“This is Us” costume designer Hala Bahmet earned an Emmy nomination in 2018 for a wedding episode of the NBC family drama about the Pearson family across decades of their lives. She dressed another wedding this year for the sixth and final season of the show, but that actually wasn’t the biggest challenge for her department this year. We talked with Bahmet as part of our “Meet the Experts” TV costume designers panel. Watch our exclusive video interview above.
“I love making the wedding dresses. Those are my favorite,” she explains about crafting Kate (Chrissy Metz) another custom gown for her second trip down the aisle. “It was challenging because each one had to be different because they’re two different weddings, two different times in her life.” But bridal gowns have got nothing on time travel: “Overall the most challenging thing about our show is that we jumped around in time so much. We never know what decade we’re going to be in until we get the script just a few days before we shoot it.” That’s on top of the prosthetic makeup and having “four different principle actors playing our three main children,” so what “appears on the surface to be just a nice, touching, emotional family drama is actually really complicated behind the scenes.”
The Pearson family bid farewell this year, and “I feel very emotional because I’ve devoted so much of my life to it … I’m so connected to the characters because for me, after all this time, they’re like real people to me,” she admits. That’s why saying goodbye to them is so difficult. “I feel like I’ve gotten to know them so well that they are my friends,” she adds, “and now we have to let them go.”
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