Behind The Screen: Eagan Tilghman’s viral success


MERIDIAN, Miss. (WCBI) – For Eagan Tilghman, a 19-year-old artist from Meridian, this is the beginning of his biggest project to date.

It’s the culmination of weeks of hard work and determination, but maybe it’s not the beginning.

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Maybe Eagan’s story began two years earlier with a sudden boom of internet popularity.

Eagan, the oldest of 8 siblings, has a close bond with his brothers and sisters.

In the Summer of 2017, Eagan had a bright idea for a new game.

“So, they asked me to paint their face like the Joker. So I did, and then it looked pretty good. So, I threw him on like a little suit, and I took him outside. I took a few pictures, and it was kind of cool. So, then it kind of became like an every other day thing like ‘hey, y’all want to do like Two-Face this day or Edward Scissorhands,” said Tilghman.

Everything changed with the film adaptation of Stephen King’s IT– Prompting Eagan to dress his little brother Louie up like Pennywise.

“I didn’t have cash like falling out of my pockets to go make a costume with. So, I go in the closet and I find a white blazer, some white tights and a dress. I turned the dress inside out, tied it around his neck to look like the collar. The blazer, I tied pom poms to each button and then made like a belt out of some spare yarn and fabric,” said Tilghman.

The impromptu photoshoot went viral.

“And next thing you know, it’s all over the place. It’s in Cosmopolitan, it’s in like the local news. It’s like, there’s a video on Facebook that got 4 million views. And it was just everywhere. The director of the movie saw it and a few of the producers saw it. Then finally the makeup crew or, not the makeup crew like on set, but the people that designed and sculpted and then produce the makeup to send to the set– they saw it,” said Tilghman.

Eagan said he and his brother were then invited out to LA for a tour of the shop where movie makeup and costumes are produced.

Now, two years after his viral success, Eagan’s dreams are bigger than ever before.

“I can do this, and I can, like, make a living for myself, and I don’t have to, like, compromise or change myself to fit in and get just make it in the world. I can do it how I am, and I love that,” said Tilghman.

If you thought that was impressive, you won’t believe what Eagan is doing now.

Part two of “Behind the Screen” airs Friday on WCBI News at 5 o’clock, and it explores Eagan’s latest project as well as what he has planned for the future.