Costume Designer Janty Yates on ‘The Martian’, Ridley Scott and ‘Alien: Covenant’

     December 30, 2015


While we post a lot of interviews with actors, directors, and producers, the staff and I decided it’s time to make a point to talk with people who don’t necessarily get the spotlight. The fact is that a movie is only as good as its “below the line” crew, and all of us at Collider have long felt that they aren’t given enough credit. To try and rectify this, you can look forward to more interviews with costume designers, production designers, composers, editors, cinematographers, and other craftspeople that work to bring these stories to life.

In this spirit, I recently sat down with The Martian costume designer Janty Yates. Unlike most interviews where we tend to focus on one film, I used my time with her to talk about the job as a whole, and what goes on behind the scenes. Of course we also talked about making The Martian, collaborating with Ridley Scott, designing for the sci-fi space and how NASA uses sci-fi costumes for inspiration, how she got her big break, her love of Edith Head’s work, reinventing spacesuits for Scott’s Alien: Covenant and continuing on one look from Prometheus, how the sequel takes place ten years after the events of the last film, and more. If you’re interested in what it’s really like to be a costume designer on a big movie, you’re going to love this conversation. As usual I’ve listed what we talked about below the video.

The Martian will arrive on Blu-ray/DVD January 12th. You can click here for all our previous coverage on the film, including clips, our review, images, trailers, and more.


Janty Yates

  • What does a costume designer do?
  • the-martian-movie-matt-damon

    Image via 20th Century Fox

    What’s the biggest misconception people have about what you do?

  • On collaborating with the other departments and the actors.
  • How soon are you on a movie and when do you leave?
  • What is the collaboration process like, specifically with Ridley Scott?
  • Can you compare two directors you’ve worked with that have different tendencies?
  • Are there other film departments you have to collaborate with?
  • What’s the hardest part of your job and the most rewarding?
  • When did you decide you wanted to be a costume designer?
  • How did you break into the industry?
  • Who are some of the artisans in your field that you admire?
  • the-martian-ridley-scott

    Image via 20th Century Fox

    On admiring costume designer Edith Head’s work?

  • How has your process changed throughout your career?
  • What’s the best advice you ever got about being a costume designer?
  • Is there a day or two you’ll always remember from working on The Martian?
  • From when you got involved to what people are seeing on screen, how much changed along the way? Were there any dramatic changes that went on behind the scenes?
  • On continuing designing for the sci-fi space and how NASA uses sci-fi costumes for inspiration.
  • On reinventing spacesuits for Scott’s Alien: Covenant and continuing on one look from Prometheus.
  • On traveling to Australia to film Alien: Covenant.



Image via 20th Century Fox

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