Outlander's Terry Dresbach on the "Terrifying" Challenge of Designing This Season's Native American Costumes
t's no secret that Hollywood has a horrible track record of portraying Native Americans in film and television, and stereotypical depictions of the indigenous people of this continent continue to persist even today.
That legacy of disrespect is why for season four, Outlander's costume designer Terry Dresbach was committed to recreating the clothing of the Cherokee and Mohawk Nations characters as authentically as she could.
“It was daunting. And I knew that we had an obligation to do it right," she told me over the phone. "Hollywood has had a bad history with this, and I wanted to right that. I wanted to do it properly, and I staked that claim from day one with everybody I worked with. I said, 'We’re going to do this right, we’re going to do this as accurately as possible.'"
But that mission proved to be more difficult than she initially thought.
"I started doing my research and just wanted to throw up because there’s just so little information," she admitted.
Dresbach says her team "consulted with everyone we possibly could" and that she spent a year on the research for the Native American costumes this season, which is the most she’d done for anything related to the show. But she was still left with questions.
Last week, news broke that Outlander was renewed for an additional 2 seasons meaning not only will we be getting the promised Season 4 but 5 & 6 as well.
But word is that Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan will be taking a slightly longer, and much deserved, break than usual before returning to Season 5. According to Caitriona, they'll be getting about 7 months off which sounds like it will mean a bigger droughtlander after Season 4.
While, none of the fans want a massive droughlander, I think most of us can concede that Cait and Sam deserve the time off to rest or even to work on other projects which will help further their careers. After all if they can't do other work, will they want to keep renewing their contracts on Outlander?
Despite there being no official renewal, the producers have already begun the process of developing Season 5. Ron Moore told PaleyFest goers last weekend that the Outlander team has already started planning Season 5 and are deep into pre-production.
This is good news that will go a long way to preventing a very long droughtlander between Seasons 4 & 5 because everyone is positive Outlander will be sticking around for years to come.
I'm a firm believer that Outlander is going to be renewed for many season to come because Outlander has put Starz on the map when it comes to programming. To top that it has been Starz's highest (or one of them) shows to date.
And to prove Outlander is popular check out the news about the DVD & Blu-ray boxset which was immediately an Amazon bestseller on the day of its release and has stayed on the bestseller list at Amazon.
If that weren't enough as of right now the DVD is #5 on this list and the Blu-Ray is #20 and everything around them in that Top 20 are movies. Not a single other in the Top 20 is a TV show.
So maybe the HUGE popularity Outlander is gaining is the reason Starz and Sony are still trying to negotiate Season 5 terms. Part of me hopes they are arguing for more episodes.
If you have yet to reward your fan loyalty with the wonder third season... go indulge your self:
Welcome Denise Di Novi to the Outlander family. Above she's with Meril Davis on the set of season four.
Di Novi is mostly known for her work on Heathers, Original Sin, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and Catwoman. And if you haven't seen Crazy, Stupid, Love; you should go watch it because it is great.