Turns out it isn’t just the chariot racer’s chest that needs protecting.
My costume designer Varvara Avdyushko, she made authentic, historically correct costumes. And it was very strange when we discussed with her that they had leather stripes around their chests, and we were very curious about why they needed these stripes. It looks cool, but how do stripes help you? But she did it, she did these leather stripes, and when the accident happened, and our driver was under the chariot, these stripes saved his life!
“It’s like NASCAR,” Huston says of the race’s top speeds. “The first day, you’re completely convinced you’re going to die.”
And just like in that sport, clothes – in this case, a leather-trimmed costume – proved absolutely crucial against the massive amounts of stadium sand.
“That’s why you use leather,” says Huston, laughing. “So you don’t shred off your privates.”
The film comes out August 19, i.e. four months and one day from today.