“The Last Tycoon”

July 26, 2017

Anna Wyckoff

Very few projects lend themselves to Costume Design quite like F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon. Bringing to life a project that is itself about the Golden Age of film is a passion that creators Billy Ray and Christopher Keyser shared with Costume Designer Janie Bryant. “I love the 30s so much, and the whole story is about Hollywood glamour,” Bryant says. “We had a lot of conversations about what the characters would wear, and they too are very passionate about the period, so it was magical relationship, really. We had such creative compatibility and they loved what I did. I just can’t say enough about how incredibly supportive they were.”

For Bryant, bringing the characters to life was about expressing their personalities both stylistically and symbolically. “Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer) wears black and white a lot,” she explains, “because it’s a reference to the era of black and white movies, but he also sees his world as very black and white. He is all about the integrity of the artistry and the craft of making the movies, so he wears beautifully tailored suits, but he’s not ostentatious.”

This simplicity contrasts with the head of the studio, Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammer) who is flashier and more flamboyant. “Brady is very much in a moral grey area, so it was really important to me to contrast Brady and Monroe that way. I would have him wear blue tone suits, or tan suits, or grey pinstripes, always with a fancier shirt, and accessories. He’d wear very patterned and high contrast ties, in opposition of what Stahr wears.”

At the heart of her thinking is a love of the written word in the source material and in the script. “I always feel there has to be an intention behind what is going on in the story and why the character would wear something. How is that going to help the audience? How is it going to evoke an emotion?”

The Last Tycoon premieres June 28th on Amazon.

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