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The Academy Celebrates the Career of Ann Roth

Features
by Melissa Silverstein
October 22, 2012 10:00 AM
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A couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend at the Hamptons International Film Festival.  I was able to catch up on a bunch of films and attend some really cool events including a tribute to the costume designer Ann Roth by the Academy.  It's not often that below the line talent gets a celebration of this magnitude, and at times it looked like Ms. Roth wanted to be anywhere but the stage of Guild Hall where everyone was calling her a legend.

The afternoon was a celebration of creativity and collaboration and an interesting behind the scenes look at how one of the best costumers operates.

There were some great tidbits shared:

The controversial nose created for Nicole Kidman in her Oscar winning turn in The Hours was inspired by a conversation with a shoemaker who said to Ms. Roth that he hoped she was able to create Virginia Woolf's voice (since he had heard it) and said he thought her distinctive voice came from her nose. 

There is some magic that happens when you dress an actor as a character and you look in the mirror and don't recognize the actor, but you see the character - she and Mike Nichols described that happening when they saw Meryl Streep in her Silkwood costume.

Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth at first refused to wear the spandex costumes for the finale of Mamma Mia.  She finally got Pierce in his spandex and they were walking across the Pinewood studio in England and ran into Daniel Craig in his gorgeous James Bond tuxedo.  She said that Pierce Brosnan was mortified especially since he had been removed as James Bond.

She has worked with Mike Nichols for 47 years on 13 films and many stage productions.

Her goal is to make the director, actor and herself happy with the character.  She thinks about what clothes would be at the foot of the bed of this character at the end of the day to help her create a look.

At the end of celebration Meryl Streep who flew in from the Tulsa set of August Osage County presented Ann Roth with an ode.

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