Disney’s Cruella is brought to life by all of the imaginative creators that were willing to go outside of the box while filming this movie. The costume, the makeup, the hair, the set production are all visually stunning and like nothing that has really been seen before — especially in a Disney movie. Every department very clearly gave it their all to make sure they came together cohesively, and it paid off in the end.
During a recent interview, the Director Craig Gillespie, Costume Designer Jenny Beavan, Hair & Makeup Nadia Stacey, and Production Designer Fiona Crombie, discussed everything they put into the movie, and what inspired them when creating these wonderful designs. Craig Gillespie immediately gave praise to every single person that worked on Cruella, saying that every department was “jammed to the gills”, but all of the elements came together perfectly.
When Fiona Crombie talked about the set production, and almost brushed all of their hard work under the table, Gillespie was sure to jump in and tell her not to sell herself short. He talked about how all intricate all of the ball designs were, down to every last detail. Crombie added in that because of the style of shooting, which is 360 style, every single detail would be seen because the camera would hit every angle. That means that all of the details had to be just right. Cruella had over 120 sets, which translates to a lot of work, and a lot of details.
Throughout the movie, there are several red carpet arrivals, something that Gillespie knew would be important from the start. Because they are quick snippets, and the way that the world will see Cruella, he planned for them to be as dramatic as possible. These moments are where the fashion, hair, and makeup are allowed to shine. Nadia Stacey said that creating these looks for Cruella were a lot of fun. At this moment in time, Cruella is still playing around with her hair and makeup, and exploring who she is. She is also using it as a bit of a disguise and a tool of deception, so the Baroness will not recognize her. This is why Estella’s look needed to be so simple — so there was a place to go when she became Cruella.
The Baroness has a much more refined look when it comes to, well, everything about her. She has discovered what works for her already, a very 50s look, and is sticking with it. Her look is structured and clean, while Cruella’s is chaos. Stacey absolutely loved having two very strong and powerful leads to design for, that are so different from one another. It was a lot of fun to be able to explore two completely different looks.
Jenny Beavan says the same thing about designing the costumes and dresses for Cruella and The Baroness. “These are two beautifully written characters that you can sink your teeth into.” When it comes to figuring out Cruella’s design, she admits it was all in the script, and the fact that she knew where this character ends up 15 years later. She becomes Glenn Close’s Cruella in 101 Dalmatians, so had to possible that this character, could become that character.
Gillespie was sure to give praise to the cast as well, for really bringing their all to this film. John McCrea, who plays Artie, was brought so much more to his character that they went back and shot another scene with Emma Stone so they could have more of him in the movie. He also says that Jasper and Horace are the heart of the film, and the actors, Joel Fry and Paul Walter Houser, had a great dynamic with Emma Stone. The three of them are a family, and they all played so well off each other while filming.
You can’t have Cruella without some dogs, and Gillespie admits there were a lot of fun to shoot with. Since a couple of the dogs are actually in Cruella’s crew, and have some roles of their own in the thievery, it was important to make sure everything they did would be plausible for dogs to do. Every dog in this movie is a supporting character, and they each have their own personalities.
When it comes to the soundtrack for Cruella, every song fits in perfectly, which is something Gillespie had planned right from the start. He designed the shoots around the music, making sure there was always a place for them. As for the way this movie tells the story of Cruella he says, “I wanted there to be this grey area and for the audience to empathize with the choices she was making — and to do it in a way that is fun.”
Academy Award® winner Emma Stone (“La La Land”) stars in Disney’s “Cruella,” an all-new live-action feature film about the rebellious early days of one of cinemas most notorious – and notoriously fashionable – villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil. “Cruella,” which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs.
She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by two-time Oscar® winner Emma Thompson (“Howards End,” “Sense & Sensibility”). But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.
Cruella will release simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access for a one-time additional fee on Friday, May 28.
Tessa Smith AKA Mama's Geeky, is a journalist that covers geek and Disney culture on her own website, as well as freelances for other sites such as What's On Disney Plus and Screen Rant. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Marketing and loves all things geeky. She is a Disney Vacation Club member and a Founders Circle Member of Disney+. She is also an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes. Tessa lives in Upstate New York with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs named Sansa and Khaleesi.