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Draped from head to toe in opulence, Carey Mulligan commands the screen as Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. But bringing the 1920s princess to life required the aid of Academy Award-winning costume designer (and wife of Luhrmann) Catherine Martin.
“What I loved was working with Catherine Martin,” Mulligan tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Talking about [the costumes] and the kind of decisions that we made.”
Asked to pick a favorite costume from the film, Mulligan is quick to select an over-the-top choice made for Daisy’s first onscreen appearance.
“In the first scene, we’re wearing this dress with a bodice and a huge skirt, and it’s covered in daisies,” she says. “It’s the middle of the day, and she’s the kind of girl that would just wear a ball gown for no reason.”
Martin, too, looks back fondly on the collaborative experience of dressing Daisy.
“The most difficult thing about doing any kind of costuming is getting inside characters’ heads that you don’t naturally connect with for whatever reason,” Martin says. “Daisy is a very interesting character that Carey Mulligan brought to life so brilliantly. I think, in this instance, it’s really the case of an actress helping you to discover what this woman would have worn. Carey makes Daisy much more than a sort of sycophantic airhead — you actually understand that she’s a product of her time and that is something that really helped me.”
As for Jay Gatsby himself, the high-society party animal pining for Daisy’s affection, Leonardo DiCaprio dons some very dapper styles — including one that he wasn’t quite a fan of.
“Leo is a consummate actor, so ultimately he will wear what’s right for the character,” says Martin. “Although, we did have a few laughs over the pink suit because he did say, ‘You’re kidding me, I don’t really have to wear the pink suit?’ I said, ‘You’ve read the book, Leo. You’ve read the script — there is Tom Buchanan’s line, ‘It’s a pink suit for Christ’s sake.’”
For more from Martin and the actors, watch the video above.
The Great Gatsby opens nationwide via Warner Bros. on Friday.
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci
With reporting by Jordan Zakarin.
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