10 Fascinating Facts About Phantom Thread

Focus Features
Focus Features

Auteur Paul Thomas Anderson turned his eye toward fashion—and, for the first time in his career, away from California—in Phantom Thread, the Oscar-nominated film that stars Daniel Day-Lewis (in his reportedly final role) as a fastidious 1950s fashion designer who finds himself locked in a battle of wills—and mushrooms—with a new paramour (Vicky Krieps). Buckle in for these 10 decidedly not chic facts about Phantom Thread

1. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS CAME UP WITH HIS CHARACTER’S NAME.

It was Daniel Day-Lewis who came up with the name “Reynolds Woodcock”—and yes, it is supposed to be a penis joke. Before Day-Lewis’s stroke of brilliance, Paul Thomas Anderson was using the decidedly less anatomical-sounding moniker “Arthur Dapple, Jr." as a placeholder.

2. IT WAS (IN A SMALL WAY) INSPIRED BY PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON AND MAYA RUDOLPH’S RELATIONSHIP.

Inspiration for the integral subplot where Alma (Vicky Krieps) must nurse Reynolds through a debilitating illness comes in part from an occurrence in Anderson’s own life. The director came down with something, and his wife (actress/comedian Maya Rudolph) took care of him. “My imagination just took over at some point, where I had this thought: 'Oh, she is looking at me with such care and tenderness ... wouldn't it suit her to keep me sick in this state?'" Anderson recalled. "[That moment] gave me an idea that such a thing could be served up with some spark of mischievousness and humor that might, in a larger picture, lend itself to what it means to be in a long-term relationship, you know. And the balance of power that can happen in that.”

3. DAY-LEWIS CONTRIBUTED TO THE COSTUME DESIGN.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread (2017)
Laurie Sparham, Focus Features

Day-Lewis was involved in the design of Reynolds Woodcock’s clothes—both those he wore and those he designed. For the gowns, Day-Lewis would sometimes choose color or fabric swatches for costume designer Mark Bridges. Woodcock’s own outfits were assembled in the normal, everyday manner of real people: An assortment of clothes was purchased and, per Bridges, Day-Lewis would select from it outfits that matched what he “was feeling at that given time for the scene.” (The blazer-over-lavender-PJs look is a Day-Lewis original.)

4. ONE OF THE CHARACTERS IS A BASED ON A REAL WOMAN WITH A TRAGIC STORY.

The character of Barbara Rose (Harriet Sansom Harris)—the drunken customer whose dress Reynolds and Alma steal off her body in one memorable scene—is based on real-life Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton. The recipient of a $50 million inheritance on her 21st birthday, Hutton married seven times (once to Cary Grant). The marriage depicted in Phantom Thread, to playboy Porfirio Rubirosa, lasted two months.

5. IT’S DEDICATED TO JONATHAN DEMME.

Phantom Thread is dedicated to late director Jonathan Demme, friend and mentor to Anderson. Demme died on April 26, 2017, which also happened to be the last day of shooting on Phantom’s Thread.

6. VICKY KRIEPS DIDN’T REALIZE WHO SHE WAS AUDITIONING FOR.

Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread (2017)
Laurie Sparham, Focus Features

Anderson discovered actress Vicky Krieps when he rented a German movie she’d been in on iTunes. (“I couldn’t believe anyone saw it,” Krieps said. “It was on iTunes for one week. But he clicked on it!”) Failing to read an email from her agent properly, Krieps thought it was a student director who was interested in working with her—not Paul Thomas Anderson. She didn't realize the error until after she’d already sent in her audition tape. 

7. YOU CAN DRESS LIKE REYNOLDS AND CYRIL WOODCOCK—IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY.

Reynolds Woodcock’s suits come from Anderson & Sheppard, a Savile Row clothing house that has dressed Prince Charles, Cary Grant, and Day-Lewis’s father, former UK poet laureate Cecil Day-Lewis, during its 112-year history. Woodcock’s magenta socks come from Rome-based designer Gammarelli, which is famed for dressing bishops and popes. The socks retail for about $25 a pair. Those who want to dress like his sister Cyril Woodcock can pay a visit to London tailor/designer Thomas von Nordheim.

8. DAY-LEWIS RECREATED A BALENCIAGA DRESS TO PREPARE FOR HIS ROLE.

Day-Lewis, famous for his Method acting zeal, prepared to play Woodcock by studying archival footage of mid-century fashion shows, learning to sew, and recreating a Balenciaga sheath dress from scratch. Day-Lewis’s wife, director Rebecca Miller, “has worn the dress,” he said. “It’s very pretty.” 

9. THE FILM TOOK ITS FASHION VERY SERIOUSLY.

Some of the seamstresses who work for Woodcock are played by real seamstresses. One of the dresses they work on, the wedding dress Woodcock designed for Princess Mona Braganza (Lujza Richter), was actually made to the actress’s measurements, even though she’s never filmed wearing it.

10. YOU CAN BUY REYNOLDS WOODCOCK’S HOUSE.

The scenes in Woodcock’s London townhouse were filmed in a house in Fitzroy Square that was designed by famed neoclassical architect Robert Adam. Any Paul Thomas Anderson superfans with a hefty bit of cash to spare are in luck: As of January, the five-story, seven-bedroom house was on the market for just over $20 million.

9 Surprising Facts About James McAvoy

Chris Jackson, Getty Images
Chris Jackson, Getty Images

Whether you know James McAvoy from the X-Men movies or have been a fan since his early gigs on British television, there's no denying that 2019 has already been a very good year for the Scottish actor. In addition to his starring role in M. Night Shyamalan's Glass, McAvoy is set to star in June's Dark Phoenix, will be taking on the role of an adult Bill Denbrough in It: Chapter 2 in October, and will appear in the upcoming TV version of His Dark Materials later this year. And to top it all off, he’s turning 40 on April 21.

In celebration of McAvoy's big day—and even bigger year—here are some things you might not know about the Golden Globe-nominated actor.

1. He was raised by his grandparents.

James McAvoy was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to a psychiatric nurse and a builder. However, his parents split when he was seven, and because his mother was in poor health, McAvoy and his sister went to live with their maternal grandparents. While his mother lived with them on and off throughout his childhood, McAvoy hasn’t spoken to his father since he was a kid.

2. He considered becoming a priest.

McAvoy was brought up in the Roman Catholic church, but that wasn’t the reason he considered becoming a priest. Long before he decided to go the drama school route, he considered entering the priesthood because he thought it would give him an excuse to travel the world.

"I wanted to be a missionary, but it was only because I wanted a free ticket to go and explore the world," McAvoy told The Telegraph in 2006. "I realized I was using God and religion to get my kicks so I knocked that on the head."

3. He married his on-screen love interest.

Anne-Marie Duff and James McAvoy attends the Suffragette Premiere during the Opening Night Gala during the BFI London Film Festival at Leicester Square on October 7, 2015 in London, England
John Phillips, Getty Images for BFI

While working on the UK version of Shameless in the early 2000s, McAvoy met his on-screen love interest and future wife, Anne-Marie Duff. The pair started a relationship that they kept very private, and married in 2006. They went on to also star in 2009’s The Last Station together, but McAvoy later announced he would no longer be working with his then-wife.

"You have to weigh it up against how much of a headache it would be. It exposes you to a lot of questions," he told USA Today in 2011. "I'm very big in saying that I don't agree that if you put yourself in the spotlight, you have to accept it. I do think that if you work together as husband and wife, you're kind of asking for it." Ultimately, the couple split in 2016.

4. Acting was never his plan.

In addition to the priesthood, McAvoy considered a few others careers before he settled on acting. In fact, acting kind of happened by accident. While speaking to The Guardian in 2006, McAvoy explained that it wasn’t until director David Hayman came to his school to speak about the entertainment business that he knew he wanted to give it a go. He was so sure, in fact, that he reportedly approached Hayman after the talk and asked him for some work. (McAvoy's first credited role was in 1995's The Near Room, which Hayman directed.)

“I always believed that I never wanted to be an actor; I only did it because I was allowed to do it and I had to do something,” McAvoy explained. “I felt as if my career just happened to me. I hadn't actually engaged in it. I suppose I felt totally disempowered, just by this fate thing.”

5. Band of Brothers was his big break.

McAvoy’s big break came in HBO’s 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. The actor played character James W. Miller in just one episode, but that’s all it took for his phone to start ringing; shortly thereafter, McAvoy scored notable roles on BBC’s Shameless (2004), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), and The Last King of Scotland (2006). He wasn't the only up-and-comer who made a name for himself with Band of Brothers: Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, and Dominic Cooper were among his co-stars.

6. He’s a Golden Globe nominee.

In 2007, McAvoy played Keira Knightley's love interest in Joe Wright’s period drama Atonement, based on the Ian McEwan novel. The role was one of the actor’s most moving performances to date, and scored him a Golden Globe nomination. Although he has wowed audiences in numerous parts since, such as the man with 23 different personalities in 2016’s Split (and 2019’s Glass), his role in Atonement has earned him the most critical acclaim. McAvoy, too, is a fan.

"[T]o find a film that was so epic, sweeping and romantic, yet be intelligent, was nice to me," McAvoy said. "Also the fact that it’s a very classic story, but it’s told in a very contemporary and modern way."

7. He was slightly tipsy the first time he met M. Night Shyamalan.

M. Night Shyamalan and James McAvoy attend the “Glass” Paris Gala Screening at la Cinematheque Francaise on January 07, 2019 in Paris, France
Kristy Sparow, Getty Images for Disney Studios

Speaking of Split and Glass: McAvoy was definitely in the right place at the right time—and in the right frame of mind—when he first met director M. Night Shyamalan. In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, McAvoy shared how he and Shyamalan just happened to cross paths at San Diego Comic-Con in 2015. "There was a big party, you couldn’t turn around without bumping into somebody off the telly," he said. "My mate Jesse was playing miniature golf in the middle of it. We were getting particularly drunk, and then I saw M. Night Shyamalan. He goes: ‘You’re James McAvoy!’ And I said: ‘You’re M Night Shyamalan! What do I call you?’ I was very drunk.”

Inebriated or not, Shyamalan saw something he liked. One month later, he was on the set of Split (in a role that Joaquin Phoenix was originally set to play, but dropped out of at the last minute).

8. He admires Samuel L. Jackson's no-nonsense attitude.

While promoting Glass, McAvoy participated in a lot of press events with Samuel L. Jackson, and was impressed by what he saw. "I saw examples of what I might be able to do when I got the balls he’s got,” McAvoy said. "That guy does not suffer fools, which is a positive quality. If he gets any kind of question that is in any way not thought out properly, he just drops the F-bomb and is like, ‘What are you talking about? What? What?’ He calls out [the journalist] so hard, and it’s the funniest thing."

9. He credits his success to a lot of luck.

When asked about the secret to his success, McAvoy doesn't mince words: "I got lucky," he told The Talks. "I got so f***ing lucky that I fell into the lap of a director when I was 16 and he gave me a part in a film and my horizons immediately exploded wide with all the weird people in it and all these crazy f***ing actors and directors and artistic people who were from all over the world. Through that one job I met people from England, I met people from America, and I met people from all over the place with challenging points of view and sympathetic points of view to mine. And then I went to a youth theater for six months as well, and that expanded my mind massively. It gave me so much more confidence to find out who I was and not be afraid of who I was simply because I’m in a scenario that I don’t understand ... I got really lucky. I got really, really lucky. It’s been a good ride for me."

Game of Thrones Star Sophie Turner Opened Up About Her Struggles With Depression

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

Playing one of the main characters on the most popular show currently on television isn't always as glamorous as it seems. Sometimes, the pressures of fame can be too much. Sophie Turner realized this while playing Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones, and has recently revealed how being in the public eye took a toll on her mental health.

Turner took on the role of Sansa Stark in 2011, when she was just a teenager, and she quickly became a household name. Now, at 23, she's come forward to Dr. Phil on his podcast Phil in the Blanks to explain how negative comments on social media affected her self-image and mental health.

"I would just believe it. I would say, ‘Yeah, I am spotty. I am fat. I am a bad actress.' I would just believe it," Turned explained. "I would get [the costume department] to tighten my corset a lot. I just got very, very self-conscious."

Later on, these feelings led to major depression. Turner developed a sense of isolation after she realized that all of her friends and family were going off to colleege while she was pursuing a sometimes-lonely acting career.

"I had no motivation to do anything or go out. Even with my best friends, I wouldn't want to see them, I wouldn't want to go out and eat with them," Turner explained. "I just would cry and cry and cry over just getting changed and putting on clothes and be like, 'I can't do this. I can't go outside. I have nothing that I want to do.'"

The feelings of depression stayed with Turner for most of the time she was filming Game of Thrones, and it's a battle she's still fighting. "I've suffered with my depression for five or six years now. The biggest challenge for me is getting out of bed and getting out of the house. Learning to love yourself is the biggest challenge," she continued.

The actress shared that she goes to a therapist and takes medication for her depression—two things that have helped her feel better.

Between Game of Thrones ending and planning her wedding to fiancé Joe Jonas, Turner may not have the time to take on many new acting roles in the near future. However, we'll continue to see her as Sansa Stark in the final season of Game of Thrones, and as Jean Grey in Dark Phoenix, which hits theaters on June 7.

[h/t: E! News]

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