Black Widow costume designer Jany Temime talks about how she tweaked Scarlett Johansson’s costume to fit “the reality of a woman’s body.”
Black Widow costume designer Jany Temime has explained how her work on the MCU film led to her creating Scarlett Johansson’s most comfortable Marvel outfit to date. Temime, whose impressive screen credits, including working as the costume designer on 2012’s James Bond outing Skyfall and on every Harry Potter film since The Prisoner of Azkaban, considered working on the MCU’s latest big-screen extravaganza as her “dream job.” Temime is also currently lending her talents to the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon.
Despite joining the MCU back in Phase One’s Iron Man 2 in 2010, it took over a decade for Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff to finally headline her solo outing. While her character sacrificed herself in exchange for the Soul Stone during the events of Avengers: Endgame, Johansson’s character returned for a prequel story set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. With Black Widow already drawing huge box-office numbers in its opening days, there are already talks of a possible sequel with Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova at the helm.
While Temime inherited Romanoff’s signature look from previous films, the costume designer did everything she could to ensure that she tweaked Johansson’s costume to fit “the reality of a woman’s body.” She also had more free reign in designing some of the film’s other costumes, such as David Harbour’s Red Guardian outfit and Romanoff’s and Belova’s striking white outfits, which have been front and center at much of the film’s advertising. Speaking with Variety about her work on the film, Temime explained:
Between the seams, we allowed two to three millimeters of elastic fabric to give some room and stretch because I didn’t want her to feel like she was in something tight. I was so happy to hear Scarlett say that it was the most comfortable outfit…
Since Yelena came from Russia, I looked at it from a different point of view. I looked at photos of the Russian and Norwegian army and I came across some of the soldiers in the snow wearing white, and that’s where the white uniform idea came from – also they pick up their “father” in the show so I thought that would look gorgeous.
Over the years, superhero costume design has evolved by leaps and bounds from the days when skin-tight latex rubber suits meant that actors could barely turn their heads or last a full day of filming. Johansson has previously commented on the issues she had filming the first Avengers film, in which her costume caused her body to overheat to the point where she began to hallucinate. Talking about the suit from the 2012 film, she said, “It was so hot, I would wring out my socks at the end of the day.”
With the benefit of experience, however, the folks at Marvel Studios are increasingly finding clever ways to make the work-life of their actors easier while still getting great results onscreen. Temime instrumental in finding more practical ways to costume the cast of Black Widow, but she isn’t alone in the MCU design world. Loki star Sophia Di Martino has also applauded her show’s costume designer Christine Wada for including zippers into her Sylvie costume to accommodate her needs as a breastfeeding mother. One thing is for sure when a film’s cast is more comfortable physically, it is much easier for directors to get sort of the fantastic performances they are looking for.
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