Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What The Mandalorian's Space Pirate Vane Really Looks Like Out Of Costume

"The Mandalorian" Season 3 offers up another glimpse into the lives of Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin, the ever-adorable Grogu, and plenty of other returning characters, but it also adds quite a few fresh faces to the mix. Among the newcomers is an intimidating space pirate named Vane. A frequenter of the Nevarro locale, Vane doesn't take kindly to the new direction of the city after its liberation from the hands of the Empire. He's also clearly got a history with Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), a plot thread that seems ripe for expansion in the series' future.

Beyond his plot significance, the most striking thing about Vane is his physical appearance. "The Mandalorian" features a lot of human-looking characters, but Vane falls considerably further into the weirder camp of designs. It's far from being one of the most hideous alien designs out there, but the space pirate's visage is still quite striking, lacking any discernible nose and sporting facial horns not too dissimilar from those on Darth Maul. It's such an out-there appearance that viewers may be shocked to learn what the actor behind Vane looks like when he's not buried under heaps of prosthetics.

Marti Matulis has a bunch of popular credits

While it may not be obvious to those who have simply seen his character on "The Mandalorian," the actor who plays Vane on the show is none other than Marti Matulis. Believe it or not, Matulis has been appearing in a bunch of popular TV shows for decades, though almost invariably as characters that require heavy prosthetics or elaborate costume design.

Back in the sixth season of "American Horror Story," titled "Roanoke," Matulis recurred as the sinister Piggy Man — a ghost that sports the giant severed head of a pig. Other credits for Matulis are similarly macabre. He appeared as several different monstrous characters on "Teen Wolf," and he's occupied a similar role for the Paramount+ supernatural drama "Evil." One of the actor's most high-profile appearances in recent years, however, is his role in the 2022 horror film "Smile." In the movie's climax, when audiences finally get a brief glimpse at the true form of the malevolent Smile Entity haunting the characters, Matulis is the one who brings the demonic mass of flesh and teeth to life.

All in all, Matulis is quietly one of the key players in the modern landscape of horror and sci-fi. If anything, his eventual debut into the canon of "Star Wars" through "The Mandalorian" was something of an inevitability. It also means he gets to join the distinguished club of actors who have appeared in both "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" at one point or another.

It's a demanding job for Matulis

Marti Matulis may be an actor, but his job is quite a bit different from the typical acting process. On an episode of the "Memories of a Moonbird" podcast, Matulis went in-depth on how demanding roles that require heavy prosthetics can get. "When you get to the production, you sit in the chair," the actor explained. "I typically shave my head and my face so they can just start gluing right on. Then, for the next couple of hours, I just sit in a chair looking into a mirror as I watch these ridiculously talented people build this creation on top of me."

Even once the makeup and materials have been applied, Matulis has to account for his altered physicality when giving his performance. "If Marti the actor thinks he can make a certain expression, and I practice that expression in the mirror, it might be different with the creature," he said. "I might have to put 30 percent more effort into my angry face or whatever happens during the scene. So, that's my time to figure out how I can translate myself through the makeup and make the makeup look alive and not like a rubber mask."

It's tough work, but Matulis has nevertheless stuck with the job for more than 20 years. As major roles like Vane in "The Mandalorian" and the Smile Entity in "Smile" demonstrate, that commitment has paid off. "As a younger actor, I thought, 'Oh, that's really cool but it's more of a step to do something else,'" Matulis said. "Now, as a nearly 50-year-old kid, I adore this process."