HitFix

Oscar-nominated ‘Into the Woods’ costume designer says bondage was right for Rapunzel

Over the past two decades, and the last 15 years in particular, Colleen Atwood has cemented herself as one of Hollywood's leading costume designers. She's earned three Oscars and is continually sought after by many leading directors to design threads for a variety of time periods and genres. With “Into the Woods,” she has once again reunited with Rob Marshall for an inimitable blend of period and fantasy.

HitFix recently spoke the Atwood, who picked up her 11th Oscar nomination for the film earlier this month. Read through the back and forth below.

“Into the Woods” is now playing in theaters.

***

HitFix: You clearly had to create many iconic characters for this film. Is that intimidating at all?

Colleen Atwood: It was totally intimidating and not only creating them but creating them together in the same movie! Like, everybody is iconic, but it sort of flowed once I started. I started with the witch. We knew Meryl was cast in that role (the other parts were not cast yet) so I started with the witch and what I was going to do with her, and as that evolved, then Rapunzel evolved (her daughter, her child) – each [character] has their own world and they're all in the world together. It went from there.

Is it fair to say that the color palette is darker than how these characters have traditionally been portrayed?

No. Everyone thinks of a traditional portrayal as from the '50s and '60s and their color pastels. In some of the old fairytale illustrations, in the back of the Grimm fairy tales, there's a lot of woodland darkness.

So do you feel like you're going back more to the original Grimm aesthetic?

Yeah, I am. I'm embracing the early fairytale. Cinderella's early costume had gold shoes. She wasn't in this blue dress [as portrayed by Disney].

×