Saturday, April 13, 2013

Bow Ties on Ford in '42'

I can't decide if the excitement I felt in the recently released film '42' was due to the amazing storyline, awesome performances or the shear plethora of bow ties on screen throughout the whole film! Harrison Ford, who plays Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who signed Robinson is not seen without a bow tie for the entirety of the film. Apparently Rickey "was a man who was passionate about social justice. He cared a lot about ethics and morality," explains Ford in a recent interview about his research into the real life sports figure. Fords character work was phenomenal. He explains in a recent USA today interview his
process; "He's a legend," he says[of Rickey]. "But that doesn't always work in a movie. Sometimes not knowing the actors makes it more realistic. I didn't want people to look and say 'There's Harrison Ford playing Branch Rickey.' I just wanted people to think 'That is Branch Rickey.' "

Fords performance was magical with his character work internally and with wardrobe, externally.  In researching the actual Branch Rickey, it is near impossible to find a picture of him without a bow tie around his neck (see inserted image right). What a gift for an actor to have that one statement, or piece of clothing to work off of from the outside in. I can imagine Ford standing in front of a mirror before each shoot, tying on a vintage tie (a "gentleman's" self-tie bow tie I may add) and preparing to take on the character with each straitening of the knot. I know that Rickey's style had to have played a huge role in the essence of character development for Ford.  Rickey was in the professional world (hence the suit) but had a sense of humor and vigor for life (insert bow tie), making his ensemble a direct reflection of his personality.

You see, a wardrobe may be just articles of clothing to some. To many, clothing is just a materialistic facade, a pointless "costume" to parade around in. However, I too like to see fashion as a gift. A creative outlet of ones individual expression. Although it may only begin to scratch the surface of who you are, it nonetheless becomes like the starting gate for the race you'll choose to run. I think we can take a lesson from Ford, and Rickey and begin to capture our own character from the outside in.

-Lydia Andrews for Horse&Carriage

Ford in his younger years still rockin' the bow ties!

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