Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who Was Edna Mode in Based On?

The Ask SAM feature of the Winston-Salem Journal answers a question about the inspiration for Edna Mode, that costume designer character from brad Bird's THE INCREDIBLES. Here it is, for the record:

Q: Was the little fashion designer character in the Disney movie "The Incredibles" based on the lady who plays Hetty on "NCIS: Los Angeles"?


A: Brad Bird, the cartoonist who created "The Incredibles" — and who provides the voice of Edna Mode, the bombastic, diminutive scene-stealing character — has been cagey about her origins. Linda Hunt, the actress you are referring to, is one possibility who has been frequently mentioned.

But the character seems more directly inspired by Edith Head, a famous Hollywood fashion designer who won eight Oscar awards for best costume design and was nominated 35 times. Other possible inspirations include Lotte Lenya, who played a Bond villain in the movie "From Russia With Love," and fashion designers Anna Wintour and Mary Quant. In a 2004 article in Entertainment Weekly, Bird commented, "I've heard, like, 15 different people she reminds people of."

Oh, that cagey Brad Bird!

I had always thought it was Oscar-winning Hollywood movie costume designer Edith Head (below):


Anne Hambrock said...

I agree, Mike. I thought Edith Head the second I saw (and heard the dialogue of) the character when we were in the theater.

The Incredibles remains one of my top 3 Pixar films and the Edna Mode character is one of the reasons.

"Super models!! - There's nothing super about them!!"

Steven Kirk said...

The Incredibles was released in 2004, NCIS:LA premiered in 2009 with Linda Hunt's seemingly Edna-inspired character. They've changed Hunt's look over the past few seasons, but in the beginning, she had the big, round Edna glasses and I'd guess Edna's character design was an amalgam of different people, including Hunt, and Hetty Lange was "inspired by" Edna. Art imitating life imitating art :)

Bill Glendening said...

Ms. Linda Hunt has been in TV and movies for a while. I first saw her in the original Dune movie in the late 80s and later in Kindergarten Cop.