here’s an edited excerpt.
MCN:Heading into season three, are you surprised at the successSkin Warshas had?
Rebecca Romijn: I am … I wasn’t sure how much of an audience would be driven to the idea of a show about body painting. What I’ve been most surprised about is the demographic and how we’ve actually started reaching families. I wasn’t sure how families would feel about letting their kids watch our show, but I keep on meeting 10-year-old kids who are obsessed with it and special effects makeup and body painting. There are lot of families watching the show together, which I never saw coming.
MCN:What should we expect to see from the new season of the show?
RR: We have some great challenges this season including an underwater challenge which kind of blew my mind — I didn’t even know that it was possible. They are allowed to use a certain amount of appliances, including foam, and some of the painters were adding too much foam to the models and found out that the models weren’t able to dive down into the tank. We kept coming up against things like that that made for great television.
MCN:What drew you toSkin Warsand body painting in the first place?
RR: Well, I did play [body-painted character] Mystique in the first three X-Men movies, and I was also the very first model painted for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, so I have a lot of personal experience in the world of body painting. (Laughs.) I know a lot about what goes into it and what the models are going through because its not easy — it’s hard on the artists and the models. It’s intense and the hours on the show are very long; sometimes we have 14-hour days because it’s really watching paint dry. There’s a lot of downtime but the masterpieces that come out of it are so gorgeous.
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R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.