Costume designer Mary Zophres on ‘function and form’ of ‘Interstellar’ spacesuits

Mary Zophres has created costumes for more than 40 films but has never had to design a specialty suit quite like the one worn in “Interstellar.” “After I read the script and got the job, I started doing research because I knew NOTHING about spacesuits,” she emphasizes in our webcam chat (watch below). “It’s not my specialty. It’s not my area of interest. So I started by doing research, and very, very quickly thereafter we started the spacesuit.”

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The suit underwent several changes from design to manufacturing. “It was function and form,” she reveals. “We knew from the very beginning that we wanted it to have a NASA aesthetic, we knew that we wanted it to have a sort of recycled quality. We didn’t want it to seem sleek or shiny. I didn’t want to decorate it. Every detail on the suit was functional and for a utilitarian purpose, but then it also had to look good.”

Not only did it have to look just right, but as she explains, it had to allow the actors wearing it to emote, and from a technical standpoint, allow the production sound mixer to record their dialogue.

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Zophres received her only Oscar nomination for her work on “True Grit” (2010). After watching our interview, make your Costume Design predictions using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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