Mildred Pierce

Director Todd Haynes takes us behind the scenes of his new five-part miniseries.

Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe

“This is a catastrophic rainstorm in L.A. on New Year’s eve, 1933, and it coincides with Mildred’s liberation from Monty, a Pasadena blueblood who seizes the imagination and affection of her daughter Veda. Mildred is leaving him in the rain.”

Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe

“I’d never worked with Kate before, but when I read the book—Mildred’s intense physical drive and indomitable spirit, combined with her burgeoning sexual discovery—Kate seemed perfect for it.”

Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe

“The transformation of interior space is all so much a part of the story. The direction of Mildred’s mobility is upward, and you see that reflected in the space.”

Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe

“Mildred is a young mother, which excluded consideration of some older actresses. She’s only 28 when you first meet her, and 37 by the end. Kate is somewhere in the middle.”

Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe

“It was about a fifty-fifty split between on stage sets and on location. I happen to love the New York crews and craftsmanship better than anywhere else, so we were at Steiner Studios, which Kate is standing in front of.”

Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe

“This is a scene where Mildred returns home, Veda’s playing the piano, and for the first time in her life she has everything she wants. She lies down on the bed for maybe 20 seconds, just taking deep, pleasurable breaths of satisfaction.”

Photographer: Brigitte Lacombe

“Our costume designer, Ann Roth, has a special relationship with Kate. They both share this uncanny understanding of human nature. It’s reflected as much in the imperfections of how the characters dress as it is in how beautifully they’re styled.”