While Phillips doesn’t mention Styles’ reaction to the costume decisions beyond curiosity (sorry, no drama here), she does say her character aesthetic wasn’t like hers, explaining that her suits” really [embraced] this rat pack bro culture that I don’t think of him.” In the trailers, we get a glimpse of this patriarchal culture as Jack, Pine’s character, Frank, and others aggressively shout out a call and a answer – “Whose world is this?” “Ours!” – while wearing white suits. Needless to say, this character doesn’t look much like the real-life flamboyantly styled singer whose mantra is “treat people with kindness”.
Phillips notes that it’s not always easy to suspend disbelief when watching someone very famous on screen, saying, “I think fame can be tricky when watching movies. I hope that people believe in it. I hope the costumes, the hair and the makeup will help the public, especially the young people who are going to come to see it because it’s in it.” It’s true that historically, very famous musicians haven’t always had the most naturalistic screen presence. Performers from Elvis to Cher have dared to star in roles that didn’t try to obscure their visibly famous faces, while others like Lady Gaga have opted for more transformational roles.
Regardless of the media storm surrounding the film and the dramatically conflicting reports of Styles’ acting prowess (for the record, Hoia-Tran Bui of /Film says he’s doing “perfectly well”), Phillips hopes his costumes won’t do only underline what she considers a great performance. “I hope this helps suspend belief so they can engage in the work that Harry is doing,” she says. “I think Harry does a really outstanding job in this movie.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” is in theaters now.