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12 Years a Slave, 2013
In addition to making most of the costumes for lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, the 82 year-old Norris dressed more than 100 actors for Director Steve McQueen's historical drama. ''Sometimes [actors would] come in the day before [they filmed their scenes],'' she says of the many last-minute costume fittings. How did she and her team pull it off? ''You just guess what sizes they are and start making the clothes.''
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''Everybody likes that green dress,'' Norris says of the iconic sheath she made especially for Michelle Pfeiffer's character in the '80s gangster flick. In fact, people loved the costumes so much, some have a hard time believing they didn't come from a designer label. ''Ten years ago, Brett Ratner called me for a Scarface documentary he was doing. He asked, 'Who designed the clothes?' and I said I did. He said, 'No no no, honey, who made them?' He couldn't quite comprehend that they didn't come from some fashion house.''
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Blue Velvet, 1986
The David Lynch thriller marked the first time Norris pulled double duty as both costume designer and production designer. ''David asked me if I'd like to do the clothes and be the production designer.... That's what started our relationship,'' she says of her collaboration with the direction, which would be the first of many. ''The way we wanted Isabella Rossellini to look was sort of a throwback to the thirties. It was easier to make exactly what you wanted instead of trying to run around looking for a blue velvet robe.''
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Twin Peaks, 1990
''You approach it with, 'What do FBI guys look like?''' the designer says of creating the sartorial aesthetic for the cult series on the pilot episode, an accomplishment that won her the Emmy for Outstanding Costume Design. The best part about working with David Lynch? ''We've always just liked each other.''
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The Assassination of Jesse James, 2007
Norris' working relationship with Brad Pitt started with the Western drama, though things got off to a rocky start. ''We made his costumes. Just before [filming] he arrived in Canada to try on the clothes and he had failed to inform me that he had lost 20 pounds. That was not the best fitting known to man, so I started all over again,'' she recalls. The designer applied what she'd learned from the experience when she worked with Pitt on Killing Them Softly and 12 Years a Slave. ''You back yourself up with some things in case you guess wrong [about his vision for the character].''
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Killing Them Softly, 2012
''Sometimes when someone has been playing a part for many years, and with the accolades that he was given for [The Sopranos] — well deserved, I might add — [you assume] they're a little scary,'' Norris says of being nervous about working with the late James Gandolfini. ''But he was a really nice guy.''
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Victor Victoria, 1982
''It was one of those dream experiences. She was terrific to work with,'' says Norris of Julie Andrews in the musical feature. ''The fabrics [told me] what to do. I'll go to materials before I go to dresses. It's so much fun to start with nothing and make something out of it. I loved making all the costumes.''
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Days of Heaven, 1978
''It was like doing a school play,'' Norris says of the romantic drama — which earned her the first of five Oscar nominations — written and directed by Terrence Malick and starring Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, and Sam Shepard. ''There was very little money.... I made a lot of clothes at Warners and then we made more [where we shot] up in Canada.''
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The Elephant Man, 1980
''It's one of my favorite movies I've ever done,'' Norris says of working with director Lynch, and stars Anthony Hopkins and John Hurt. The film earned eight Oscar nominations, including one for Norris' costume design.
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The Immigrant, 2013
For director James Gary's period drama, Norris made costumes for Jeremy Renner and sourced Marion Cotillard's wardrobe from Western Rentals. ''I found all of these bits and pieces, going back to the '20s and '30s, it was so much fun doing them,'' she says of the thrill of the hunt. ''I don't like modern movies and I don't like doing things I've done before. I think you tend to repeat yourself.''