Backstage Interview | 85th Academy Awards

Costume Design

CATEGORY: Costume Design
INTERVIEW WITH: Jacqueline Durran
FILM: "Anna Karenina"


Q. Congratulations to you. This is your first Oscar win tonight?
A. Yes.

Q. How do you feel? How are we feeling?
A. Totally overwhelmed. But absolutely delighted.

Q. The costume design inside ANNA KARENINA, you I haven't really seen a film go so much into the psyche of each character, and the costumes are so much more outwardly indicative of what the characters are going through. How did you how were you able to figure out what each character was going through at the time and show that through what they were wearing?
A. The brief that the director gave me was to concentrate always on the silhouette and the color. So I think that he always had a plan, and quite often what happens is you design the costumes according to the director's plan, and then he uses them in a way that you didn't imagine or didn't know. But there was always a color plan and a silhouette plan.

Q. Hi.
A. Hello.

Q. Congratulations.
A. Thank you very much.

Q. On winning the award, I mean, do you have a sense this is as much to do with the actors who wore your costumes, people like Keira Knightley? And how important was because you worked with her before, haven't you? Since she was a little girl, essentially.
A. Yes. I think that the actors have a lot to do with the costumes, because they're the ones that really make the look live. And because it was quite a stylized look, I think they had to really be on board with it and really inhabit the costumes, and Keira particularly, is a dream to dress and will make anything you can give her look the best it can possibly look.

Q. I'm from Russia.
A. Hello.

Q. I love you guys very much. Was you surprised?
A. What?

Q. Did it surprise [inaudible] you when you prepared for this?
A. The Russian research, we tried very hard to research Russian ethnic costumes for the Levin household, for the sides and everyone who was related to Levin in the story. Everyone all the other characters wore things which were really Western European are Parisian inspired, the military uniforms, and the Levin household, we really looked at a lot of Russian records and it was very new to me, and I enjoyed that part of the job very much.

Q. Hi. Congratulations.
A. Thank you very much.

Q. I just wondered if you were a big fan of the book before you came on board with this film?
A. I read the book when I was at university and I I thought I wasn't a huge fan of it, but as returning to it now at my current age, I was absolutely amazed by it, and I thought that Tolstoy was the most incredible writer because he seemed to be able to describe every condition, every human condition and I thought he was amazing. His descriptions of Dolly, of Levin and of everyone, he seems to be able to capture everything.


These transcripts may not be reproduced except as brief quotes used in conjunction with news reporting about the 85th Academy Awards®. All content Copyright 2012 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Oscar®," "Oscars®," "Academy Awards®," "Academy Award®," "A.M.P.A.S.®" and "Oscar Night®" are the trademarks, and the ©Oscar® statuette is the registered design mark and copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Additional information regarding the "Terms & Conditions of Use" and "Legal Regulations for Using Intellectual Properties of the Academy" may be accessed online at

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Communications Department
8949 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1972
Phone (310) 247-3090
FAX (310) 271-3395