The Intern is set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray next week and Jacqueline Demeterio has put together all of the costumes for the film.
We caught up with the costume designer to chat about the different looks in the film, working with the likes of Anne Hathaway and director Nancy Meyers, and what she has in the pipeline.
- You have designed the costumes for The Intern, which is about to be released on DVD, so how did you get involved with the project?
I got a phone call from Nancy Meyers' producer Suzanne Farwell and I happened to be in London at the time doing a press event with Cameron Diaz for The Other Woman. They had liked that I had been doing with Cameron on The Other Woman and Nancy had wanted to try and find me. When I got back to the States, I had an interview with Nancy.
Funnily enough, she found me through her daughter - who I didn't even know - who was doing press for Chanel at the time and had found out that I was the one who had done the costume designing for Cameron on The Other Woman. So that is how that came to be.
- The movie sees Nancy Meyers back in the director's chair so what brief were you given about the look for the central characters of Jules and Ben?
When Nancy and I first sat down, I had read the script and I had done a presentation of inspiration boards of how I viewed Jules; she had also done her own Pinterest boards. When we sat down, they were very similar; some of the images mirrored each other. We were on the same page from the beginning, which was really great. We kind of wanted to keep it... The Intern is a fashion movie but we wanted it to be classic, timeless, and chic; we both wanted those elements. It really worked out well between the two of us collaboration.
- Can you talk about the first steps that you take once you have a script or source material and you know what the director is looking for? How do you move forward and start the work?
After I read the script, I break down the script to see how many characters there are, how many actors there are in the film, how many days and nights there are in a script; that allows you to see how many changes are needed for each character. I start doing inspiration boards. I look at different websites, I look at the shows, and I also look at street style - but that does depend on how I see each character and how I went to delve into and develop each character. I do boards for each character. Then, along with my team, we go out and start shopping. I go over all over from high end to H&M and Topshop; I go everywhere. We
Then, along with my team, we go out and start shopping. I go over all over from high end to H&M and Topshop; I go everywhere. We fill the room with lots and lots of wardrobe and then we start to bring in the actors for fittings. The fitting process is where the creative process really kicks in because you really start to find the character when you get the clothes on the actor.
You can see the actor starting to feel... the second that you know they are feeling the clothing and the wardrobe is turning them into the character, you know that you have achieved your goal. That is what happened with us, especially with Anne Hathaway.
- Anne Hathaway takes on the role of Jules, who is a woman in a powerful role. Can you talk about her look and perhaps how we see that look develop throughout the film?
Sure. When we first see her in the office, she is on the phone and you can't really tell what her position is because she is in a customer service situation and you just see her face. Then you see her on a bike and that really helps create the feeling that she has a busy schedule because she needs a bike to get from point a to point b in a matter of seconds. At the same time, she is talking to her assistant about everything that needs to be done.
She has a powerful look in the office that is polished, chic, and on trend - I did add some trends to her wardrobe. At the same time, she also working with all these young people and I didn't want it to be too overpowering; her look needed to have a bit of a relaxed feel to ease her employees. It was a fine line of showing this powerful woman who is the boss but who could roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty like everyone else.
- Robert De Niro's character represents a different generation and we see him in a suit every day he is at work. How early on was this style choice made? And why was that choice made?
Yeah, that was made pretty early on. Bob has his own costume designer, Aude Bronson-Howard; she is amazing and does every film with him. She costume designed his wardrobe and sat down with Nancy early on and Nancy had discussed it with me as well. I think Nancy was inspired by her father and how that older generation went to work every day - they would have a suit and a tie on no matter where they were going or where they were working.
That was definitely an early thing that Nancy wanted. And she definitely wanted that differentiation between Robert de Niro's character and the young boys in the office. I intestinally made the boys a little Brooklyn, hipster, slacker looking to really differentiate between them and Bob.
- How did you find working with the likes of Anne and Robert? Did they bring any ideas to the table for the look of their characters - especially Anne as she is incredibly stylish away from the camera?
Yeah, Anne was great. From the beginning, I felt very lucky that Anne, Nancy and myself were on the same page from the very beginning. When I first met with Anne and showed her some images, she was like 'yes, I love it.' The second time that we met, I had already pulled a rack of clothes and I styled out a complete rack of different looks to show her. She was just so into it from the very beginning. I think we did about four fittings and we just nailed it very early on.
I had a lot of high-end pieces in her closet, but we both decided that it was quality over quantity and re-used a couple of pieces. It ended up being a very special curated wardrobe that we selected that this type of woman would invest in but she every single day she wouldn't have something new on. She really loved the result, so it was great.
- How hands on was Nancy during the designing and developing of the costumes?
Nancy was part of all of our fittings as well. It was really the three of us and we all had this great direction and just went with it. At times, Nancy wanted to be a little more classic than I did - I was trying to push it and make it a little edgier.
In the end, we met in the middle (laughs). It was good. Her movies are very classic and are timeless, so they always look good. I really understood what she wanted and I am glad that we were in that direction but I was able to add some of the elements that I enjoyed as well.
- You have worked on many fashion-focused movies during your career, how much do you enjoy throwing yourself into this kind of film?
I love it. I started out as a personal shopper at Barney's in New York, so I had come from fashion. I started styling after Barney's and my first film was Sex and the City. Patricia Field was a client of mine at the time and we are very good friends. So that is really how I got started.
That is really my niche and my thing, the contemporary fashion project as that is what I know and what I love. I would like to try other things such as a period film at some point. But I love fashion and contemporary clothes and I love to be able to dress people and make them look amazing; it is my thing.
- How did you get into costume design in the first place?
I am more of a stylist. When Patricia introduced me to Sex and the City I was like ' I have never done production. I know how to style people and I know how to dress people.' Learning that process of costume design has been great. It is so different when you are working in film and television, following the script and each character, building these lives that people see on screen through clothes, it was really interesting to me.
I enjoy doing both; I enjoy still doing fashion styling but to be able to create these characters that are on screen forever was very detailed, different and I really enjoy the storytelling.
- How does working in television compare to working in film?
I will say, television is pretty gruelling (laughs). I am doing back to back television shows at the moment and it is a non-stop schedule. You are prepping one episode, you have got everyone set for the episode, you think you can take a breath but then you are on to the next episode. You just don't stop.
With film, you have a little more time to really create and... I feel like, in a film, it is an overall longer experience of being creative - not that I can't be creative in TV - but it is a very quick turnaround and I do feel a bit rushed. I do enjoy both, but I think I enjoy the process of a film a bit more.
- Finally, what's next for you?
I have been working on Darren Star who called Younger, which is a cute fashion show. That has been fun and we have just finished season two. It has already been picked up for season three. I have moved onto this other TV show - which I did last season - and is completely different thing for me.
The Jim Gaffigan Show has been fun as I have been able to create a very New York type, gritty, and realistic world. That really has been a bit of a departure but I do like it. Hopefully, I will have another feature but I am just waiting to hear.
The Intern is released on DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital on 29th February.