September 22nd, 2020 / 2 Comments

Tenet is also a film about Robert Pattinson wearing a succession of truly astonishing suits. For that, we thank Jeffrey Kurland

Esquire spoke with Jeffrey Kurland, costume designer on Tenet, about, amongst other things, the “astonishing suits” worn by Robert Pattinson. Here’s what he had to say about Rob and Neil’s attire:

At Esquire, we were excited about the tailoring as soon as the first stills dropped. Can you talk me through your approach and thinking there?

My feeling was that each character, especially the three male characters – Neil, the Protagonist, and Sator, the oligarch – they all basically are going to be wearing suits in a good deal of the movie. And I needed to separate their characters, so that it wasn’t just a bunch of suits walking around. So I used different tailors for each of those characters, because I knew the way they worked and I knew what I could get from them character-wise. For John David [Washington, who plays the Protagonist], a much more European cut, a more fitted look. Rob [Pattinson, who plays Neil] a little looser, still quite elegant, but much more free and moveable.

The other standout suit, for me at least, is the double-breasted pinstripe number that Robert Pattinson wears while scouting out the Freeport. Can you talk me through that one. It’s astonishing.

That’s an extraordinary piece of fabric. When I found that fabric I just fell in love with it. As we’re going along, I talked to Chris, I said: “When Neil goes there, it’s his first disguise, outside of the world of John David. He’s going into the real world. What would his disguise be?” A little fashion-forward in a way, and he’s a little bit forward-thinking, because it pops when it’s lit in a certain way. If you saw it in the IMAX, you literally can see the threads, you can see the colours. There was an elegance and over-the-topness to it that fit Neil’s personality.

You can really see that in the suit Neil wears when you first see him – looser, more relaxed, almost a foppish energy that really suits his character. And I can’t really remember seeing a suit like that, especially not on screen, for a long time.

Again, it has a slightly older feel to it. Because my original thought when I read the script was Neil struck me an ex-pat, he’s gone off on his own and he’s just living life the way he wants to. There’s a certain laissez-faire to him, an I-don’t-care quality. His suit is rumpled, it’s not the cleanest in the world, but he still looks good in it because his personality shines through. So the suit was made and then aged so that it was saggy and drippy, and slightly toned and stained so it didn’t look new. But it still stands out in the way that I wanted it to, because it fits his personality.

But I love Neil’s suit with a shawl collar. That was a daring move that Chris accepted. He was into it, because it was very Neil. You’re never gonna see this on anybody else. But Neil could wear it. You know, Rob Pattinson could certainly sport it.

I wanted to steal that look for myself, with the scarf and the popped collar. It’s such a strong image that really stands out, I guess because like the suit itself, it felt so distinctive and authentic to the character.

It’s a wonderful pairing of actor, character and suit. The actor fit the character beautifully, the suit [fit] the character, and that just all came together nicely. With all of them, to be honest. 

  • Tina
    Posted on February 23, 2021

    Oooh I love all of Neil’s suits ! The first time I saw, I thought that RP was dressed by Dior for this whole movie because it’s so elegant yet so him. Fantastic choice for his outfits and hairstyle ! :)))

  • Maria
    Posted on February 23, 2021

    Rob’s a designers dream! I still don’t get how he claims his modelling career was a non-event. Bet there’s loads of modelling agencies kicking themselves now, although I guess we’re all lucky he chose the career path he’s now on 🙂

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