New Moon Knight BTS Photos Reveal How the Hippo Scenes Got Filmed

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Marvel, Hippo, Moon Knight

Moon Knight has been a tippy ride for audiences. After all, that's not unexpected given how the series follows a main character who is dealing with multiple personalities, while also juggling the possession of an Egyptian Moon God. Unsurprisingly, it's made Oscar Isaac's leading characters question their own sanity; an effect hopefully not bleeding into those watching from home.

There have been several mind-bending scenes throughout the series. As an example, in the show's third installment, Steven Grant even spun the Egyptian night sky back thousands of years. As crazy as that was, it didn't even compare with what the next episode had: a talking and walking Hippo God: Taweret.

While she only showed up at the very end to give audiences a proper shock, this past week's episode featured her in many more scenes—and in a far larger role. But how exactly does one film scenes with such an imaginary being?

How Those Hippo Scenes Were Filmed

Hippo Moon Knight

In a personal post on her Instagram, actress Antonia Selib, who played the hippo Goddess Taweret in Moon Knight, posted some behind-the-scenes images from her time on the show. Surprisingly, the glimpse behind the curtain has revealed that she had a full on-set costume and an incredibly detailed on-set model for the character.

Hippo, Taweret, Moon Knight

Despite being entirely CGI, one might not ever suspect it on set, with how great the costume made for Salib looks.

Hippo, Taweret, Moon Knight

In the post she also had a few words to share, where she noted how "[she had] so much fun working on Moon Knight," and how "the whole team [did] such an incredible job:" 

"Episode 5 is officially out... It’s been so much fun working on Moon Knight and getting to play the one and only Taweret. A huge thank you to [director] Mohamed Diab and everyone at Marvel Studios and Disney for bringing me on board. I’m very proud of the show, and the whole team have done such an incredible job! A special shout out to the amazing VFX and Costume departments for bringing this Hippo Goddess to life (including my lovely dresser, Nora, pictured!). Catch the final episode next week for the ultimate finale…I shall be speaking only in hippo gifs from now on. Hi"

Moon Knight Meets the Hippo on the Ship

Many like to accuse VFX of being a cheap shortcut; however, this is a prime example of how that’s not always the case. But why were either actually made?

Well, the incredibly detailed model likely had multiple functions. For one, it would have been a reference for the actors on set while also potentially providing an eye-line for them by being placed at the character’s actual height. Its core function was no doubt to provide lighting reference to the VFX team so they could bring the Hippo Goddess to life as best as possible, while also aiming to match the practical lighting on stage.

As for the costume, that’s a step that almost certainly didn’t need to happen—but it’s a fantastic show of care that it did. The primary purpose of it could have simply been to help Antonia Salib get into the role on set, while also aiding Oscar Isaac and his brother’s performance. No doubt lighting references were also taken for VFX.

But the real question is: who wore the practical bird skull for Khonshu?

Moon Knight is now streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.