When it came time to honor costume designer Michael Kaplan with a lifetime achievement award at the recent Costume Designer Guild Awards in Hollywood, the actress whom he dressed in one of the most famous sweatshirts in movie history, came to pay tribute.
“Michael has just been such a huge influence in my life,” says Jennifer Beals, 56, who’s starring role in Flashdance created a sensation. “He really taught me the beauty of the art of design and I’m just really happy to be here to see him honored.”
“He took something that was very every day and made it something much, much more interesting,” says Beals.
Sweatshirt sales soared after the movie came out in 1983 but Beals admits she’s not quite sure of the whereabouts of her gray model with the cut out neck. “It’s probably in a trunk of mine, along with a bunch of other stuff,” says Beals, who recently reprised her role in The L Word: Generation Q.
Beals admits she hasn’t seen Flashdance in a few years. “I think the last time I think I saw it was when the Cinematheque did an event,” she says, referring to a 2013 Los Angeles screening.
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And when she did, Beals says, “I was like Oh my Gosh, I didn’t realize how sexual it was. That was really funny, I was surprised by it. Which I shouldn’t be, but I was.”
Beals, a special guest of Campari, the spirit sponsor of the 2020 Costume Designers Guild Awards, loves the Italian aperitif brand. “I have to be honest, it’s an amazing honor. They’ve sponsored and supported artists for over a century, people like Federico Fellini, Paulo Sorrentino. And I love a Campari and soda.”
These days, Beals stays busy with various acting projects, and focuses on a healthy lifestyle. “I always try to move in some way whether it’s swimming or yoga or running,” she says. “Also, meditating and drinking a lot of water. Sex is really helpful. I would put that at the top of the list,” she adds with a laugh.
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