Meghan Kasperlik interview: ‘Mare of Easttown’ costume designer
Costume designer Meghan Kasperlik has now earned her second Emmy nomination for her work on the hit HBO limited series “Mare of Easttown.” Her first was for the 2018 fantasy film “Fahrenheit 451.” For Kasperlik, working in such divergent genres has meant overcoming different challenges. “On ‘Mare,’ we asked, ‘How do we make everyone look super authentic but still have interes?’ It was all about storytelling through the costumes and making them as lived in and real as possible.”
For Kasperlik, the first step in coming up with the overall look of “Mare of Easttown” was to visit the real-life locations in the Philadelphia area, including the local landmark, the Wawa convenience store. “I would sit in the parking lot and go into Wawa to watch people. It was really telling of what this area was like. I was looking to get inspiration for who these characters really were.”
She welcomed working with series star Kate Winslet. After sending the actress an initial mood board, she met with the Oscar and Emmy winner to refine their vision for her character, Detective Mare Sheehan. “Kate was all in. We had fittings to make sure that the T-shirts didn’t hit at the most flattering spot. In reality, we don’t alter our T-shirts. And we found a jacket that she was like her armor that she always wore as a detective.”
Kasperlik’s costumes played a key role in defining all of the roles. She spoke expansively about collaborating with Evan Peters, who played the one outsider on the show, Detective Colin Zabel, to come up with his distinctive look. And she revealed that she had to turn detective to source a specific costume for Lori (Julianne Nicholson) referenced by creator Brad Ingelsby in his Emmy-nominated script.
Among Kasperlik’s credits is another HBO limited series, “Watchmen.” “Mare of Easttown” scene stealer Jean Smart starred in that Emmy favorite as well. Kasperlik admits that the Emmy-winning actress had an unusual suggestion for the look of her character, Mare’s sassy mother Helen. Watch our interview to find out that fun fact.