Rita Ryack

"A Beautiful Mind," "Casino," Oscar nominated for "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas"

Fave designers: “Jim Acheson, who did ‘Dangerous Liaisons’ and ‘The Last Emperor.’ Alexandra Byrne and ‘Elizabeth’ — gorgeous and really strong points of view. And I love Ann Roth’s costumes for ‘Hair.’ They solve a problem — doing a period film through the eyes of a later period. The clothing in the ’60s was really dumpy and not believable. There’s so much out there that you could put on the screen that would look ridiculous. In ‘Hair,’ there’s a lot of delicacy of choice. Very eclectic but it works very well. ‘Boogie Nights’: A fantastic job of (capturing) the ’80s.”

Seminal films: ” ‘Nashville’ — the costumes were just fantastic, (exuding) a very specific heightened realism, a strong point of view and wit. They accommodated the actors and helped the writing. Shelley Duvall’s wardrobe was just sublime. Barbara Harris’ costumes were kooky without broadcasting it. It looked like the actors had been really worked with.

“I was so obsessed with ‘West Side Story’ (costumes by Irene Sharaff) that I changed my name to Rita because of Rita Moreno. I thought Anita was the greatest character I’d ever seen — the purple dress with the fringe (in the rooftop ‘America’ sequence). That whole movie was life changing when I saw the Jets and the Sharks and the orange and the purple, and Bernardo and those black mohair jackets.”

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