- How did you get involved in THE 13TH WARRIOR?
- A friend of a friend passed my name on the costuming department.
- What did you know about this project when you were hired?
- I just knew the title and a bit of the story. I also heard who was starring.
- Wasn't Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to the project at some point?
- I had heard rumours that he was, but never saw hide nor hair of him!
There were only a few big names in the movie. Quite a few of the actors
came from Campbell River and some of the Vikings were from Europe.
- The first title of the movie was EATERS OF THE DEAD. When hired, weren't
you surprised by the association of Disney with such a movie (and
such a title)?
- Not really -after all, that was the title of the book. I figured they
would change it because of Disney...
- When exactly and how long did you work on this project?
- I only worked for about 5 weeks or so, on the costumes used on the show.
- So what was your task on THE 13TH WARRIOR, exactly?
- I was a lowly costume person -no title, no status. I had never worked
in this industry before and was really surprised that they would have
called me. A lot of it was filmed where I live, in the Comox Valley. I
just sewed things and put costumes together. I didn't meet any of the
stars of the show, but I did help costume some of the supporting actors...
- According to the end credits, Kate Harrington (John McTiernan's wife)
was the wardrobe department head, but I have heard about some other costume
designer, Olga Demitrov, who worked on the movie too... Do you know something
- I have no idea.
- What was John McTiernan's input regarding the costumes?
- I never saw the man!
- How far away from set was the wardrobe department situated?
- When the film was shot in Campbell River, the costume department was
in a ware house, probably an hour or so from the set. They apparently
built that whole fortress up in the bush, somewhere north of Campbell
- The period costumes featured in THE 13TH WARRIOR are from different
cultures. Did they do a lot of research for this show?
- I don't really know. But I do know that I looked up some neat things,
like Vikings wore straw in their shoes because, when it got wet, it heated
- Were some of the costumes more elaborate than the others?
- Yes, some of them took a long time to make. One of Ibn's head dresses
was made by a lady from here. She took fabric apart thread by thread and
beaded it for fringe.
- How many costumes were created for THE 13TH WARRIOR?
- And how many people worked on the wardrobe department?
- Probably about 20 when I was there...
- A lot of scenes are lit with torches. Was fireproofing a concern when
creating the costumes?
- I don't remember fire being even discussed.
- Tell me about the women's costumes.
- I worked on a dress for Ibns's love [the "Arabian
beauty"] but I don't even know if it was used. It was a royal
purple silk thing, with a back train cut on the bias.
- They used that one in the Baghdad opening sequence...
- I think several different dresses were made [for her]... I worked
on some of the harem style girls costumes too.
- In the production notes, it is said: "Every costume in this
film was handmade. Nothing was purchased from a costume house."
Is this true?
- I know for a fact that a lot of the costumes were brought in from a
costume house and we altered them.
- Tell me about the pieces of armors. How did they fit in with the costumes?
- There was a fellow from England who came and made a huge shield. It
- I have heard that all the bear suits and heads featured in THE 13TH
WARRIOR were from real bears, hundreds of them, belonging to Disney and
that the bears had originally come from the US fish and game department,
confiscated hides from years ago, from poachers and illegal hunters. Any
truth in that?
- I dont know where they came from, but I know a lot of deer skins came
from a fallow deer farm on an island off Campbell River. They smelled
- What was your best challenge on THE 13TH WARRIOR?
- The work schedule!
- Was it so tight, or what?
- I do remember working through the night on a few occasions. There was
never much notice on when you would be working, so that made it difficult...
- The character of the second oracle, the old woman they meet in the woods,
is allegedly played by Anne Bancroft. Do you know something about this
- The woman who played the oracle was from the area. That was one costume
I did myself.
- There are actually two oracles in the film (one in the tent scenes,
and one in the woods). Could you please elaborate on the one costume you
did for the oracle?
- The one I did was a hooded cloak, made of a loosely woven rough fabric
in a dark grey colour. She wore a tunic underneath.
- Possibly this
one (from the tent scenes)?
- That's the one!
- I could not help but noticing that "Phillip Clarkson"
was credited as "set costumer" at the end of the movie.
One of your relative, maybe?
- Maybe -but I don't know him.
- Have you heard anything about the professional on-set dispute between
producer Michael Crichton and director John McTiernan?
- Do you know why they finally changed the title of the movie, from EATERS
OF THE DEAD to THE 13TH WARRIOR?
- I think it was just too gruesome. Also, I think they cut so much of
the story out that it didn't much resemble the book...
- Had you already read Michael Crichton's novel before being involved
in this project?
- I had not read the book, but my sister in law had, as she said all sorts
of things were missing. What things, I don't know...
- I know many scenes were removed from the first edited version of the
- The fellow who lives next door to us was one of the people that owned
the cammels that were used in the film. He said that there was a long
sequence that he was in, leading the cammels through the desert, that
- How did you feel about the finished/released version of THE 13TH WARRIOR?
- I didn't see it until last summer, on video. It was very dark and disjointed
and I had a hard time following the story. Of course, that could be because
I was looking for people I knew and costumes I worked on...
- Anything to add? Any anecdote you would remember?
- I remember the young boy who played the prince came from somewhere in
the Netherlands all the way to Vancouver Island, for one line and 2 minutes
on film! The film pumped a lot of money into our area. It was really neat
to have that Hollywood North feeling around here. I don't know that I
would want to work on another film. I have been doing a lot of amateur
theatre and I love the team feeling I get. The film industry seemed very
much like the main thing was to be better than the others. I never once
felt we were all working to a common goal. I think that there is a lot
of back stabbing going on and a lot of prima donnas -on stage and
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