Paul Tazewell, the Tony-winning costume designer of Hamilton, took his talents to the big screen for the new Steven Spielberg film adaptation of West Side Story. Watch the featurette above as he talks about creating the palettes for the Sharks and the Jets and putting Rita Moreno's character in a pair of pants.
"I'm in the business of creating characters and, with those characters, helping build a world that supports a story," says Tazewell. "My work is usually the very first thing an audience encounters when meeting a new character. Think about all the snap judgements you make in everyday life when you encounter someone new. Are you attracted to them? Are they a threat? Are they rich or flat broke? Are they trying to hide something? Or flaunt something? I'm using all those tools to influence how an audience sees the character."
Tazewell's Broadway credits include Ain't Too Proud, Memphis, and In the Heights. In addition to West Side Story, his other film projects include Harriet and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, as well as both The Wiz! Live and Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert for NBC.
West Side Story features a screenplay by Tony Kushner and choreography by Justin Peck. The film recently took home a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, along with the film’s stars Rachel Zegler and Ariana DeBose for Best Performance By an Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.