Dressing Hippies...and an Unexpected Cast Member
McGuire was the perfect choice for costume designer, not only because she was a
self-proclaimed New York hippy for a decade, but because she worked with Aniston
on Friends for 10 seasons. "I had all of these communal experiences in my youth,
so these worlds were very familiar, and it was exciting for me to be able to
re-create them," she says. "Obviously, when George and Linda go from New York to
Atlanta to Elysium, there's a physical as well as emotional evolution that takes
As the characters begin their journey in New York, McGuire clad them in a
sophisticated Manhattan style. She notes: "Linda wears Yves Saint Laurent and
everything current. They're very much into whether or not they can afford the
great shoes and accessories that are characteristic of New Yorkers. I played all
of that up."
After the couple moves to Atlanta, their look changes again. "I did a film in
Atlanta last year in the McMansion suburbs, so I got a big dose of what that
world is like and how people dress," the designer explains. "It's almost like a
uniform, especially for the guys, with the khaki pants, polo shirts, sports
jackets and Top-Siders."
McGuire describes the Elysium style as "contemporary hippy," a look with which
she can relate. "I was that hippy, so I love that role," she says. "I used the
materials in a way that are a little more sophisticated. For example, Almond
wears a few dresses that are made by an artist that I met when I was doing a
film in Michigan. There's one dress in particular that's a patchwork, but done
in a very sophisticated way. It uses a lot of knitwear combined with beautiful
silk fabrics that are hand-dyed."
The designer shares that Linda's character undergoes the most dramatic
transformation in the comedy: "Linda starts out as the New York sophisticate,
yet when she arrives at the commune, she is blown away by all of the freedom of
The audience may correctly assume that the women in the commune have contributed
to each other's wardrobe. McGuire shares: "When Linda is having an acid trip,
she wears a black tank top and cut-off shorts. Later on, she ends up wearing
this fabulous sweater of many colors, which we assume was handed to her by
somebody in the commune. This becomes the key piece that takes her into this
other world. The other characters hand her items that become her essence."
McGuire describes Linda's palette as that of earth tones, taking in the
immediate environment's "beautiful greens and browns and essences of the Earth."
She explains that in contrast to Linda, the character of George does not change
too dramatically, and "stays George throughout."
For Seth, McGuire created the antithesis of Theroux's personae. "Once Justin put
on the wig, he became this completely other person," she shares. "From the
start, it was obvious to me that Seth had to be shirtless most of the time, and
he had to have the perfect jewelry. Even though he's not supposed to have any
possessions, he's got to be the hot guy on the commune, the one every girl lusts
Carvin represents a man who experiences no evolution and is stuck in the '70s.
The costumer used a number of Pendleton pieces for Alda that are actually
contemporary. To counteract that effect, she intensely aged these clothes down.
Ironically, the most challenging character to clothe was Wayne, the nudist.
Costume-wise, two things stand out about this character: his leather pouch and
his multitude of shoes. "We wanted to make sure that his pouch was comfortable
for him to wear, so we used soft leather and a cotton rope with that
Pendleton-blanket look," McGuire says. "As for the shoes, that was something
that developed. Joe was the one who said, 'Maybe I'd have all of these shoes.' I
thought it would be interesting if the only thing he wears is shoes, and we gave
Wayne about 30 different pairs."
In addition, an actor who remains nude throughout shooting requires a certain
amount of special attention. Laughs the costumer: "My assistant, DONNA CHANCE,
deserves a medal of honor because the nudist ended up being the most hands-on
person. He has to feel comfortable, so Donna had to take care of himâ€¦like taping
things onto his privates on a daily basis. We were fortunate that Joe felt
really comfortable with her."
It was up to special effects makeup artist TOBY SELLS, best known for his work
on Zombieland and The Walking Dead, to oversee all things involving Lo Truglio's
foam-latex prosthesis. "It was fabricated by MATHEW MUNGLE at WM Creations in
Los Angeles," Sells says. "It was then shipped to me, and I did the on-set
Sells says that when he first received the device, it wasn't quite right.
"Unfortunately, it wasn't custom made, and it didn't fit Joe's lower abdomen.
The only thing we could do at that point was add more hair," he explains. "So I
added the hair, and it wasn't enough, so I kept adding more hair until it got to
the level of 'whoa!' Dave and Ken got a look at it and told me, 'It's really
hairy, but it's also funny.' We got to see Joe flopping around set with this big
'70s porn bush."
According to the makeup artist, the application was fairly simple and took about
30 minutes to apply. He recalls introducing the actor to the newest member of
the company: "Joe and I had gotten along great on the phone, so when he got to
Atlanta, we met for lunch. I figured maybe I should bring along the penis. It
seemed to be the professional thing to do. So we had lunch together, and the
three of us got along great."
For Lo Truglio, the most difficult aspect of wearing the prosthesis was when he
had to use the bathroom. "We would have to unglue one of the pieces," the makeup
artist concludes. "We would then return to the trailer to do a little re-gluing.
Otherwise, it was actually one of the easier on-set makeup touches I've done in
quite a while."
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