Stephen Noble Q&A: ‘The Theory of Everything’ costume designer
As Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything," star Eddie Redmayne underwent "slightly more than 77" costume changes under the supervision of designer Stephen Noble. "We go from 1963 to early-to-late '90s," says Noble. "We were all very adamant that we didn't want to create a costume drama. James Marsh, the director, wanted an emotional timeline rather than a period timeline. Once we slipped into another decade, we wanted to make it as timeless and seamless as possible."
Noble had to chart a very definite physical transformation in his lead character, going from an able-bodied college student to a middle-aged physicist bound to a wheelchair. In those early years, Noble tried to convey a certain awkwardness through costuming. "He was slightly an eccentric character. So we made everything a little ill-fitting — a little bit too small, a little bit too tight — to accentuate the gangliness of him and the slight bohemian side of the academic world that he lived in.
"As the disease was diagnosed and it progressed, we began to oversize his costumes, to make him more emaciated, and to make him more insular and almost begin to disappear within the world that he lived in," Noble revealed.
His philosophy on the art of costume design in film is a simple one, saying "You just immerse yourself in their world, do as much research as you possibly can, and be true to the characters, but also add your own twist and your sort of creativity and slant on how you see it."
Noble’s credits include this year's "Under the Skin," as well as "Wuthering Heights" (2011), "Never Let Me Go" (2010) and "24 Hour Party People" (2002).