How do you make a movie without seeing caricatures of color televangelist and gay icon Tammy Faye Baker? It was a challenge for “The Ice of Tammy Faye” costume designer Mitchell Travers and star and producer Jessica Chastain, who came together in their vision for the film’s look. “We never wanted it to be a parody. We have brought love into our hearts for Tammy, ”Travers said.
In the 1970s and 80s, Tammy Faye and her husband Jim Baker, played by Andrew Garfield, rose to national fame and fortune as TV presenters who created their own theme park, Heritage USA. Tammy Faye made an impression with her camouflage attire and exaggerated makeup that earned her the nickname “Queen of the blink of an eye”.
Chasten, who often sits in a makeup chair for seven hours to achieve signature lashes and extreme looks, works closely with Travers to maintain that balance, as he says, “How can we support the work we need to do and tell the story that needs to be told? When will it be okay to get in the way, or when will they need to disappear?
Since the Michael Schwalter film, which opened in theaters on September 17, charts the story of Tammy Faye in the 50’s and 90’s, Travers had to consider how Tammy Faye changed through weight loss, weight gain, and becoming a mother. “We had to get the body [shape] First the right, and then the body dress, ”Travers says.
For the 1987 “Nightline” interview, Tammy Faye redesigned the bright red dress in which she and her husband discussed the sexual allegations against her and the financial allegations against both of them, Travers said, adding that it was important to exaggerate her shoulder. “Part of our storytelling was that I wanted viewers to understand the weight of the clip-on earrings and shoulder pads on her earrings.” “I feel like this is a moment where we have to press the scales under the pressure of being Tammy Faye.”
The title is literally, Traver’s point of view was to see things from Tammy Foy’s point of view. He studied his books, documentaries and interviews. “I wanted to understand him and the way I saw myself.”
In an early scene when the couple was just beginning to find success, Travers put her in a primitive green wool jumper with a pink satin blouse. Impossible color pairing represents Travers, representing “the first time she feels like she’s someone”. Others would consider it a strange mix, but not hers. To Traver, it was an enchanting look.
“That combination is the recipe for success when you’re trying to find Tammy,” he says.