Edna Mode (The Incredibles) vs Edith Head
Edna Mode (The Incredibles)
According to Pixar’s The Incredibles, Edna Mode is the woman who designed the costume for pretty much every superhero ever. Edna is a quirky, no-nonsense character who ends up being of great use to heroes – she’s the one who insists that no one in the family wears a cape, which is exactly what ended up causing the villain in The Incredible’s gruesome death (source: cracked.com).
The Real-Life Inspiration: Edith Head
Edna’s character is primarily based on real-life costume designer Edith Head, whose career began in 1920s Hollywood as an assistant costume designer. Head eventually became the pre-eminent costume designer of Hollywood’s golden age, heading (no pun intended) Paramount’s and later Universal’s costume departments, and earning eight Oscars (and over 30 nominations) during a career that included work on hundreds of movies.
Like Edna Mode, Head was incredibly prolific: She’s listed as costume designer in 436 movies, including Vertigo, Rear Window, The Birds, and eight other Hitchcock classics. While the look of Edna Mode matches Head’s, with large, round-framed spectacles and short, straight, dark hair; the character is also partly based on real-life Central Florida costume designer Una Jones who also possesses similar physical and personality features to Mode. The Incredibles writer-director Brad Bird is friends with Jones and found her to be the perfect model for the character. She also bears a striking, but coincidental, resemblance to actress Linda Hunt, whose short stature and hair cut are eerily similar (source: IMDb).
Head once said, “I hate modesty,” while Mode admitted that she was “the best of the best.”