The 705 Spotlight: Noel Leonard, Men’s Finished

Noel Leonard’s love of film and television inspired him to explore the world of motion picture costuming. This passion would eventually transform into an impressive career spanning three decades, working on fan favorite TV shows and some of the biggest films of our era.

You may have seen his work on: The Arsenio Hall Show, The Polar Express, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, 3 and 4.

How he educated himself in costuming: Three years at Western Costume Company learning about period costume and military and police uniforms.

His advice for aspiring costumers: Learn to drive fast and sleep quick.

What are some of the shows and movies you’ve worked on?  

I started my career as a Set Costumer on television sets such as The Arsenio Hall Show, JAG, Cold Case, Joan of Arcadia, and Luck. I then went to work on feature films Back to the Future 2 and 3, The Hunt for Red October, The Polar Express, Thor, The Green Hornet, Pirates of the Caribbean 2, 3 and 4, Dunston Checks In, Man of Steel, The Master, Transformers 2, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Path to War, Bedtime Stories, Jack and Jill, and We are Marshall.

How or why did you get into costuming?

I got into costumes because of my love for of television and movies. I was a little surprised to discover the reality of it once I got going — the hours, being out of town. I soon learned to love going out of town, moving from job-to-job, always embarking on a new adventure, and meeting great people who I am proud to call my second family to this day!

How did you educate yourself or get enough experience to get into the union?

I started my career at Western Costume Company. I worked there for three years. It was the best education I could have. I was surrounded by great people who taught me everything there was to know about all period costume and military and police uniforms, as well.

Do you have any advice for someone starting out who wants to be a costumer? 

My advice is to continue educating themselves throughout their careers. Take classes offered by our union, as well as privately. And above all, learn to drive fast and sleep quick!