Now Chasing Mavericks is a pretty dude-heavy movie, but having said that, the characters of Kim and Brenda gave us two very different types of women to play with. Leven Rambin as Kim, Jay Moriarity’s childhood love and eventual wife, was the quintessential 90’s tomboy. Naturally pretty, athletic, and confident, Leven was very similar physically to the real Kim. During the camera test they stood side-by-side and chatted for a while, and they could have been sisters. It took me a minute to “find” Kim. At first I kept projecting my version of the 1990’s onto her. I have never kept a diary, but a few times as we were prepping Mavericks I jotted down my experiences because I was constantly amazed at how all the research was bringing back memories for me. Here is something I wrote after a day of making myself crazy.
Power shop all afternoon for Leven. I have nothing but mounting anxiety. This time period for girls has always been verging on ugly. I figure there are 3 ways to go.In broad strokes:
1. 90210 floral skirts, bodysuits and crochet vests.
2. Skater girl baggies and Dickies and baby tees.
3. And the bridge to both worlds, my instinctual favorite: flared jeans, boy tees and sneakers.
I talk a lot of the options over with Leighton, one of my crew who is helping me prep. I realize I am like a shopping cart with a broken wheel. I keep veering left. It’s so hard for me to embrace the reality of the era. What works for our movie is not my 1994 reality. My ‘94 was downtown NYC, Nell’sNightclub, Soul Kitchen, Paper Magazine. Baby blue shell toes, a skin-tight Yoji tube skirt that went down to the ground. A Hysteric Glamor teeshirt with a strawberry on it. I would literally rather have walked naked down the street than wear a crochet vest and a printed rayon skirt. I don’t think I even knew what a polar fleece was. I know what Kim would have worn, but I am bucking against it. My ‘94 is not Kim’s ‘94.
Later that day as I drive back to the office I hear a cover of Nirvana’s “Incendiary” on KCRW [the local LA NPR station]. Apparently it is 20 years since Nevermind was released. Liza Richardson tells the story of how she was sitting at a light at Sunset and Vine when she heard the song for the first time, and she could feel in her bones something was happening. I catch my breath when she says this. I almost want to cry.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY THOMAS CAMPBELL FOR T MAGAZINE ARTICLE “RIDERS ON THE STORM”