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Haptic & Hue

Mar 25, 2021

Do clothes conceal us or reveal us? Listen to how actors use clothes to make stories believable. Alessandro Nivola and Emily Mortimer, who have played a huge variety of roles between them, from mobsters to Tudor ladies in waiting, from regency bucks to flower sellers, talk about why costume is so important to them.


Mark Twain once wrote: “without his clothes a man would be nothing at all; that the clothes do not merely make the man, the clothes are the man; that without them he is a cipher, a vacancy, a nobody, a nothing… there is no power without clothes.”


Clothes cover us and warm us, but at the same time, they reveal what we want to say about ourselves as well as the gap between how we’d like to be seen and how people actually perceive us. This matters to actors and this episode looks at how actors study the tiny details of clothes and costume to help them deliver great performances. Alessandro and Emily share the secrets of the work and thought that goes into their performances.


If you go to Haptic and Hue’s website at, you will find a full transcript of this podcast, pictures, and links. You can also sign up there to get these podcasts directly in your inbox, as well as having a chance to win some of the textile-related gifts I give away with each episode.