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EXCLUSIVE: Production Designer Stefania Cella Reveals How ‘Moon Knight’ Safely Highlighted Dissociative Identity Disorder

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Moon Knight is not your typical superhero show. It deals with a character in Steven Grant/Marc Spector who is dealing with a mental health condition that requires the people behind this show to approach the story with care and nuance. 

The latest Marvel Studios Disney+ series features Oscar Issac brilliantly portraying the complex Marvel Comic’s anti-hero (with the help of his brother), allowing viewers to accurately feel what it’s like to experience dissociative identity disorder.  Per the Cleveland Clinic, people who have DID “have multiple, distinct personalities. The various identities control a person’s behavior at different times. The condition can cause memory loss, delusions, or depression. DID is usually caused by past trauma.”

Speaking with Moon Knight’s production designer Stefania Cella a native of Italy, we asked her about the approach to this story and toeing the line of keeping it entertaining while remaining sensitive to people who experience DID in real life.

22nd Annual Art Directors Guild's Excellence In Production Design Awards - Arrivals

Source: David Livingston / Getty

“Well, we had psychiatrists and psychologists, and [sic] were also consulting to give us guidance. And I think Oscar himself was very involved in portraying it respectfully, a very serious issue,” Cella revealed to Cassius Life. “I love the connection with his fragility. For me, what was different from other shows that I have seen in is that this character doesn’t have fear of [sic] show the fragility, but actually you feel the compassion to it. That’s why I think it’s appealing because it’s very human, and then it’s very large-scale when becoming the Egyptian part of it. But that to me was very appealing personally. That’s why I think it’s an interesting show.”

Moon Knight

Source: Disney+/Marvel Studios / Moon Knight

Well, we had psychiatrists and psychologists, and [sic] were also consulting to give us guidance. And I think Oscar himself was very involved in portraying it respectfully.

We also asked Cella about the research that went into accurately depicting the Egyptian lore featured in the show revealing she traveled to Egypt back in 2020 to meet with Moon Knight’s lead director and Egyptian filmmaker Mohamed Diab.

“Well. I went to Egypt when I started in October 2020, and I met Mohamed Diab in Cairo,” Cella begins. “We spent some time together, and then we had historian and Egyptologist as consultant, then help us, be accurate with the portrait then they were doing on their culture.”

Moon Knight

Source: Disney+/Marvel Studios / Moon Knight

Episode five of Marvel Studios’ Moon Knight is now streaming on Disney+. You can also peep our interview with the show’s lead costume designer Meghan Kasperlik.

 

Photo: Disney+/Marvel Studios / Moon Knight