Colleen Atwood dresses Johnny Depp. A lot. The three-time Academy Award winner for costume design has worked with a clutch of A-list directors–Jonathan Demme’s Married to the Mob was the first time she got to do more than go shopping on a tight budget–but her partnership with Tim Burton has been especially long and fruitful. His fantastic tales match her sensibility. Atwood’s most recent Oscar was for the extravagant costumes in Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, and she has signed on for his goth take on 1970s vampire kitsch, Dark Shadows. She likes to mix up the otherworldly with the every day in films like The Tourist and The Rum Diary. Still, “it’s the films like Alice in Wonderland” that are closest to her heart.
Watch a short interview with Atwood about the Dark Shadows costume she’s creating for Johnny Depp.
Is there a totemic object in your life that helps connect you with being creative?
It’s not my Oscars, contrary to popular opinion. I always carry pictures of my children and grandchildren, which is what makes it all worthwhile. It’s great fun that my grandkids get to see the costumes in Alice in Wonderland or a doll with grandma’s dress, but then they also let me know they’re bummed I didn’t do any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.