The Gormenghast Collection: Steerpike's Wardrobe
Steerpike in Kitchen Garb
Estelle Daniel, producer:
When you've got a book written by an illustrator who has drawn these characters in the most exquisite and detailed way, you know you have to be very careful. And the role of Steerpike was very difficult to cast. We saw an awful lot of people before we saw Jonathan [Rhys Meyers]. We were unable to cast it until we found Jonathan, and then we absolutely knew instantly we'd found the right person.
View Peake's original sketch of Steerpike

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, actor:
Steerpike is myself, he can't be anyone else. If I tried to make him somebody else, and tried to change myself totally, it would be a disaster... The evil in him comes from loneliness, and rejection. That's something I feel. I feel this rage...

Estelle Daniel, producer:
Of course, the great thing about Johnny was the element of compassion. He felt very clearly that Steerpike was incredibly unloved and outcast as a member of that castle. If right at the beginning, when Flay grips his collar in the corridor and questions him and then throws him in the dungeon... if, instead, Flay had taken him back to his quarters and clothed him and provided him with some friendship, maybe none of it would ever have happened!

Steerpike Dressed in Grey
Estelle Daniel, producer:
Steerpike has many clothes. One of the first things which Irma says after he works his way into the Prunesquallor household is, 'We shall dress him in pale grey,' and so he is. The cut is Elizabethan, and he wears a short little jacket, based on a picture of a matador.

Steerpike After the Fire
Estelle Daniel, producer
Johnny's personal style is loose and informal, and Odile tried not to restrict his natural physicality. Then by the time he has risen to Master of the Ritual, his clothes are darker, with a distinct Nazi edge. . . .

Some text excerpts courtesy of HarperCollins Entertainment, The Art of Gormenghast by Estelle Daniel (2000)

 Costume Design:
Fuchsia | Lord Groan | Gertrude | Prunesquallors | Steerpike | Twins

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