WRATH OF THE TITANS
Outfitting An Army
The expansive wardrobe for everything from a hero to fallen gods to an ancient
Greek militia was created by costume designer Jany Temime. "I find Greek
mythology quite interesting, but I've never worked in that period before, so I
was excited to have such a perfect opportunity to learn more about it," she
Temime took her initial cues from the changes in the story that have taken place
since we last saw Perseus and the gods, ostensibly ten years earlier. "When our
film begins, the gods are no longer on top. They've been in decline because man
has stopped praying to them, so I wanted to present them in a state of decay,
while still capturing the different aspects of each one, and hinting at what
they once were."
Zeus' decline was key for her. "He was the king of the gods, and now he's losing
everything. I chose ethnic silk with a lot of weight to it, which was
magnificent but not glamorous. We draped it heavily, and did a hand-printing on
it in gold leaf. From there, we damaged it as much as we could, leaving just a
suggestion that it was, at one time, fantastic-looking."
Having collaborated with him on four "Harry Potter" films, Temime was very
familiar with what works for Ralph Fiennes, and had clear ideas for Hades.
"Ralph can carry a cape like nobody else," she says. "We chose soft skein
leather, because I wanted something matte that would give off no reflection
whatsoever. I found an illustration of a volcanic surface with holes, and used
that to design the print for it. It was horrific, and though you hardly see it,
he could feel it."
Apart from the gods, the costume designer had other transformations to
accomplish. "Taking an English rose like Rosamund Pike and turning her into a
Greek warrior was really a challenge," she declares. "I had to make her appear
strong and capable, without hiding her femininity and beauty." Temime started by
addressing the armor. "I found it fascinating the way Greeks fashioned the
shapes of muscles into their tunics and I thought, 'Why should a man show the
shape of his abs, but a woman not show the outline of her breasts?' So, I took
that sort of detailing and enhanced the contours of her body, which ended up
looking very sexy and cute, but still powerful. We also did a handmade tie dye
on her dress, which was silk, and which looked very authentic."
Temime felt no detail was too small, whether it would read on camera or not, as
long as it spoke to the character. "For Agenor, who we first meet in prison, we
created a cape imprinted with reproductions of antique coins. So, while he has
nothing, his cape
represents something of real value, much like the man himself. For Helius, who
is obsessed with the gods and wants to be a war hero, we made him mini-armor
with two pieces of metal, much as a kid would have done, and it went nicely with
his little wooden sword."
To design the clothing for Helius' father, the hero at the center of the story,
Temime took both the character's personality and the physical requirements of
the part into consideration. "Sam's a very physical actor and it's an extremely
active role, so it was important that he had tremendous freedom of movement. Had
I given him metal armor, it would've been hard for him to move, so leather was a
must. From there, I incorporated both Greek and Japanese elements into it, to
make it slightly different from all the others. I used a very rough silk that we
dyed and damaged, and I went with a shade of blue because it evokes the color of
the sea, and he's a fisherman."
For the bulk of the cast, Perseus included, Temime says, "Jonathan wanted
everyone to look very rough and realistic. He always asked for more dirt, more
damage. He wanted to show the result of having been at war for many years and
living in a world where the gods no longer provide for the mortals."
To dress the army of Argos, Temime adhered closely to her research. "I gave them
the look of a real army, with the color red for their cape, made from old pieces
of carpet that we found. All the tunics were hand-printed. All the armors,
greaves, capes and helmets were hand-sculpted or handmade, for approximately 300
officers and guards and so forth. And we also did the Athenians and the
Spartans. There were a lot of Greek soldiers," she smiles, "a lot."
Liebesman has high praise for Temime's work. "Jany's interpretation of the era
was brilliant," he says. "It was an enormous undertaking, and she and her team
really outdid themselves, and exceeded my expectations at every turn."
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