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The Costumes
As with any period film, the costumes helped the actors get into character. Paolo Scalabrino, who has extensive experience on historical films, having worked on GANGS OF NEW YORK, TROY and the IMPERIUM television series, had to deal with the challenge of very limited source material. "There's very little documentation on the period, but the one thing Doug Lefler was adamant about was that the costumes had to convey strength. Our main characters, Aurelius and the other legionnaires, spend most of the film traveling, so they are wearing lighter armor than usual. The look is very leathery, they're not bulky, heavy costumes. This contrasts with what the legionnaires are wearing when they arrive in Rome at the beginning of the film for the coronation of Romulus Augustus—those costumes are much more official.”

One of his biggest challenges was dressing Aishwarya Rai as Mira. "My first impression of Aishwarya in our initial meeting in London was of a very beautiful, feminine, delicate lady,” recalls the designer. "However, when she turned-up for work one month later she was toughened-up, well-toned and determined. She was a different person. She had put a lot of physical and mental energy into preparing for the role.”

"Doug wanted Mira to have an Asian edge so we gave her a Byzantine look,” continues Scalabrino. "For the story, she had to look very masculine at the beginning so we had to cover up her femininity. To achieve this, we used leather and metal to give her a harder, flatter silhouette. The problem was that she, like all the actors, had to be able to move around freely during the action sequences, so we sewed the harder materials onto a background of natural fabrics including wools, cottons, linens and silks—that's what we used for all the costumes. We also used a lot of fake metals and leather painted on as metal. That allowed for flexibility.”

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