Guy Lands Dream Role After Playing Dead in 321 Videos

TikToker Josh Nalley will be a corpse in the morgue on 'CSI:Vegas'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2022 2:48 PM CDT
Guy Lands Dream Role After Playing Dead in 321 Videos
Producers say Nalley was the perfect person for the role.   (Getty Images/tiero)

After 321 days of playing dead with skills that would put a possum to shame, Kentucky man Josh Nalley landed his dream role on CSI:Vegas—he'll play a body in the morgue. The 42-year-old restaurant manager has been posting daily videos on TikTok in which he pretends to be "un-alive," as he puts it, in a wide variety of locations including streets, creeks, woods, and parking lots. The captions counted the number of days "of playing un-alive until I’m cast in a movie or TV show as an un-alive body" until last month, when Nalley posted a video of himself lying motionless next to the Hollywood star of longtime CSI star Marg Helgenberger, with a caption saying he was proud to have been cast as an "un-alive body" in CSI:Vegas.

Showrunner Jason Tracey says Nalley was the perfect person for the role. "Nobody has done a more thorough job of auditioning for a nonspeaking role, maybe in the history of television," he tells the New York Times. "After 321 pictures or so, he hit his stride and it was time to get called up to the big leagues." Nalley says he was "just having fun" making the videos and he didn't expect to actually be offered a part. He says it was a big surprise when CBS producers who had seen his videos contacted him and flew him to California. Tracey says they usually use dummies in the morgue, and the "cast was as surprised as anyone else to have a breathing corpse next to them."

Nalley tells the Louisville Courier-Journal that he spent two hours in makeup and then spent a long time lying very still on a gurney for several takes. "We had to redo one take because I had my phone in my pocket and forgot to turn it off," he says. "Of course, it was a telemarketer calling. That was kind of embarrassing." He says he's not going to quit his day job to play dead, but he's already been offered more "un-alive" roles in music videos and low-budget movies. The CSI:Vegas episode Nalley appears in will air on CBS on Nov. 3. (More TikTok stories.)

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