Costumes tell stories: Happy Death Day 2U’s Whitney Anne Adams

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Happy Death Day 2U-Whitney Anne Adams-Courtesy of Universal Pictures

1428 Elm: One of my favorite things from the trailer is Tree’s FML sweatshirt.

WAA: Chris added that to the script. And then I was like, ok. What does this sweatshirt look like? So I made a spread sheet of different sweatshirts that I had tried on her. And then I played around with different fonts and different colors. Chris and I sort of gravitated toward what you see in the movie. So I had it made. I was actually the first costume we filmed her in during the first day of shooting. It’s fun that that was the beginning of it all.

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1428 Elm: Did you get to design the Bayfield Babyface mascot at the basketball game? It was pretty epic.

WAA: Yes I did! It was hilarious. In the script, Chris just says ‘baby mascot.’ So what was this supposed to be? Let’s translate the hard plastic mask into this really weird foam. It’s supposed to be cheerful, but it’s also super creepy at the same time. And then I made him bottom heavy and he’s got a big diaper under there. It was a lot of fun to do.

1428 Elm: You are also the costume designer on the movie Piercing. Mia Wasikowska has a very specific look. Was that based on the novel? Or was that you working with the director and actor?

WAA: It really came with Nick [Pesce] and I. We did the The Eyes of My Mother together. So I’ve known Nick for a few years now. And I adore him so much. We wanted to make sure that the world was very heightened. That made the aesthetic just that more interesting. I was playing around with a lot of different references and I settled on fashion designer Claude Montana.

Like, this is what I want her to look like and feel like. And the dress she ends up wearing is a Thierry Mugler dress that is stunning and beautiful. But the fur coat is from the 1970s, so we’re playing around with the Giallo aspect. The character talks about how she only pieces that mean a lot to her. So we played around with that. Everything she wears is sort of high end.

Happy Death Day 2U-Piercing-Courtesy of Universal Pictures

1428 Elm: The third movie you have coming out this Spring is Killer Man. That seems to be more of a straight up action movie.

WAA: Yes. Action. Thriller. There’s not too much released about it yet, but we filmed in Savannah about a year or so ago. It was so much fun. It was definitely more straight up action. So another different genre for me to play around in.

1428 Elm: We do know that Liam Hemsworth’s character has amnesia. Does that influence the costumes?

WAA: 100%. That’s what was so fun. I was talking with Liam about his costume. Before he loses his memory he knows who he is and dresses for a reason. All of these choices make sense. Who are you when you lose your memory and what do you wear? What’s your personality. It’s sort of all gone. So, what do you do when you’re trying to piece it all back together. So that was a very fun challenge to figure out what his character would wear and where he would get these clothes.

1428 Elm: Is there any other project you want to let us know about?

WAA: I do have a short documentary film coming out that I did with about this dance company called Exit 12 that tells stories of war through ballet and dance. I got to design all of the pieces in the movie. That was incredibly powerful to work on. That should be coming out soon. And then I’m gearing up for a bunch of interviews, so hopefully I’ll book my next gig soon.

1428 Elm: Well, if the industry sees the three movies you just designed, I’m sure that won’t be long!

WAA: Thanks!

Thanks to Whitney Anne Adams for spending some time with us! I can’t wait to see what she does next. Happy Death Day 2U is currently in theaters.

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Fan of the emerging Happy Death Day franchise? Seen Happy Death Day 2U yet? Let the other birthday boys and girls know what you think in the comment section below.