We couldn’t have been more excited that this was the cast we were doing it with,” exclaims costume designer Beth Morgan about working with cast of Fox’s “Call Me Kat.” The new sitcom stars four-time Emmy nominee Mayim Bialik as Kat, a upbeat and single woman in her thirties who opens a “cat cafe” in Kentucky. The supporting cast includes Emmy winners Swoosie Kurtz and Leslie Jordan, as well as Broadway star Cheyenne Jackson. In our exclusive video chat (watch above) Morgan, a two-time Emmy nominee for her work on “Deadwood” and “GLOW,” discusses the unique challenges of working with a star-studded cast during a pandemic.
Because “Call Me Kat” was one of the first shows to go into production following the establishment of rigorous CoVid-19 protocols for film and television production, Morgan describes the unique challenges she faced in working with the cast. In working with Bialik, also an executive producer on the series, Morgan describes having to wear layer upon layer of protective equipment during fittings. “It was very tricky for us to figure out how do I help her with her buttons when I have on these latex gloves,” she recalls. “We had to figure out another way to work.”
Part of that new way of working involved finding new places to acquire garments, which proved to be challenging because so many malls and clothing stores were closed. “We’re shopping for a modern show, and there’s nowhere open,” she says. “That was really kind of a fun challenge.” Morgan describes doing a lot of online shopping or occasionally going to stores early in the day, but also remarks that the circumstances forced a slow-down in the normal Hollywood bustle. “It was a very different time,” she explains. “Everybody had to take a little grace.”
Morgan credits her Midwest upbringing with understanding the look for the show, and for the character of Kat in particular. “I understand the ordinary girl’s desires to look cute and what that means,” she explains. In designing Kat’s look, Morgan focused on the character’s confidence in being a happily single woman. “She’s not spending all of her time worrying about what the male gaze thinks of her,” she says. “She finds a dress that she thinks is comfortable and cute…she’s going to wear it. She dresses for herself more than other people.”
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