Talk/Show, Day 3: Bernie Pollack Outs Brad Pitt As a Puppy Lover

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Bernie Pollack at DFS Honors

By Jessica Tomberlin
DIFF Writer

Day 3 of the 2012 Dallas International Film Festival’s Talk/Show Panels continued on Saturday at the Nasher Sculpture Center with a Conversation with Bernie Pollack, costume designer on more than 30 films as well as for Robert Redford, Harrison Ford and Dustin Hoffman.

“I take a script, break it down and then look at it from the actors point of view organically,” Pollack said regarding his design process. “I ask where does this guy come from? What does he do? How much money does he make? What are his hobbies? It’s like a puzzle. With every character I ever did, I tried to solve that mystery.”

Pollack talked with moderator Gary Cogill about working with Brad Pitt on A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT (before he was, well, Brad Pitt): “Pitt was very undisciplined during that time, and he had this little untrained puppy he brought with him, and it tore up the hat he was supposed to wear in the film, so I had to re-patch it before the shoot.”

Pollack collaborated with his brother, the late director and actor Sydney Pollack, on eight films. “It was one of the worst experiences,” Pollack said, tongue in cheek. “When I was working with him I wasn’t the costume designer, I was his little brother. You can’t lose that.”

Despite that, he had admiration for Sydney’s ability to be right, joking that his older brother never lost an argument in his life. “It wasn’t because of ego,” Bernie said, “but because he really was: he was always right…Dustin Hoffman had a line about it. He said, ‘You don’t do a Sydney Pollack film. It does you.’”

Pollack also commented on his early days working with Academy Award-winning costume designer Edith Head. “She had great ideas,” he said. “As a costume designer, you’ve got to know how to deal with all kinds of people and how to make them happy, which is not an easy thing. She was the best at that of anyone I know. Working with people, that was her gift.”


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DIFF is proud to honor Laura Linney, Bernie Pollack and Gabourey Sidibe with the Dallas Star Award at the DFS Honors on April 20.  >> See all Awards


The 2012 Dallas International Film Festival is Dedicated to Lee Roy and Tandy Mitchell
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