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BEDTIME STORIES

Outfitting "Bedtimes Stories"
Costume designer Rita Ryack was called on to tackle the film's wild and crazy wardrobe. Says director Shankman, "She is brilliantly talented and creative. We went through millions of books with illustrations from all these different periods and the whole thing really worked on screen.”

Ryack says that the film presented a number of wardrobe challenges. "There are several time periods and settings—from contemporary and Skeeter's '70s childhood, to medieval, Old West, Outer Space and Ancient Greece.”

But the costume designer didn't feel pressured to make the fantasy sequences authentic. "I didn't want to treat any of the period stuff in a literal way,” she says. "We're watching Skeeter's fantasies, so that involved some projection. Skeeter's a sweet guy whose taste in clothing isn't particularly sophisticated, so the period scenes aren't at all archival. I looked at old epic movies for inspiration and most of the costumes have some modern components.”

Ryack says she most enjoyed designing costumes for Richard Griffiths and Guy Pearce. "My own sensibility is pretty theatrical, and villains give you the opportunity to go full-on silly,” she says. "I really like the medieval costumes for Barry and Kendall. The fabrics are beautiful and their fittings were great fun. I had to do a lot of last-minute improvisation.” Of course, with Adam Sandler's character starring in the fantasy scenes, Ryack had fun with his looks. "Skeeter had to be semi-heroic in his fantasies, although I think he looks pretty hilarious as a medieval peasant.”

Russell Brand went through hours of costuming and special effects makeup for his Outer Space character Lieutenant Mik. Says Brand, "Putting on that robot costume was very grueling. I was completely covered in gold—gold paint, gold plate, gold latex and a gold spandex suit. It was incredible to wear; incredibly prohibitive—going to the lavvy was a challenge. A challenge that every superhero must face.”

Ryack says she was inspired by the cast, the characters and the elaborate bedtime stories themselves. "I wanted to use bright, cheerful colors and graphic silhouettes to be evocative, to heighten the narrative, to be funny, but not distracting.”

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