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Busy costume designer Wendy Chuck has collaborated with some of the film industry’s most celebrated talents, including Alexander Payne, Tom McCarthy, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, and Matt Damon. With fabric, pattern, and color, Ms. Chuck’s creations have helped bring a widely diverse range of characters to realistic life: Nebraska’s rustic Midwesterners, Election’s conniving high-schooler, Twilight’s teenage vampires, Spotlight’s journalistic team, and the inhabitants of Downsizing’s miniaturized world.
Trained in fashion in her hometown of Brisbane, Australia, Chuck refined her skills as a cutter, fitter, and tailor for ABC-TV and Opera Australia in Sydney. Her other varied early projects include making shirts for Bruce Springsteen and design work for London’s Museum of the Moving Image. In 1994, the Australian Film Institute nominated Chuck for Best Achievement in Costume Design for the period piece Country Life (1994) starring Greta Scacchi and Sam Neill.
Chuck has enjoyed a longstanding working relationship with acclaimed writer/director Alexander Payne; she has served as costume designer on all but his first features, including the darkly comic Sideways (2004) starring Paul Giamatti and Election (1999) starring Reese Witherspoon. Ms. Chuck won the 2003 Costume Designers Guild Award for Excellence in Contemporary Costume Design for Payne’s About Schmidt (2002) starring Jack Nicholson; Nicholson received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for the film. She was also nominated in that category for Payne’s The Descendants (2011) starring George Clooney and Nebraska (2014) starring Bruce Dern in an Academy Award-nominated role.
Chuck also designed costumes for the mega-hit Twilight (2008) starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson; Varsity Blues (1999) with Jon Voight; Bad Santa (2003) starring Billy Bob Thornton; and The Ring 2 (2005) with Naomi Watts and Sissy Spacek.
Some of her other notable recent releases include the Best Picture Academy Award-winner Spotlight (2015), the critically-lauded account of a group of Boston Globe reporters expose of widespread sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, and San Andreas (2014) starring Duane “The Rock” Johnson, depicting the aftermath of a monumental Los Angeles earthquake. Ms. Chuck has also collaborated twice with the husband/wife comedy duo of comedienne Melissa McCarthy and director Ben Falcone, on their hits Tammy (2014) and The Boss (2016), costarring Peter Dinklage.
Chuck’s latest films were Ritesh Biatra’s romantic drama Our Souls at Night (2017) starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing starring Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz. For the latter, Chuck had the unusual challenge of creating the wardrobe for a world of five-inches tall human beings. She is currently at work on Matthew (Mad Men) Weiner’s upcoming TV series The Romanoffs.
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