“I don’t know how entertaining that is, but hopefully
I fill that stillness with some emotion.
“The atmosphere dictates a lot of that for me,” she adds, gesturing to the set, “so I don’t have to struggle to imagine what it would be like to be so estranged from people.”
Back in the wardrobe trailer, parked in a lot adjacent to the store, costume designer Nancy Steiner takes a moment to flip through Mirabelle’s rack, filled with Danes’ 90-plus costume changes. “Steve told us she’s a vintage girl so I borrowed Forties and Fifties dresses from costume houses,” Steiner says, pointing to a few with peplums, rhinestone buttons and high waists. “Claire was made to wear these clothes.”
Newer pieces include the Fifties-influenced Prada dress Martin’s character gives Mirabelle, as well as a pair of gray satin Christian Dior gloves. “This movie has a lot of similarities to my last project, ‘Lost in Translation,’” notes Steiner. “They both star ‘Saturday Night Live’ alums as older men, and there are lonely young girls with young slacker guys.”
In the rest of the film’s locations, from Mirabelle’s apartment, in a drab Silverlake building, a coffee shop, a laundromat and the Melrose art galleries she frequents with her friends, Danes bundles up in long sweaters and baggy skirts, a sharp contrast to her work garb.
But no matter what the costume, Danes thinks her character is one with plenty of appeal. “I really identified with Mirabelle,” she says. “Everyone I know can relate to that loneliness somehow, even men.”