In an interview with Deadline, four-time Oscar nominee Jacqueline West sat down with Deadline to discuss her career as a costume designer. Some notable films she has worked on are Quills, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Reverent, and Dune: Part One.
West notes that her first time on a set was on Philip Kaufmann’s 1990 drama Henry & June. Kaufmann approached West at her clothing store, “who decided I [West] should be in the film business.”
According to the designer, “He [Kaufmann] said, ‘Now, I have to pay you’ and I said, ‘No, no, you’re my friend. I had so much fun doing this.’ He said, ‘So you’re doing my next movie,’ which was this huge Hollywood movie with Sean Connery (Rising Sun). It started like that and never stopped.” In collaboration with Kaufmann, West received her first Academy Award nomination with Quills in 2001.
In discussing one of her more recent projects, Dune: Part One, West recounts that she did not initially want to work on the film despite the film’s director Dennis Villeneuve asking her. Her original refusal of the offer was because she was uncomfortable doing sci-fi, and it was only after a second offer and a lot of convincing that West agreed to work on the film. She notes, “He [Villeneuve] was so compelling. He said, ‘I want you because I do not want it to look like sci-fi. I want it to be classical. I don’t want it to look like a video game.’”
West will be the costume designer for Dune: Part Two, and she claims that the research for and designs of the costumes was more challenging than the first due to the expansion of the worlds of Geidi Prime and Arrakis.