‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6: How Makeup Artist Turned Marcus DeAnda Into Lalo Salamanca Lookalike

Better Call Saul introduced Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) in the flesh. On Breaking Bad, Lalo was just a name spoken in passing. One of the most shocking moments in Better Call Saul Season 6 was when Lalo found a lookalike to double for him and play his dead body. Marcus DeAnda played Lalo-alike Mateo Ramos, but he had help looking like Tony Dalton. 

'Better Call Saul': Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) sits at a bar, after killing his lookalike Marcus DeAnda
Tony Dalton | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Cheri Montesanto, the Head of the Makeup Department, was a guest on the Better Call Saul Insider podcast on June 14. She explained the process of turning DeAndra into a copy of Dalton. Better Call Saul Season 6 returns July 11 on AMC.

What Marcus DeAnda looked like before he became Lalo Salamanca on ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6

Better Call Saul viewers only saw DeAnda in full Mateo makeup. Montesanto saw him before she turned him into Tony Dalton.

“First of all, the guy they cast came in, really nice actor,” Montesanto said on Better Call Saul Insider. “He came in and he’s got very small eyes, like really, really small eyes. Not very much of an eyelid. Handsome, but he doesn’t look like Tony Dalton. And he didn’t have the little frown line here. His forehead didn’t have the little lines that Tony has. Tony’s got a distinct nose and this other gentleman did not.”

So, Montesanto went to work and presented her makeup options to the Better Call Saul producers. They had a bunch of Lalo-alikes to choose from.

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“Of course, no one sees him,” Montesanto said. “He comes in and we do makeup tests. The show always did a lot of makeup tests which is perfect because everyone can sign off. Everyone knows what they like. The day of, everyone will be like, ‘Yeah, we like choice 7’ and that’s what we do. That makes the actors comfortable, the director comfortable, producers, everyone’s on the same page. Sometimes there is a little alteration obviously but generally we know what we’re doing when we go into it. Always appreciated the abundance of makeup tests.”

What ‘Better Call Saul’ added to Marcus DeAnda to make him Lalo

Montesanto transformed DeAnda’s face with makeup. She detailed the process. 

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“He has no eyelid like Tony,” Montesanto said. “So I literally added eyelids to him to open his eyes. And then he didn’t have the same shape of nose so I had to sculpt a nose onto his nose. I did that with silicon, really fine layers of silicon right onto him. We gave him some of the weathering. Obviously, we gave him a big beard before he shaved which was a big, big beard but they wanted that. They wanted a ZZ Top Beard so we did some testing on that and that’s what everyone liked and chose. Then when he shaves, we had to take him back to the trailer.”

Cheri Montesanto was a perfectionist 

When Mateo shaves his beard, he’s left with the distinct Lalo Salamanca mustache. Montesanto had to adjust that, too.

“The only thing that was real on the actor was kind of the mustache,” Montesanto said. “So we had to shave his real mustache and add some hair because it’s really weird. You don’t think about it but every guy grows a different type of mustache, to make it look like that.”

RELATED: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6: Lalo Salamanca Actor Tony Dalton Says Final Season Will ‘Burn the House Down’