16 Actors Whose Movie Costumes Were a True Nightmare
Costumes help make movie characters come alive and be more believable. Actors and actresses always look forward to the first time they put on a costume and take on their roles. But stars aren’t always comfortable wearing these getups. In this case, they’re forced to spend weeks, and even months, in tight, clunky clothes, spending hours in the dressing room.
Angelina Jolie — Maleficent
Turning the stunning Angelina Jolie into Maleficent was not an easy job. The makeup team spent 2.5 hours on her every day, and the actress (according to her words) is not the most patient person in the world. Jolie had nose, cheekbone, and ear prosthetics to make her look intimidating and alien-like. She also had to wear white fangs and lenses. Here, you can watch a video where the actress is turned into Maleficent really fast.
But the huge horns were the biggest source of trouble. In her interviews, Jolie admitted that they were quite heavy, so her neck grew tired, fast. Additionally, she had to wear 5-inch heels and often hit the horns on things around the set. A couple of times, she almost knocked herself out.
Saoirse Ronan — Mary Queen of Scots
Saoirse Ronan had to wear a corset for 12 hours a day, and it really impacted her appearance. After the end of the shoot, it took her body almost one month to turn from an hourglass shape back to her regular one. She also said that the corset was uncomfortable and pressed on her insides.
Ralph Fiennes — Harry Potter
The actor remembers the makeup and the costume that came with playing the Dark Lord with a shudder. Ralph Fiennes would stumble on the costume all the time and also had to wear tights, which would constantly fall off, and he couldn’t walk as graciously as Voldemort was supposed to. So Fiennes lost his patience and asked the costume designers to do something about it. The problem was solved quickly: the upper part of the tights got cut off, and they were turned into something resembling stockings.
Tilda Swinton — The Grand Budapest Hotel
Tilda Swinton had to spend five hours a day in the dressing room for her team to turn her into an old lady. She recalled, “It was fascinating watching the way these guys work. I had a whole team taking these bits of what looked like bacon and putting them on my face and arms and earlobes. It’s fascinating. I’m such a nerd about that kind of stuff. I really, really loved it.”
It also took about the same amount of time to remove the makeup. Swinton was fortunate enough to spend just two days on set.
Brie Larson — Captain Marvel
Brie Larson complained that her costume was incredibly uncomfortable. She couldn’t put it on alone: she needed the help of two assistants, and they would spend 30 minutes dressing her. It was quite hard to go to the bathroom in such a costume. Larson was accompanied by a team of five people to help her.
Orlando Bloom — The Lord of the Rings
The actor has dark brown eyes, so he had to wear blue contact lenses on set. Bloom hated them with all his heart because the lenses irritated his eyes and fell out all the time. When Bloom returned to this role in The Hobbit trilogy, he refused to wear them, so his eyes were changed with CGI.
Helena Bonham Carter — Planet of the Apes
Shoots would start at 7 a.m., but Helena Bonham Carter had to wake up as early as 2 a.m. because the makeup process would take about four hours. She said, “That’s hard to endure, and by the end of filming, your nerves become completely frayed.”
It was hard to eat and drink in this costume: the actress had to use a mirror to know exactly where her mouth was underneath the mask so as not to accidentally ruin the makeup. And it was really hard to act in this costume because the makeup and the rubber didn’t let Carter show her emotions very well. Moreover, the giant ears wouldn’t let her hear her own colleagues.
Christina Ricci — Penelope
The makeup team spent about 1.5 hours attaching the fake nose to Christina Ricci’s face. During the process, the actress couldn’t move her mouth. After that, they did her hair and regular makeup.
Gary Oldman — Darkest Hour
The iconic transformation Gary Oldman went through to become the Great Britain prime minister took almost 4 hours. Aside from the complex makeup, the actor had a special thing he had to wear on his body like a corset. He was really worried he wouldn’t be able to handle such a difficult schedule: he had to wear the whole thing for 18-20 hours a day, 48 days in a row. And he was also scared his skin wouldn’t be able to survive under everything that was attached to it.
If you’re interested in learning more about what the team had to do to create the appearance of Winston Churchill, you can watch this short video.
Michael Sheen — The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
This wasn’t the first time Michael Sheen had to wear uncomfortable costumes. For the role of Tron, he had to wear a corset and huge heels. But the vampire contact lenses he wore in this film were much worse. Sheen revealed that they were supposed to cover both of his eyes entirely, so they were much bigger than regular contact lenses. And the process of putting them on was torture. First, assistants had to lift the upper lid and put in part of the lens. Then they’d do the same thing with the other eyelid. After that, they’d do some things to adjust the positioning of the lenses.
Additionally, Sheen had to use eye drops all the time and put up with headaches because he had no peripheral vision while wearing the lenses.
Gwyneth Paltrow — Shallow Hal
Costumes don’t only make you feel bad on the outside. Sometimes, actors experience emotional trauma. Gwyneth Paltrow experienced what people with extra weight often feel like, and she didn’t like it. Paltrow explained, “The first day I tried the fat suit on, I was in the Tribeca Grand and I walked through the lobby. It was so sad. It was so disturbing. No one would make eye contact with me because I was obese. I felt humiliated because people were really dismissive.”
Rachel Brosnahan — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Because the series is set in the US in the 1960s, the actress always had to wear a corset under her dresses. In one of her interviews, she explained what doing this led to. She said that she got injured because of the corset. Because they talked really fast in the show, they didn’t have a lot of time to breathe. Rachel thinks that she didn’t breathe enough, so a couple of her ribs are fused together a little bit, and she can’t take deep breaths now.
Shawn and Marlon Wayans — White Chicks
The transformation of the brothers into sisters turned out to be a difficult task for both the makeup team and the actors themselves. The entire process took 7 hours a day in the beginning, but then the team managed to shrink it down to 5 hours. “We did 60 days of this, and it was grueling for them and it was grueling for us trying to recreate it each day. If they ate or drank anything, they had to be touched up. They were hardly getting any sleep between the makeup and working all day, but they were amazing, mugging around and joking.”
Oscar Isaac — X-Men: Apocalypse
“We wanted him to have that sort of ancient, mythic God-like look to him,” said screenwriter and producer Simon Kinberg about working on Oscar Isaac’s costume. It had 13 moving pieces to it which were 3D printed. Isaac often got hot while wearing the layered outfit so he had to wear a cooling mechanism. “I would do some acting and then go to my tent and try to breathe and not freak out that sweat was pouring into my ears and I couldn’t touch them,” revealed the actor.
Anne Hathaway — The Dark Knight Rises
Anne Hathaway says her catsuit was “a psychological terrorist.” To look spectacular in a slim suit, the star had nine months of practically working out every day and sticking to a strict diet. “The suit, thoughts of my suit, changing my life so I would fit into that suit... It dominated my year,” the actress said in an interview.