The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story

Nov. 9th, 2018

Anna Wyckoff

Lisbeth Salander would feature prominently on a list of contemporary characters that have seared into the cultural consciousness. The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story, based on the eponymous novel, is the fourth in the Millennium Series. For Costume Designer Carlos Rosario, tackling such a high stakes project meant many discussions early on to reimagine the lead. He says, “Lisbeth is iconic and has been portrayed by such great actresses. For this film everyone agreed this was a much more mature version of the character.”

Rosario’s collaborated with Ellen Mirojnick on the original concept to pull back on the more gothic elements that had become synonymous with the character. He wanted the audience to relate more to Salander (Claire Foy) than they have on previous projects, where the strong aesthetic and costumes created distance between the character and audience. Also, he didn’t want to distract from Foy’s intensity in the role. He elaborates, “For me as a Costume Designer, it’s important to make sure that the audience is visually hooked with a character—that’s always my goal.” Additionally, Rosario had to ensure Salander’s many changes would be highly functional to support the non-stop physical action necessitated by the film. He turned to Mary Ellen Fields to construct the striking motorcycle suits.

Another part of Rosario’s process was collaborating with the actors beforehand to create the people of the film. “Claire needed to know the story of the garments before seeing them. It was important for her to understand the thought process behind each piece. It was very exciting for me because I felt it was the best way to create a character. Once you start designing something that has a profound meaning, it’s not just visual,” he says.

It was also vital to give the rest of the cast the same treatment. He chose to have Camilla Salander (Sylvia Hoeks) wear solid striking red based on her reaction to her own past. “Camilla presents herself in the world with this bold suit, in which she finds her empowerment. She compensates with it,” Rosario notes. “What I love the most about this movie is that we have five really strong female characters. Each one of them is very empowered and different. I got to create something specific for each one of them—that was one of the most interesting parts.”

The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A New Dragon Tattoo Story from Sony Pictures is in theatres now.

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