Moon Knight Trailer
(Photo Credit: Disney+)

Interview: Moon Knight Costume Designer on Working With Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese spoke with Moon Knight costume designer Meghan Kasperlik about designing the Marvel Cinematic Universe series‘ incredible costumes ahead of the Disney+ show coming out on 4K and Blu-ray. Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Moon Knight, Andor, and Obi-Wan Kenobi will be released on 4K UHD and Blu-ray SteelBook on April 30.

Moon Knight “follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life,” says the official synopsis. “Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt.”

Tyler Treese: I just love the mummy bandages that are in the Moon Knight suit. Can you speak to that choice because it is such a fun look and plays into the Egyptian element?

Meghan Kasperlik: Well, I worked very closely with the Marvel visual development department because they had such a hand in it before I was even brought on, so that was a very important detail from the director. So incorporating that into the suit is how do we make it mummy, like the mummy bandages, but also modernize it? So, how I did that was that I chose the fabric and then 3D printed on top of the fabric to bring layers, dimension, and brilliance to it.

So there’s five layers of 3D print on the fabric, and then it’s like pieced together. FBFX was the team that built the suit in London, and at a certain point, they told me there was over 800 pieces to the suit. It was a major labor of love, but I think the outcome and like the result of adding all of those details into it really helped build a new character and new costuming in the MCU.

Comics are really interesting in general, but especially this show because you just have so much to pull from. There’s the comics, you have Egyptian history, there’s the show’s creatives and Marvel’s team, then you have your own ideas. How is that balancing act?

I had a really great time because I did so much of my own personal research before kind of coming in and collaborating with the team. I collaborated not only with Marvel but also with the production designer and the cinematographer on how the shots were going to be, what the lighting was going to be, and how to incorporate the costumes and the set or how we can do the modern costumes with incorporating Egyptian culture. All of that was so much fun, and there are so many Easter eggs throughout the entire series. So, it’s cool that the fans can go back now with the Blu-ray and kind of like really look at all of those details.

Oscar Isaac also worked as an EP on this. Did he have much input when it came to his outfits and costumes?

Oscar was super collaborative, and so it was so great because we really talked through all of the Moon Knight suit, Mr. Knight, and then the other modern characters that he was playing. So I think the cool thing was that I had a conversation with him prior, and then he was on another job. So I flew to New York, we did a fitting, and we instantly had the Marc Spector character and the Mr. Knight costume. We instantly had that down in two seconds. So it was really about kind of figuring out Moon Knight in a way, and what he wanted and how to incorporate it into the world.

And at that point, the suit had not really been built. We were still in the development stage, so it was great to incorporate his ideas into that. I’ve done other suits before, so I was very much like, I want it to be in pieces so that if the actor doesn’t have to put like the mask on and we don’t need to put like different things on. Just for the actor comfortability and also the durability of the suit. So it was great talking through all of that with him.

One element that really impresses me about your work on this show is that you can just kinda look at the suits and you get the personality of that version of the character. Can you speak to just your approach to really embedding the personalities into the actual costume design?

Well, I think just for in any costume design you do, you have to bring that into and factor how the actor wants to play this character, how the director sees this character, [and] what’s going to be the trajectory over the course of the show. So, with Moon Knight, we wanted to have like a toughness and a balance to that, but also not like so overpowering. So it was about building out the shoulder but having full mobility to do all of the moves. So there would be no hindrance for Mr. Knight. I think I love so much about that is when Oscar is playing Mr. Knight, and he kind of like sees himself in the reflection for the first time in the bus, and he is kind of like doing one of these and moving all around like, “Oh my gosh, look, I’m this cool character.” So playing with the fun aspect of that.

But with the contemporary costumes, I think one was like Arthur Harrow with Ethan Hawke. I had very long conversations with him about [it]. I did a lot of research on cult leaders and religious figures, and with a cult leader, there’s like always something interesting. So I was telling him about that. Like, there’s a pair of glasses, or there’s like a watch or a belt, or there’s something. He also wanted to bring in the fact of this calmness of a monk. I was like, “Oh, well, they always wear this kind of amber color. We could incorporate things like that.”

So having those details and having then Arthur wear this very interesting, odd sandal, it was kind of like the character beat to help like build those character ideas with Ethan, and that was incorporated into how he played the character.

The Hippo Goddess is one of my favorite costumes in Moon Knight. It’s so colorful, and it really stands out. How was working on that?

Taweret was a favorite. I really love making that costume. So we made everything in-house except for, obviously, the Hippo Head was CG, that had some help. So I was really excited because I wanted to build all of the details within the headpiece and in the tombs. In Egyptian culture, there was a fertility Egyptian dance. I had a metalsmith, and he hammered that into the headpiece, and then we made all the jewelry in-house. So I wanted there to be some vibrancy in life in that costume that maybe the sand and the aging hadn’t taken over as for other characters. So it was a lot of fun, and my team did an amazing job.

I saw you worked on Civil War, and I really loved that film, so I wanted to ask about that experience and coming up with these costumes that really showed the wear and tear and just what everybody was going through. What was the mindset behind that?

I really collaborated with the director Alex Garland, and I used the same mindset on every job as I do a tremendous amount of research. So I really research like war journalists and what their life would be. I read an amazing book by Lynsey Addario, who’s a real-life war photographer, and just how I could incorporate that into Kirsten [Dunst]’s character and also Cailee Spaeny’s character. Then researching what the rest of the world would look like in that. So the collaborative effort, again, I always love collaborating with the full team. So, it was a phenomenal experience.

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