episode 405 - August 11, 2008
Some of us working in Hollywood have a list of actors we'd love to someday work with. For me, the short list is Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Drew Barrymore...and up until a few weeks ago Jennifer Coolidge. Often though you meet these actors and are disappointed that the character they played that first inspired you to want to work with them,or meet them, is just that, a character and you find that the actor as a human being is a big let down. I got the call from casting that Jennifer Coolidge had been cast as Angie and at first I was like: Oh-My-God! and then the reality was, oh my god, I don't want to be let down and my little Closer Cupcakes, I wasn't!!! Miss Coolidge was every bit the hoot that you see on screen, and so nice to boot. Every take was a wonder and she had the crew cracking up after the director yelled cut, sometimes before! So the episode, Dial M for Provenza was one of our slapstick scripts that always are rich with great dialogue and jokes that require comic timing and best of all eclectic characters.
Miss Brenda Leigh Johnson starts her day in Bakersfield, actually an off the freeway location up toward SoCal's Grapevine, it was so hot the day of filming and throughout the entire episode, I put Brenda in a summer weight jersey wrap dress by Laundry, 3/4 length sleeves and the tiniest of a puff at the shoulder. The print was an abstract of squares in white, black and orange. She repeated her Chanel shoes and plopped an Eric Javits straw hat on her head, bought at Nordstrom at the Grove.
For Brenda's "day off" look, I pulled out a few seasons ago Milly wool plaid jacket in blue. pink and black plaid. Threw a pair of Seven jeans on her, they had a little 1970's vibe going on with seam stiches on the hip and pockets and at her waist a faux concho belt from JC Penney's Ralph Lauren American Collection line. But what you never saw on camera were a great pair of Lucchese Cowboy Boots in black and saddle brown with a hand tooled design. Too bad that sometimes the director doesn't choose to do a fashion shot of Miss Brenda just for those style fanatics out there!
When Deputy Chief Johnson reprimands the boys and solves the case she's turned out in a Pure Collection Heather Clover twin set and I stole an Irene skirt, tan with a birdseye weave, from one of her vintage suits and repeated the go-to Chanel shoes.
Back to Jennifer Coolidge, I knew that I wanted to make her larger than life as Angie and that even though she, the character, perhaps lived in Glendale she didn't shop at the Galleria but drove "over the hill" to Saks in Beverly Hills. Jennifer loved the revealing multicolor print jersey top with a built in "necklace" of carved black onyx stones. I had originally planned a pair of tight white Dolce Gabbana pants but Jennifer requested a wiggle skirt, so my cutter fitter Carlos whipped one up in an Alia type black ribbed spandex. She looked knockout and was absolute perfection down to the Stuart Weitzman stiletto gold leather strappy heels and all of the rings and bracelets and earrings. She left the fitting and proclaimed that this was the first time she had ever known exactly what she was going to wear after just one fitting. On her last day of shooting when she ran from the car dealership screaming she was rich, she brought us all treats either a beautiful bouquet of peonies or a bottle of wine. I chose the flowers and now have a vase to re-use and think of Miss Coolidge every time. The actor that played Alex, Angie's soon to be late husband was played by Vasili Bogazianos who I recalled watching as Benny the driver on All My Children!
I doubt that I'll ever get a chance to work with the other actors that are on my short list, although I did pass Miss Roberts in a local grocery store a few months ago, doing her own grocery shopping with her little girl in the basket; my costume supervisor did work with Brad Pitt on one of his very first movies, Kyra and Kevin both know Meryl Streep and I once had Drew Barrymore park behind me in a wonderful old Volvo in front of the William Morris Agency, heck, I had admired Kyra's variety of roles and never thought I'd ever get a chance to work with her or Kevin Bacon, but just look at me now four seasons into The Closer. I tell ya, the scripts just keep getting better and better and the acting is first rate. It's been a great season to date. Until next week, let's hope the heat wave breaks because the Closer Closet doesn't have air conditioning and I must close the door on this blog for now.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer/speaker and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc.