Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

James Franco had costume doubts

James Franco

James Franco had to be "convinced" into donning his Florida-glam costumes in Spring Breakers.

The actor stars as Alien, a white rapper who wears cornrows, in the Harmony Korine-directed film.

Alien's wardrobe could easily have come off as a joke, but reviews have praised his appearance as being spot on.

The movie's costume designer Heidi Bivens can take the credit for nailing Alien's Florida-glam style, which she says was mostly based on her instinct.

"With Franco, I was able to decide on each look," Heidi revealed to 411mania.com. "Occasionally there would be something he didn't like, but I was able to convince him it was right for the character and the scene."

Spring Breakers follows four college-aged girls who decide to rob a fast food restaurant in order to pay for their spring break. Along with James, the cast includes Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez and Ashley Benson. Heidi explains how she pieced together the film’s complicated wardrobe, which involved finding bikinis for all types of bodies.

"[I had to get inspiration from] all over," Heidi explained. "I pulled it from hip hop and street style, co-ed 'girls gone wild' photos Harmony had collected over time, mall shopping in the South, vintage shopping in St. Petersburg area of FL, young girls on spring break, Surf and skate culture, local weekly mugshot newspaper like Busted."

Heidi has worked as a stylist on magazines and music videos as well as being a core part of the look and design of movies. She explained what her day-to-day routine was like for Spring Breakers.

"When I sign on to work on a film, the first thing I do is break down the script and figure out how many days are in the story and how many changes each character needs. I gather inspiration for the look of each character and meet with the director to decide which direction to go with the costumes," Heidi continued. "During fittings with the actors, the look of each character starts to come to life. Sometimes the costumes can be a collaboration with the director and actors/actresses depending on how much they want to be involved. Once shooting commences, I'm on set to establish costumes and then the wardrobe supervisor takes over to oversee any continuity."

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