Costume designer Caroline Duncan on Servant, working with M. Night Shyamalan, and more

caroline duncan servant the affair costume designer apple tv+ m night shyamalan rupert grint

You always have to be conscious of your audience and considerate of your audience, but you’re not working to satisfy your audience, you’re working to satisfy and fulfill the creation of real characters. Ultimately in doing your job, you help your audience to feel the characters are grounded and real, identifiable. The opposite of that is I’ve never worked with an actor who I think had so identifiable a role before that I was trying to push away from, which was your original question about Rupert. Kind of an amazing challenge! It was just fun to think about that element when designing his costumes too.

New interview! I spoke to Caroline Duncan, costume designer (it amuses me that her initials match her job description, although we didn’t talk about that at the time) on Apple TV+’s Servant, as well as Showtime’s The Affair, and also Netflix’s When They See Us. 

Particularly interesting – or I thought so anyway – was talking about how she used costuming to reflect similar plot points, the death of a child, across two very different programmes, and discussing how she approached the costumes for Rupert Grint, given that he, as an actor, carries with him certain associations other actors don’t.

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2 thoughts on “Costume designer Caroline Duncan on Servant, working with M. Night Shyamalan, and more

  1. It’s funny – she doesn’t really comment on Leanne’s wardrobe. Yet I think it’s quite remarkable for TV today.

    It’s not something strange to my eyes because I grew up in an area of central Pennsylvania around lots of Mennonite, United Brethren, Amish, etc. Very few were well off financially back then. I went to Catholic school what with the nuns, and the conservatively dressed female lay teachers, and indeed the housewife moms of my friends conservative – and often home made – dresses and whatnot were everyday reality. Leanne’s wardrobe would fit right in.

    One side effect of this is you tend to notice the face, hair and carriage of young ladies and become indifferent to their clothing. Indeed Leanne’s simple beauty shines through in Servant helped, in no small measure, by the understated clothes and unprepossessing manner.


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