Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

Susanna Puisto: MacGruber and More

Will Forte as MacGruber

Will Forte as MacGruber

As the night of the FIDM costume exhibit opening unfolded, we met up with Susanna Puisto, costume designer of the upcoming film MacGruber. She has designed many movies and television series, including How I Met Your Mother and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. We were so excited to hear about MacGruber, we asked her about a million questions! Here is what she had to say…

-On the “MacGruber” Movie:

“MacGruber” is a spoof on “MacGyver”, and it’s based on an SNL sketch of the same name. It’s really fun because we wanted to do it like 48 Hours, in the vein of serious action movies, so the costumes are not funny. So you think you’re watching an action movie, and then all of a sudden you get the joke, and then you’re like, ‘Something’s wrong!’ Movies like Die Hard were our inspiration.”

“Will Forte is the ‘MacGruber’ character. And then, what was exciting was that they let me change Kristen Wiig’s look for the feature. She’s now more like Charlie’s Angels circa 1981 meets Christie Brinkley/Sears Catalog. Sexy! I was like, ‘Guys, there’s only one woman in the movie. She’s gotta be sexy!’ It was awesome! Really Fun!”

“It’s a funny movie. These actors are blowing up. Will Forte is just amazing. Kristen Wiig is genius. And we had Ryan Phillippe. And when you see this movie, you’ll never think of celery like you used to. That’s all I’m going to say.”

-On shooting on location:

“We were in Albuquerque. It was pretty good because Universal Studios has a costume shop there. That really saved us. It was amazing. It makes such a difference when you’re on location to have a costume house. They also have a beautiful fitting room there. So when we were pre-fitting all of our background, it was great! It’s unbelievable! Melissa Moody runs it.”

“We shot over the summer. It was very hot. It was like the very first day of shooting and we were shooting in a mine. And, of course, I have all my soldiers in full uniforms, dead on the ground with blood. And all my bad guys in black leather. It literally went from 0 to 140 degrees and there was this 200% reflective surface, this white thing on the ground. And I was telling my actor, ‘You want to take that coat off?’ And he was like, ‘No, Susanna, it’s melted into my skin already.’ We wrapped mid-September.”

-On her other projects:

“I did another movie right after MacGruber called A Year In Mooring with Josh Lucas. We were in Traverse City, Michigan. We were on the shore of Lake Michigan, in a marina. It was beautiful; it’s gorgeous there. It was like, “Who knew?” America’s best kept secret. There were vineyards, ski resorts, and great food. The film is a very poetic, beautiful story of mourning and healing, the polar opposite of MacGruber. I enjoyed it.”

-On designing for a comedic film:

“It takes a lot of work. It’s all about the joke. Comedy is one of hardest things to work on, really. Because it’s always like, ‘Wouldn’t that be funny?’ And then you’re like, ‘Uh, not funny.'”

Now that’s funny! It was great to talk with you, Susanna – we are all looking forward to MacGruber, in theaters April 23, 2010!! Congrats and good luck!! Thanks for talking with us!!!

— KMB & AT

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