‘It defended all of these ideas of a female heroine’ [Exclusive Video Interview] – GoldDerby

Chris Saunders/FX

“I think Emma [Corrin]as well as myself, were very drawn to the character of Darby Hart because it kind of defended all of these ideas of a female heroine and what they should look like and who they are,” explains costume designer Megan Gray about the protagonist of the FX on Hulu limited series “A Murder at the End of the World.” “I think immediately when reading it I started to kind of conceive an idea, and then it just developed from there in my conversations with [showrunners Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij] and also with Emma.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Gray above.

Darby Hart is the hacker and amateur sleuth at the heart of “A Murder at the End of the World.” The daughter of a coroner, she solves a series of cold case murders when she’s just a teenager. Then several years later she’s mysteriously invited to an Icelandic retreat hosted by a tech billionaire (Clive Owen) where another killing takes place. The series cuts back and forth between the two time periods, and Gray captured the differences in Darby’s life experiences of her through her wardrobe.

“In 2016 we wanted Darby to still have a bit of a softness and to have this vulnerability there,” Gray says. “When we get to 2023 I think it was important for us to make sure that the audience felt the pain that Darby had of Bill [played by Harris Dickinson] leaving her and creating a little bit more of her protecting herself through her wardrobe. She’s a little bit more closed off. “She kind of wants to hide from reality at times, whether it’s in an oversized jacket or her hood being up.”

Beyond Darby, there is a vivid ensemble cast of potential killers and victims, just like in any whodunnit. “If you look back to some of the very original murder mysteries — you know, ‘The Long Goodbye,’ or even something that’s transferred into modern day like ‘Clue’ — there’s always something that really tells who the character is… You had the roboticist, you had the billionaire, you had the angel investor. SW [Marling and Batmanglij] gave me this rough idea and then you kind of start to pick them apart.” It was “really fun developing the characters and making them all feel very separate without reading too much into it.” She didn’t want the character designs to be as broad as “Clue,” though. “We just tried to make it feel very grounded.”

As a designer, Gray recognized herself in all of the characters she costumed. “I had an amazing team — my assistants and my costumers — and all of us would spend time trying to say whose closet we felt that we connected with most. I think you do always bring a little bit of yourself and your aesthetic,” she reveals. “You start realizing halfway through shooting four months in that today you’re dressed very similar to Bill or you look like Darby. And I definitely identified with Darby in 2023 and 2016, of being able to show a lot of things through how you dress, whether it’s form fitting sheer blouses or men’s trousers. So I definitely connect, I think, with all of them and brought a little bit of myself into each character.”

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