Suiting up the superhero

Inside Hollywood

Suiting up the superhero

She has dressed some of the most talented actors in Hollywood, be it Leonardo DiCaprio, Andrew Garfield, George Clooney, Keanu Reeves and well, many more.

Costume designer Kym Barrett’s styling has enhanced not just the characters but the mood and colour of the movie as well.

Be it Andrew Garfield’s suit in the ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ or Keanu Reeves’ jacket in ‘Matrix’, Kym seems to take challenges in her stride.

So how does it feel to dress these great-looking people? She laughs, then says, “Well, it’s enjoyable most of the time. Quiet pleasant, actually.” On a serious note, she adds, “I talk to the actors about their performance and the character. Then, I start working on it.

Talking to a lot of people brings in ideas. Although, occasionally, it’s not so easy.” Kym’s not complaining though!

She tells Metrolife that her tryst with Hollywood began on stage, so to speak. “I started in theatre and was in drama school when I was asked to work in ‘Romeo +Juliet’ by Baz Luhrmann.”  

As it happened, ‘Romeo + Juliet’, filmed in Mexico City, heralded her arrival in Hollywood.
Kym, who is from Australia, then relocated to the US and started working on commercials.
A little later, a  a meeting with cinematographer Bill Pope led her to meet the
Wachowski brothers for their next film.

She was in their film and it had Keanu Reeves. That’s how ‘The Matrix’ happened.
‘The Matrix Reloaded’, ‘The Green Hornet’,‘The Amazing Spider-man’ ‘Gothika’, ‘Eragon’, ‘Cloud Atlas’, her line-up of work makes a multi-dimensional collage. But ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ was completely new territory for her. She admits, “I had never done comic book movies before that. A lot of people had told me it was going to be really hard. ‘Be ready for a difficult time’, they had said. However, the director knew what he wanted.”  
Kym went on to design the Spider-man’s suit that spelt functionality and fantasy. The fact that the film was in 3D was yet another challenge.

She goes on, “The producers had done many ‘Spiderman’ movies. They were clear what they wanted and how different they wanted this one to be. But they were professional. We really had a dream team.”

“For me, it was not hard. I got to stay in Los Angeles and be at home with my family,” she adds.

India, meanwhile, is no alien land for Kym. She is comfortably acquainted with its films, not to speak of its culture. “I would love to work in Indian films, it’s one of my dreams. I love the music and colour in them. They are fantastic in nature, be it mythological or modern Indian movies,” she says.

“There’s huge talent in India, whether it’s the artisans or in technology,” she
adds.

While styling actors is no trivial job, she certainly knows how to do it best. Talk of style statements and she says, “I think the most important style is when everyone, especially actors, complement their own style, add something that they do not have and use all the attributes. It’s very personal.” she informs.

At the moment, there are new challenges ahead. But is there any actor she wishes to costume? “No one in particular. But my hope is to continue doing what I do. To travel all across the world and work with different actors,” she adds.

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