Actor James Franco as Gator Bodine in "Homefront." Costume design by Kelli Jones.

 

 

“Homefront”

November 29, 2013

The new Open Road Films thriller “Homefront” puts action star Jason Statham at the center of a heated showdown, sparked by an otherwise innocent fluke.

Statham plays ex-DEA agent and recent widower Phil Broker. Phil and his young daughter, Maddy, have relocated to small-town Louisiana in an attempt to create a fresh start following his wife’s death. Adapting to her new home isn’t exactly easy, and after being bullied on the playground by a classmate, Maddy punches the kid in the face. Her simple display of self-defense sets off a dangerous chain reaction: the bully’s riled-up, meth addicted mother Cassie (Kate Bosworth) demands an apology from the Broker family, and when that’s not fulfilled, she asks her seedy brother Gator (James Franco) to shake them up as he sees fit. Gator, a mechanic who moonlights as a meth cooker, does some poking around and learns Phil’s identity as a DEA agent. He hatches a plan to bring Phil down and to benefit himself in the process.

Costume Designer Kelli Jones says she particularly enjoyed building a costume for the drawling, conniving Gator. Gator wears a grey canvas jacket with ripped-off sleeves over an army green, Converse button-down shirt, with black Dickies pants and work boots. Jones and her team severely aged and over-dyed the costume, tearing off the sleeves of his jacket and fraying the armholes. She also stonewashed his pants and beat his shoes. To keep the outfit layered and in the same color tones, she added a darker grey t-shirt under Gator’s green converse shirt, creating a camo-like palette. Jones pulled the bulk of Gator’s garments, (as well as the rest of the cast’s costumes), from Sears, Walmart, thrift and army navy stores.

“I think the costume is a perfect representation of the character, because he needed to be somewhat villainess without looking corny and still fit in with the town he’s in,” Jones says. “He also owns a garage and has workmen in Dickies around, so he needed to show off an element of that style.”

The designer says that actor James Franco was active in helping to develop his look. “His only main note before the fittings was that he didn’t want to look like he was trying to be a badass or a tough guy. He knew he was going up against Jason Statham, who’s pretty much known in all his films as the real badass. There was a fine line between realistic villain bad guy and over-the-top, small-town bully. We wanted to keep it authentic and dark without using the stereotype, small-town bad guy wife-beater with camo pants [look].”

In the end, the team was able to execute a functional ensemble that sheds light on Gator’s background, profession, and less-than-legal hobbies.

“He wore that outfit twice in the movie, with only switching out the converse shirt. I wanted the sleeveless jacket to look like his go-to jacket, and let’s be honest, those kind of guys don’t have a large selection of pants,” she says. “It’s a movie about meth heads—those people barely can stand to eat, let alone change their clothes.”


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