To the left, your exclusive first look at Slughorn in those infamous purple pajamas. From the crew here at Hero Complex to you. Our countdown to the July 15 release of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” continues with Denise Martin’s look inside the closet of the franchise.
When it comes to outfitting the wizards of Hogwarts – and muggles alike — costume designer Jany Temime, who has been dressing the cast since “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” ran into her first real challenge when Jim Broadbent was cast as Professor Horace Slughorn in “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.” (Physically, even we pictured something more along the lines of a Bob Hoskins filling the role.)
In the book, the pot-bellied Slughorn looks like a cross between a walrus and an armchair, a pompous, rotund little man, several sizes too big for his britches and weighted down over the years by the knowledge of a horrible secret. How would Temime transform the formidable — and tall — Broadbent into such a precious, palm-greasing fellow?
By deciding not to. “In the book, Slughorn’s ever-so precious,” Temime said. “But once we had Jim in the part, I thought instead of precious, we’d make him grand.”
“Jim is not a small, fat man. He is tall and strong,” she said. “So we had to change and adapt.” To do that, Temime used all of J.K. Rowling’s atmospheric detail to tell the story of Slughorn through his clothes rather than his size.
She explains: “Everything we did for his costumes was very rich, but also very used, because he’s not a rich man anymore. He hasn’t worked for a long time. He is a bit of a has-been. But his clothes, even if they were from 20 years ago, were once upon a time, very rich and very glamorous. So we went for ‘Old Glamour’ when designing.
“Very pompous, very extreme, very glorious.”
She did keep those lilac silk pajamas from the book, of course.
And Slughorn will still be in professors gowns, albeit “very Oxbridge style gowns. With a hat,” Temime said. “That’s very important for him because he’s very proud of being an academic. And it’s important he has known students like Harry because they project well on him, and that’s how he earns his favors.”
At the same time, Temime said she had to work closely with David Yates to achieve the right balance for the character. “Slughorn has to have power, but at the same time he has to be funny. He has to be overdone, but also be someone you’d respect. It was difficult getting there,” she said.
The solution? “Lots of three-piece suits, classic English tailoring — but always with a twist. Like fabric that’s a little bit louder, a print that stands out a bit too much. Just little flourishes that show he enjoys the finer things in life.”
– Denise Martin
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Photo credit: Both images Warner Bros.