Costume Designers are among the great unsung heroes of the cinema, regularly helping actors to define their characters and directors to create those images audiences get lost in. The latter achievement comes in tandem with the other creatives most connected to the mise-en-scène, the cinematographers and the production designers. It's perhaps not surprising that when you sit down with the behind-the-scenes professional they are often disarmingly modest, used to serving and enhancing the vision of the director. General moviegoers might not know their names but cinephiles, critics, and industry professionals are wise to learn and love them for the unique contributions they make to fine movies.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with the Polish designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone, who designed two high profile projects this year: Scott Cooper's gangster drama Black Mass and Steven Spielberg's cold war drama Bridge of Spies. The latter was her first collaboration with Spielberg but the designer is no stranger to auteurs. She's worked with Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom) and Mira Nair (Amelia) and is best known for her work with Oscar fixture Bennett Miller having costumed all three of his narrative features (Capote, Moneyball, Foxcatcher).
It's perhaps unsurprising, given the temperament of Miller's filmography, to find her disarmingly modest and low key and not all that excited about the more glamorous aspects of costume design. At one point she even gave your host, a self-confessed costume nut, a coronary with a casually dropped "I don't care about the costumes" though she quickly revived me with an interesting explanation of what she really meant.
See for yourself in our interview after the jump...