I got to speak with Costume Designer Erin Benach about her work on Jeff Nichols’ historical drama “Loving.” The movie takes us back to the late 1950’s and early 1960’s where we are introduced to Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple whose marriage quickly had them banished from Virginia as it violated the state’s anti-miscegenation laws. They later sued Virginia, and their civil rights case, “Loving vs. Virginia,” eventually made it all the way to the Supreme Court which affirmed the very foundation of marriage ways and ended state laws that prohibited interracial marriage.
Benach also worked with Nichols on his other 2016 movie, “Midnight Special.” She earned a 2012 Costume Designers Guild Award nomination for her work on Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive,” and she reteamed with him on “The Neon Demon.” She has also worked with filmmaker Derek Cianfrance on his movies “Blue Valentine,” “The Place Beyond the Pines,” and “The Light Between Oceans.” Her other credits include Brad Furman’s “The Lincoln Lawyer,” Andrew Niccol’s “The Host,” Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s “Sugar,” and Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut “Lost River.” You can visit her website at www.erinbenach.com.
In my conversation with Benach, she talked about having the costumes fit into the story without overwhelming it, why the costumes could not stand out too much, and of the challenges she faced in capturing the look and feel of the years “Loving” takes place in. She also talked about the differences of working with Nichols and Refn whose films are so very different from one another.
Please check out the interview above. “Loving” is now playing in Los Angeles and New York.
Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” is a beautiful movie from top to bottom as everyone involved in its making did an expert job of transporting us back to the 1950’s and 60’s. Based on a, yes, true story, it introduces us to Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga) who are deeply in love with one another. They eventually get married, but with Richard being white and Ruth being black, they are arrested and put in jail as their interracial marriage violated Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws. As punishment, they are banned from returning to Virginia for 25 years and forced to live in Washington D.C., but they soon sue the state and their case eventually made it all the way to the Supreme Court where it was ruled banning interracial marriage is unconstitutional.
I recently got to speak with two artists who worked on “Loving” behind the scenes: Kenneth Walker and Julie Lallas. Walker was the head of the hair department, and his previous credits include “Jimi: All is By My Side,” “Munich” and Ridley Scott’s “American Gangster” which he described as the hardest film he ever worked on. Lallas headed up the makeup department and worked with Nichols previously on “Take Shelter,” and she has also worked on the set of “Enchanted,” “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist” and “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Talking with them both was very illuminating in terms of how they went about their jobs, and it also allowed me to ask them if they want their work to be showy or to instead just disappear into the framework of the movie.
Check out the interview above, and also included below is a trailer for “Loving.” Nichols’ movie is now playing in Los Angeles and New York, and it is definitely worth checking out.