What a character wears is very important in any production – and Ashley Heathcock is a pro, as is obvious from the wardrobe for all of the Big Sky cast.
So tell us about your role on Big Sky.
I was hired as a costume designer for season three on Big Sky and I came and joined the team on episode four of this season.
Do you source most of your costumes and if so, where?
Yes, we do. We do a lot of shopping locally as much as we can. We do a lot of shopping in other cities too like Los Angeles, Dallas, and Santa Fe because that's close to where we shoot -- and online as well.
So what has been your favorite outfit so far? The one you're most proud of?
It's so hard to pick. I'm sure every designer says that because you spend so much time on all of 'em. But I especially love it when we get to do custom work when we get to custom dye, a jacket or a shirt and it makes on camera cuz then it's unique to that character or I love it when we age down a jacket and it completely looked like a different jacket. And I, I'm always so proud of doing our custom work and it's like a team process too. But yeah, for, there was a outfit, I think it was episode six where it was Barbados jacket and it was a Barbados shirt and it was like the colors just looked really nice on him. But everything looks great on Jensen.
Tell us about a day in the life of a costumer -- as in what your job entails.
Well as the costume designer it does change from day to day and I work with a team of different costume personnel. There's a costume supervisor, key costumers, set costumes, there's a office costume coordinator and costume tailor, a dyer. We all have different jobs. Mine changes very frequently depending on what's coming up. If there's scenes on set that I need to go establish, I go to set, not there all the time cuz I'm always working for the next episode. So I might start off on set and make sure everything goes smooth, make sure the director producers are happy and actor if it's a new change, that's why I'm there. Make sure the fit's perfect. Then I'll go back to the office and I always look ahead, what's the next day. Usually I'll have a fitting and then we'll put the pieces into the tailor shop and aging. And sometimes we have to send our shopper out to get six of something if they're stunted. So I guess my day is always prepping for the next day -- and going to meetings, running around shopping.
Because you do so much shopping for work, does that take the joy out of shopping for yourself?
Well it does kind of feel like work. So I'm pretty simple. I'm somebody that has a collection of pieces I'll have for a long time and I rotate 'em -- I'll find something new every now and then. But I don't excessively shop for myself, because you're right, it feels like work. So I don't even wanna try things on. I might just take it home, try it on in my own time. And especially if I have to do an exchange.
I like to shop for other people though. I still do. I think it can be pretty fun. Gift giving.
What do you enjoy the most about working on Big Sky?
Definitely the cast and the writing. I think it's really fun when we get the new scripts and we play this little game. We try to guess what's gonna happen next cuz nobody knows, the actors don't know either. And that's pretty fun when we're all playing the game and we talk about it in the fitting room. And then, I mean we don't really make bets but we joke about making bets. And then I think the third is the locations in this business in general. That has always been something that still excites me to this day. Going to a new location and watching the sunrise and then you're like, wow, it looks like this out here. It's pretty cool, fun to explore new pockets of our country.
Very cool. So what are the bets on who the bleeding heart killer is? Can you say?
Man, we had some pretty good theories going on …
How would you describe Jensen?
He's got a really good sense of humor and he's a happy guy. He walks into a room smiling, he's got a wonderful personality and he is a little bit of a goofball, which is fun cuz it keeps us laughing and my first time working with him.
Do you have something funny you can share from set?
Well speaking of Jensen, there was I think it's not sure if it's already aired. Yeah. But there's a episode or two where the script day goes on a long time and that means that the cast doesn't change. So they're in this a costume for a long time and maybe it was longer than expected. And then when Jensen got to wear his next new change, we're on set to establish, make sure he is happy. And he sees me and my key costumer Maddie who works with me pretty closely and he looks at us and he smiles and he just starts like, whoa, really? Peppy kinda. Cause he's like new clothes. We just burst out laughing cause it was like, oh great, he's happy.
Amazing interview. Good work. I really enjoyed it especially the part where speaks about issues and dealing with it. You've just tripled my love for Dee Thanks a lot.