Kentucky TikTok star lands ‘CSI: Vegas’ role after posing as a dead body for 321 days

From TikTok to TV: Kentucky native, Josh Nalley, has landed the role of a lifetime. 

CBS confirmed to Fox News Digital that Nalley will appear in an episode of “CSI: Vegas” that airs on Thursday, Nov. 3.

“Rarely do we find an actor as well-prepared to play a corpse as Josh,” “CSI: Vegas” showrunner Jason Tracey shared. “It was a pleasure watching him work.”

Tracey added: “He’s a pro at this death thing.”


Monday was the one-year anniversary of Nalley’s first “unalive” TikTok. Since his debut in October 2021, he has garnered over 4 million likes on the social media app and gone viral for playing dead.

Mike Benson, president and CMO of CBS said, “We’re always looking for authentic, innovative, and engaging ways to create more interest for our shows.”

He continued: “For our CBS Original series CSI: Vegas, we discovered that the TikTok influencer @Living_Dead_Josh was a fan of the show, so we wanted to bring his dream to life in a ‘killer’ way that only we could do.”

Nalley detailed how he received the offer from “CSI: Vegas.”

“I got an email from CBS that said they’d seen me on TikTok and wanted to offer me the part,” Nalley told USA Today. “At first I didn’t believe it, but they flew me out to California.” 

Nalley continued: “It turned out that Mario Van Peebles was the director for that episode so besides getting cast in the show, I also got to meet him, which was great.”

He shared with the outlet that over the past year, he has been posting these videos in an attempt to land a role on a “movie or television show.” The 42-year-old’s poses rarely change, with him lying facedown on people’s lawns, local parks and in various different climates.

“I don’t like speaking on camera, but I can lie there and act like I am dead pretty easily,” he told the outlet. “Having done more than 300 of these posts, I have progressed and gotten better. At first, you could see me breathing, or the fake blood looked really bad. I have gotten rid of using the blood and gotten better at holding my breath.”


When Nalley was flown out to Los Angeles, CBS producers encouraged him to pose “dead” in front of Marg Helgenberger’s Hollywood Walk of Fame star. Helgenberger stars as Catherine Willows on the show. 

“They wanted me to pose next to [‘CSI’ legend] Marg Helgenberger’s star and had asked me to bring a towel to lay on because that sidewalk is really dirty, but I forgot,” he explained. 

“So rather than laying facedown I kind of turned over on my side and played dead. The thing was the sidewalk was really, really hot,” Nalley added.

For his big break, the TikTok star spent two hours in a make-up chair before he was 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,” Nalley noted. “Of course, it was a telemarketer calling. That was kind of embarrassing.”

Nalley, who works as a restaurant manager, shared the inspiration behind his videos.

“I originally got this idea after seeing a woman on TikTok posting about hot sauce and then she got offers from a bunch of hot sauce companies,” he shared.

“I thought if I was creative enough playing an un-alive person, I could get the attention of a television show or a movie production company, and how about that, it worked.”

TikTok star Josh Nalley posed as a dead body on TikTok for 321 days before he landed a role as a corpse on ‘CSI: Vegas.’

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