Two-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Ruth Carter was on hand Saturday night at the 2018 Chicago International Film Festival to receive a Career Achievement Award. The presentation came during the the annual Black Perspectives Tribute following a conversation with Regina Taylor.
Prior to the presentation, I had the chance to talk with the costume designer on the red carpet. Carter will surely be one of the top contenders during the Oscars for her work on Black Panther.
Congrats on the Career Achievement Award. Can you talk about how much of an honor it is to receive it?
Ruth Carter: I have been doing this for over thirty years. These films have kind of stacked up that I have done. For someone to take the time to say it’s time to honor Ruth Carter, it means the world to me. I didn’t ask for it. I was happy behind the scenes. I would have still been behind the scenes so it means the world to me for the light to be turned around and be focused in my direction. I guess we all go to school and we go through life—we get a career and we want to eventually be a bright shining star at what we do. This is part of that shining star. I’m just happy to be here.
Is there someone who has had the most meaningful influence on your career?
Ruth Carter: I would say the early days of Spike Lee was a huge influence on my career—kind of actually gave me the right path to start on. Not being focused on the limelight so much and focused on the work and doing a good job. So I think that kind of mentorship was integral in my development.
Ruth Carter: You’re welcome.