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Hey boys and girls, we had a chance to interrogate the director and stars of The Spirit, the newest entry into the comic book superhero movie stakes.  Sit in as writer/director Frank Miller and stars Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson and Sarah Paulson discuss their other costar in the film, the fabulous and outrageous costumes.  Triple luv to Sam Jackson not only for being as cool we knew he’d be, but for blowing our minds by revealing his Otaku cred with a Shurayuki Hime reference!


Dig it.


The Spirit Press Conference


The Lady Miz Diva:  The amazing costumes in the film are practically a costar.  Frank, did you always have the idea to use the costume changes to mark the different chapters?

Frank Miller:  I suggested that there be different costumes for Sam and that all the women really look great.  And I worked hard on Gabe {Gabriel Macht}’s costume, because at first it really looked foolish, until we spruced ya up *to Gabriel Macht* with the black outfit and everything.  But for what {costume designers} Michael Dennison and Michael Crow did, I take no credit.

The Lady Miz Diva:  How did the cast members feel about their costumes?  Were any of you able to collaborate on your looks, and did you have a favourite outfit?

Samuel L. Jackson:  Well, I had a great time…

FM:  Oh, it was my idea to make him a Nazi, though!

SLJ:  Well, the Nazi outfit is something that goes back to original comics. There’s a Third Reich element in the comics, so we just used it as an element in the film that works very well. The Germans loved it.  

{All laugh}

The Germans in Berlin were so hot; they got Scarlett as the poster girl for this year.

FM:  They’ve got posters of her in that SS outfit all over the place.


SLJ: All over.

We were talking about the costumes and we did things and when we started discussing my killing of the clones is when we got to the samurai outfits and all this other stuff and we started talking about the ermine and all the other things.  But the big discovery for me was, Scarlett and I shared a makeup trailer, so when I would go in in the morning they would be making her up and I would look at her and they had these beautiful colours of eye shadow on her.  I’d go, “Wow, I should try some of that,” so, I got my makeup artist to start experimenting with eye shadow and I would put it on, then I would run in there, “So, Frank?” *throws his arms out, turning his head from side to side, blinking furiously*

FM:  And I never looked back.

SLJ:  He’d go, “I love it,” and I’d go back to the trailer and then I’d go, “Well, if I’m wearing a Nazi outfit, I should have lightning bolt eyebrows!” Lightning bolt eyebrows, “Frank!” He’d go, “I love it.”  From that point on, it was just a matter of me just kinda running in doing as much as I could to myself, even down to those ermine eyebrows.


Eva Mendes:  It was such a dream for me to get so wrapped up in this character.  I mean, how many times and I gonna get to play a woman who’s been married 14 times and killed almost all of her husbands and play a jewel thief?  The fun part for me was definitely putting on the glamour and wearing the clothes, but because the core of this woman was pain, and we can superficially look at it and say, ‘Oh, God she’s a diamond thief.  How superficial, diamonds, yada, yada, yada…’  But when I realised that because of her past and not having anything be stable in her life that a diamond is actually a rock and a rock symbolises stability and it’s so solid: Once I found that foundation, then it made me realise where she was coming from, so I can go big and I can be as ridiculous as I wanted to be, whether it was in hairstyle, or action, or in wardrobe, as long as I was rooted in this major need to fill that void.  I had a fantastic time and it’s from one of my favourite periods, when women were dames, they were broads.  They weren’t afraid to speak their minds and to throw out a curse word every now and then, so it was fun for me to say the least.


Sarah Paulson:  My character didn’t really have an over-the-top quality with the costumes or the look, which I kind of liked, and was also absurdly jealous of.  I’m in the makeup chair and I’d see these pictures of the continuity in Eva and Scarlett.  And Scarlett had these eyelashes with feathers coming off of them, it was amazing. The thing I liked about the part was there’s not a s ingle woman in this movie who’s a damsel in distress, there’s not a single woman in this movie who isn’t a strong woman. Frank changed my character a bit and made her a surgeon, so that I’d have this reason to be around The Spirit all the time and fixing him and healing him. *To Frank Miller* And you used a blue colour palette for my character, I think?

FM:  Yes, I did. That was when I wasn’t splashing blood all over your scrubs.


Scarlett Johansson:  Well, my character, I think these are her humble beginnings, I feel like, in a way.  She’s a medical, scientific mind and I think that she’s using this as a great opportunity to extend her schooling, in a way. She’s working for somebody who has this huge plethora of wealth and equipment and these grand ideas, and so for her to be able to put into paper all of his crazy ideas is just a way for her to experiment. She says at the end of the film, “Who knows what she’ll do?”  She’s movin’ on up!

And as far as all of my costumes, I mean, all of my costumes obviously directly correlated with Sam’s costumes, and so they just said, “Sam looks like this.” And I was like, “Oh! What does my costume look like?” “Yours is this,” and it was always like a quarter of the size of Sam’s costume. But I love that - as Eva said - that fabulous, golden age of Hollywood the 1940’s, beautiful, beautiful costumes.  I love my geisha costume, just because… it’s a geisha costume, y’know? Why not?

FM:  And also she showed up with that day with the parasol. That really was one of the main things that made that scene work, she just showed up that day with it and it was like, ‘Yes…’

SLJ:  The Lady Snowblood effect!

FM:  You’re right, you’re right!








~ The Lady Miz Diva

December 13th, 2008



PS:  Dig in here for our Spirited review of The Spirit.




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Film Stills Courtesy of  Lionsgate

Exclusive photos of Frank Miller & Eva Mendes by LMD at 2008 NY Comic Con






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