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Costume designer Colleen Atwood wary about making Oscars a popular vote

Published 10/08/2016

Colleen Atwood at the Oscars
Colleen Atwood at the Oscars

Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood has said she hopes the awards do not become a public vote after organisers vastly increased the number of people deciding the winners.

Atwood, who has won three Oscars for her work including the 2002 film Chicago, said she was pleased to see the Academy becoming "more inclusive" but members had to have the "right level of achievements".

She told the Press Association: "I think it's important to be more inclusive in the Academy. It'll be interesting to see what that means.

"In a way you want the Academy to be somewhat ... a group of people that has the right level of achievements, so it isn't just another thing like 'Let's ask the public who should win'.

"It should be people in the business. I think as long as it keeps within those parameters it'll be good. Some fresh blood is always good."

The organisers of the Oscars have invited a record number of people to vote for next year's awards following the row over a lack of diversity.

Actors Idris Elba and John Boyega and rapper Ice Cube were among 683 people asked to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - more than double the total invited the previous year.

Atwood, 67, has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design 11 times over her career, winning for Chicago, the 2005 film Memoirs Of A Geisha and 2010's Alice In Wonderland.

The American designer revealed she had been working closely with British actor Eddie Redmayne for the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

"He's very physical, Eddie, in how he creates the body and the movement for his clothes," she said.

"It was really important to him that his stuff had a shape and a movement and it went with what he was doing.

"I saw the Harry Potter films but I didn't go back and revisit them. I didn't really want to do that and I didn't really need to because it's the world but it's 1926. It's a really fresh take on it."

Atwood also produced costumes for the star-studded cast of The Huntsman: Winter's War, which featured Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain.

But she revealed she had to pull out of the upcoming Disney film Mary Poppins Returns due to a clash with another project, leaving fellow Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell to take over.

The Huntsman: Winter's War is released on DVD and digital download on August 15.

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