Costume designer Claudia Sarbu serves as costume supervisor on the upcoming film "I, Tonya"
Online PR News – 09-October-2017 – Costume designer Claudia Sarbu recently wrapped production on the upcoming film "I, Tonya," where she served a key role as the film's costume supervisor working alongside costume designer Jennifer Johnson.
Directed by DGA Award winner Craig Gillespie, "I, Tonya" brings to the screen the highly anticipated Tonya Harding story, a docu-comedy which Vox calls a nearly pitch-perfect black comedy that distills the sensational story into two potent insights very relevant to 2017.
The film, which is currently screening at festivals and is slated to have its theatrical premiere in the U.S. in 2018, stars BAFTA nominee Margot Robbie ("The Wolf of Wall Street") as former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, Sebastian Stan ("Political Animals") as Harding's husband Jeff Gillooly and five-time Golden Globe nominee Allison Janney ("American Beauty") as Harding's mother LaVona.
Leading the department with costume designer Jennifer Johnson, Claudia Sarbu's role as the film's costume supervisor was imperative to ensuring the continuity of the actors wardrobe and, together with the director, determining links in terms of wardrobe pieces that would most contribute to the story. Often called the glue that keeps the wardrobe department together, as the costume supervisor of the film Sarbu was not only the link between her department and the overall production, but she was also the major link to the manufacturers where the films voluminous amount of skating costumes were made.
"The film is trying to stay accurate to the events that were at the time highly publicized- but also, and this its main goal, present Tonya's tragic life by underlining its absurdity," explained Sarbu. "Tonya's wardrobe is key to exposing who she is and it was one of the things that stood against her in the world of gracious figure skaters. She was the white trash and somehow, despite her talent, she was never able to fit."
Sarbu's extensive experience in the industry coupled with her research concerning what skating costumes and other wardrobe pieces properly reflected the eras of the 70s, 80s and 90s presented in the film were tantamount to the accuracy of the film's costumes.
Sarbu, who is a costume designer as well, and costume designer Jennifer Johnson have actually joined forces on several other high profile projects over the years, including Mike Mills' Oscar nominated film "20th Century Women" with Annette Bening, and the 2013 romantic dramedy "Charlie Countryman" with Shia LaBeouf.
"I've had a wonderful working relationship with Claudia over the last few years on many projects. It's always great fun creating costumes with Claudia! Her intelligence and humor are what keeps me going on these long projects," said Johnson. "Claudia is incredibly determined and works harder than anyone I know. She cares about her craft as a costume designer and whether you're an actor or a crew member or a friend, you know she always has your back."
Among numerous prestigious commercials, Claudia Sarbu also recently wrapped production on the horror mystery "The Killing of a Sacred Deer." Slated for theatrical release in the U.S. later this month, the film, which stars Oscar winner Nicole Kidman and Golden Globe winner Colin Farrell, follows Steven (Farrell), a surgeon who is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after a fatherless boy that he takes under his wing begins to exhibit sinister behavior.
Working hand in hand with costume designer Nancy Steiner, Sarbu shared the responsibility of dressing and fitting the cast, where she says the challenges revolved around the fact that the wardrobe needed to look and feel real, but still create tones for the characters.
She explained, "The film is really dark, but the interesting part, and what makes it especially dark, is that the world it spins within is a normal, middle class family. This kind of movie is sometimes harder in terms of wardrobe because it needs to feel real, and not for a second look like a designer existed."
Sarbu, who is originally from Bucharest, Romania, began her career more than a decade ago and has since created a powerful reputation for herself as a leading force in the costume department who easily liaises from serving as head costume designer to costume supervisor. Some of her other notable credits include Oscar nominee Terry Gilliam's fantasy film "The Zero Theorem," Neil Burger's ("The Illusionist") 2014 adventure film "Divergent" with Kate Winslet, Oscar nominee Daniel Barber's 2014 western drama "The Keeping Room" and many more.