Jany Temime Talks Films, Parks, and More in Exclusive Interview

Late Thursday afternoon, I found myself in a room with Potter costume designer Jany Temime, who began work on Prisoner of Azkaban and continued through the series finale and even the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Temime is in New York promoting Prismacolor, an art tool brand used by thousands globally, and I was lucky to sit with her to discuss her work on Potter and other projects.

The costumes of Potter make our favorite characters stand out, and fans cannot help but notice the drastic change from the first two films to Prisoner of Azkaban. Temime said she intentionally made such a shift since she wanted to make the series feel more like A Christmas Story , where every teenager could recognize themselves.

When asked about how she imagines wizards would be dressed in 2017, she’s confident it would be more of the same. It’s no secret that her favorite character to develop was Voldemort, someone she almost was able to start from scratch. Temime did reveal she loved working on Bellatrix and the villains from Bond. 

I’m always obsessed by the villain. I really like the villain. [laughs] I always like the baddies. The baddies are my fascination.

What many might not know is that Temime worked on the costumes for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed areas in Orlando, Florida. It was fun because… it was hard and it was fun. It was hard because we had all the limitations of the… they did a great job [copying] the costumes because I was there,” said Temime.

Temime even recalled coming into the themed areas and taking sunglasses off the staff in wizard robes. “Wizards don’t wear sunglasses,” she explained to me.

When I asked about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I learned something new. Jany Temime never wanted to work on the film. It came across that she may have been approved but ultimately turned it down due to other projects such as Bond, and she felt as if her time with Potter were complete.

For me, the world of Harry Potter was a world with a cast and everything, and then Fantastic Beasts is another fantastic project, but that’s not my Harry Potter project.

Since Temime was in New York to promote #HarryPotter20 and her partnership with Prismacolor, I asked her to pull out the colors that she used on different characters. Temime showed me how she uses a variety of Prismacolor Colored Pencils when sketching her designs to help bring her ideas to life. She humored me, showing the schemes for the Weasleys (including the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes shop), Hermione, Harry, and Voldemort. It was incredible – the bold colors were placed in front of me and the characters were staring back at me.

 

Weasleys, Hermione, and Harry

 

Voldemort

 

When asked about her favorite part of the costume design process, she explained, “It’s bringing an idea to life. This is what’s exciting. It is that creation in general, and the coloring for me because I feel that creation is color, so they come from the black and white script into something colorful and pretty.”

 

Me with Jany Temime (right)

 

You can read a full transcript of our interview below. Special thanks to the people of Prismacolor and Jany Temime for taking the time to speak with MuggleNet.

Full Transcript with Jany Temime, Thursday June 8, 2017

Transcribed by Felicia Grady, Renae McBrian, Eric Rakestraw, and Tracey Wong

Lizzie Sudlow: So it is wonderful to meet you. I’m absolutely floored to have this opportunity. I’m from MuggleNet. I have a couple of roles on the site. I work on the Creative Team, where we come up with different fun listicles and blogitorials, basically get more into the fun side of Potter aside from news. I also take on all of the interns, and I’m actually a host for a Fantastic Beasts podcast that we have, so the opportunity is really wonderful to get to meet someone [who] worked so closely on several of the films. So I just have a few questions. Obviously we won’t get to them all, but I was curious, how much of the actor, when you were designing for the characters, did you put into the costume work? Did you take part Dan and part Harry in order to create Harry’s look?

Jany Temime: No.

Lizzie: No. [laughs]

Jany: It was Harry’s.

Lizzie: Yeah, it was fully Harry?

Jany: Harry. And Daniel was just an actor who was just playing Harry.

Lizzie: Gotcha. Okay. I have a really fun one. Someone from the staff… I actually asked them to give a bunch of questions. So the look of the costumes changed drastically. Like Prisoner of Azkaban became more serious as the mood of the series began to change. What was it like to make that much of a shift with your first film as part of the series?

Jany: I started on number three. I arrived on Prisoner of Azkaban to change the look. That’s what I wanted to do. Because I thought that Harry Potter should be more like A Christmas Carol. Harry Potter should be a film where every teenager can recognize themselves in it. And then I just jazzed it up, made it a little more…

Lizzie: Okay. I love it. Did you have a favorite costume that you worked on throughout the entire series?

Jany: I like Bellatrix very much. She’s my favorite.

Lizzie: I love her look. It’s incredible. Someone asked, “What considerations do you have to make in terms of fabric and how certain materials translate to the screen?”

Jany: Well, this is exactly where we [use] Prismacolors. I always start sketching, and I sketch very quickly, and [unintelligible] because that’s the best way to be able to design the fabric. And fabric is one of the most important things in a costume because it’s the way it moves, the way it looks, and the way it [unintelligible]. So I use Prismacolors. Their colors are incredible. They have lots of them. They have a lot of different tints. The tints are very [unintelligible]. The colors are very fashionable. They usually have a big range, so I always start making those sketches, and then after that, I give that to the fabric buyer, the fabric buyer brings me the fabric, and then I go on with the costume when I have the fabric. [unintelligible] and then start fitting it on the actors.

Lizzie: Awesome. How many sketches do you think you did per character over one film?

Jany: You’re lucky or you’re not.

Lizzie: Yeah. [laughs]

Jany: Sometimes you make it a certain way and it’s fantastic, and sometimes you need more than one sketch to get into the character. Or sometimes you do something that you think in one direction, and then when the fabric arrives, then it’s just something different, and it goes, “Okay, create another direction.” You have to follow the flow of your [unintelligible].

Lizzie: Yes. So we noticed that a lot of the characters sometimes stay in this similar color scheme. Like Harry is more of grays and blues, Hermione is more of…

Jany: Oh, I wanted him to look like the street, to have street clothes.

Lizzie: Oh, okay. Hermione is more reds and pinks, and [Ron] was more of…

Jany: And I wish they were always a red and brown. Very [thematic] colors.

Lizzie: Yes. Do you think, if you had to pick a color that represented the character from the Prismacolor set, you could do that?

Jany: Yes. Oh yes, I could.

[Lizzie laughs]

Jany: Absolutely. [starts demonstrating] I mean, that would be the blue here and the gray. That would be Harry. That would be of course the gray and something like that. That would be Harry. And then… that’s Harry.

[Jany and Lizzie laugh]

Jany: And then here we have Hermione. Hermione would be like that and like that. [unintelligible] And then we would have the Weasley, which would be [unintelligible]. This is a Weasley. There we go. You know?

Lizzie: Yeah.

Jany: I use a lot of those greens for Mrs. Weasley.

Lizzie: Yeah. It’s incredible because you look at the skein here and it just clicks.

Jany: And the colors of the shop. Remember the shop? [unintelligible]

Lizzie: I never even realized that the color scheme fit into their shot, too. That’s so cool.

Jany: You think it was just casual? [laughs]

Lizzie: [laughs] I am not the costume designer here. [laughs] So what do you think… when you did wizard costumes, it became more like – like you said – street clothing, less A Christmas Carol.

Jany: Yeah.

Lizzie: How do you think they would look today, if you were doing…

Jany: They would look like… don’t forget that they were actually human. They had to have people like Dumbledore, who was probably a thousand years old.

Lizzie: Yes. [laughs]

Jany: And then you had people who were younger.

Lizzie: Yes.

Jany: You had people who were more active. You also had people who were more interested in the Muggle world.

Lizzie: Yeah.

Jany: Like Arthur Weasley. He’s always trying things, trying to get into the Muggle world.

Lizzie: [laughs] Yes.

Jany: I mean, those ones were dressed much more modern. Then you have the good aristocracy of the wizard, you know? And older families, older Slytherins, and all that. They [had] a much more classical look created for them. Real fashion. Real aristocratic wizard fashion, which was much more traditional because it was their personality.

Lizzie: Right. Ah, that’s so cool. I’m fascinated. I could listen to you talk all the time. But I do want to focus on some of your other work as well. Our staff was wondering, what’s it like to work on wizards and then switch to Bond? Is there a change in the process at all? Is it just a different mindset?

Jany: You have to… when Potter was finished, it was like a part of my life was finished, you know? Because of the story. I did the [unintelligible] to be able to go on with that and bring my designs into that world and make them more tangible. And then when that was finished, I was ready for a new challenge, and I was really pleased to get into Bond and do something else completely, you know?

Lizzie: Mhm. Did you have a favorite character from Bond that you got to work on, creating your own look?

Jany: Again, I’m always obsessed by the villain. I really like the villain. [laughs] I always like the baddies. The baddies are my fascination.

Lizzie: Yeah.

Jany: They’re much more interesting than the good guys.

Lizzie: That’s true. I knew Voldemort was one of your favorite to work on, so I was like, “I’m going to get her on something else.” Since we’ve seen changes brought to the Hogwarts uniform by Katrina Lindsay in Cursed Child as well as to your own designs in flashback scenes, how do you feel that the Hogwarts uniform would evolve in the future?

Jany: Well, I think it should stay like that because you have to take it in the concept of an English school. I know expensive private schools… have you ever seen the uniform of Eton? I’ve seen it. [It] is one of the most traditional, expensive English schools. They wear tails. You see those little girls walking around in London and they have straw hats. This is something about… we are talking about a traditional public school. Those kids… I know some kids who are still wearing black because they are still in the [unintelligible] of Queen Victoria, in their uniform. When you talk about England, you talk about a country where tradition is essential. So I think that with that sort of concept, the uniform of Hogwarts would stay the same forever. This is my feeling.

Lizzie: Yeah, I agree. Don’t change it if it’s not broken. [laughs]

Jany: You should never get into [unintelligible]. They should never change to [unintelligible]. They should have a shirt and a tie. The shirt being essential.

Lizzie: So what was it like to work on the parks versus the films?

Jany: It was fun because… it was hard and it was fun. It was hard because we had all the limitations of the… they did a great job [copying] the costumes, because I was there. I don’t know what happened now because it’s ten years later, but when I was there…

[Lizzie laughs]

Jany: … I was very insistent [about] having the real thing, and they did a great job about it. And when we had all those limitations from health and safety… when I was in that world, they were like, “No, no, you cannot.” But even in those limitations, I think they did a great job.

Lizzie: Was there anything that you wish you could have done but unfortunately you just didn’t have time or budget or anything like that?

Jany: Well, I would have done it more… sometimes they wear wizard… I had to make some concessions about the shoes, for instance. I arrived at the park and they were all wearing sunglasses, and I was taking off the glasses.

[Lizzie laughs]

Jany: There were things like that.

Lizzie: Right.

Jany: But people are not working there as actors, so I had to omit it. But altogether I think that the costumes were very good, [as in] it looks good.

Lizzie: Right. So what would you say is your favorite part of the process you go through when you’re developing the characters’ look? Is it the sketches? Is it getting the material? Is it seeing the finished copy on the actor?

Jany: It’s bringing an idea to life. This is what’s exciting. It is that creation in general, and the coloring for me because I feel that creation is color, so they come from the black and white script into something colorful and pretty.

Lizzie: Have you had any characters that you were able to start from scratch, essentially? J.K. Rowling has a lot of specifics about what the characters wear…

Jany: No, I never really… I always took from the description the idea of it. But we had to adapt it to an actor, to a situation, to a new style… I think Voldemort was something that they had to create from scratch, and that was hard. But I think it was very successful.

Lizzie: If you were able to work on the Fantastic Beasts films…

Jany: I didn’t want to.

Lizzie: Oh, you didn’t want to?

Jany: I was on something else at that time – I was on Bond at that time – and for me the overall period was finished.

Lizzie: Have you seen the film?

Jany: Yes! I love it!

[Lizzie laughs]

Jany: It’s something completely different.

Lizzie: No, I agree. I’m just curious, after seeing it, who you think would be the most fun to dress per se if you were to pick a character from that film.

Jany: I don’t know because I’m very detached [from] it. For me the world of Harry Potter was a world with a cast and everything, and then Fantastic Beasts is another fantastic project, but that’s not my Harry Potter project.

Lizzie: What is most exciting to you about Harry Potter 20 and the Prismacolor collection? If you had to choose something that was extremely exciting to you right now about the future of costume design and where it’s leading, any advancements there have been in the past few years, what would you choose?

Jany: If we are talking about Harry Potter, I would be really excited about Harry Potter twenty years later. That would be for me something projecting the future. What happened to those people?

Lizzie: Yeah.

Jany: This is something that I would like to do.

Lizzie: Do you think their colors would stay the same?

Jany: Yes, I think everything would stay the same.

Lizzie: [laughs] Well, thank you so much. It was wonderful speaking with you.