A lot goes into bringing the magic to movie characters on-screen. Sometimes, however, that magic act relies heavily on a physical transformation as opposed to merely adopting new behaviorisms.
Costumes help bring movie characters to life. But wearing bulky superhero suits or elaborate creature makeup for hours a day can take a heavy toll on actors.
Here are 12 actors who complained about their iconic on-screen costumes.
Oscar Isaac as Apocalypse
“Apocalypse, that was excruciating. I didn’t know when I said ‘yes’ that that was what was going to be happening—that I was going to be encased in glue, latex, and a 40-pound suit,” Isaac lamented to GQ. “I had to wear a cooling mechanism at all times and I couldn’t move my head. Ever.”
“I was also in high heels inside of a boot, so that was difficult to move at all. Every time I moved, it was just like rubber and plastic squeaking, so everything I said had to be dubbed later,” Isaac recalled. “And then getting it off was the worst part, because they had to kind of scrape it off for hours and hours.” (Syfy)
Rebecca Romijn as Mystique in X2: X-Men United
About being naked under her Mystique makeup which involved four women and a little under eight hours: “I’ve been in denial about the nudity: ‘No, no. I’m very covered up,'” she recalled. “I kept checking with the rest of the cast, ‘You guys, I’m totally covered up, right?’ And they’d tell me, ‘No, Rebecca, you’re naked.'”
Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man
On his skintight suit for The Amazing Spider-Man: “I knew there were paparazzi taking terrible, unflattering shots of my, you know, everything…knowing that your keister has been shot from many different angles makes you very uncomfortable.” (Digital Spy)
Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men: Apocalypse
“I love these movies — it’s just the paint,” she told EW during a set visit in 2015.
Lawrence also told Graham Norton during an appearance on his show in 2016 that she couldn’t sit to pee in the costume. “The guys who made it were like, ‘Well, she’s a girl. She doesn’t go to the bathroom,” she said. “So, I pee standing up out of a funnel.
Margot Robbie as Barbie
On her’s and co-star Ryan Gosling’s, Barbie set pics going viral: “I can’t tell you how mortified we were, by the way,” Robbie told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show as Fallon held up one of the photos of them in neon getups and rollerblades. “We look like we’re like laughing and having fun, but we’re dying on the inside. Dying. I was like, ‘This is the most humiliating moment of my life.’ “
Don Cheadle as War Machine
On the heavyweight suit that War Machine transitions to in Iron Man 3: “It ain’t no lightweight thing. It’s very heavy. It’s fiberglass, I think that’s what it is. But it feels like it’s some special alloy that they made in a torture chamber that Torquemada created…and Robert’s was not really heavy. Robert’s was nice and light. It’s racism, let’s just be honest. I mean, what else could it be?” (Huffington Post, YouTube)
Ben Affleck as Daredevil
His takeaway from starring in Daredevil: “By playing a superhero in Daredevil, I have inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero. Wearing a costume was a source of humiliation for me and something I wouldn’t want to do again soon.” (Irish Examiner)
Olivia Munn as Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse
On her latex costume, she said: “Psylocke’s outfit or uniform or suit or whatever you want to call it is very sexual,” admits Munn. “I’ve got like my thigh-highs and a halter, but the thing about that, and that was important, is that it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing as long as we’re all aware of who she is. She’s very strong and she’s very lethal and she’s very powerful, and it doesn’t really matter what she’s wearing as long as you have that strength and that presence.”
But wearing skin-tight latex does have its challenges. “Now it fits like a glove, but it’s kind of hard because there’s been times where I’m pulling and it pops like a balloon, which did happen day one,” admits Munn. “Day one, I was like, ‘Uh, guys, uh, do we have a backup? Sorry, I popped my crotch.” (EW)
George Clooney as Batman
On his infamous chest in Batman & Robin: “Well, I wasn’t thrilled with the nipples on the bat-suit. You know that’s not something you really think about when you’re putting it on. You figure all bat-suits have nipples, and then you realize yours was really the first. Batman was just constantly cold, I guess.” (Comic Book)
Michael Chiklis as Ben Grimm (a.k.a. the Thing).
On his costume for Fantastic Four: “That was the Seventh Circle of Hell—the costume. But you know, that was the worst part of it, obviously. It was just physical discomfort. But perfectly put: it was a distraction, you know, one of those things,” Chiklis said in an interview with the Archive of American Television. (YouTube)
Anne Hathaway as Catwoman
On her costume as Catwoman: “[The costume] was a psychological terrorist,” Hathaway told Allure. “The suit, thoughts of my suit, changing my life so I would fit into that suit…It dominated my year. I went into the gym for ten months and didn’t come out. (The Mary Sue)
Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre in Watchmen
Akerman admitted that the latex bodysuit was “so uncomfortable,” noting that the suit was cinched in with a corset.
“They wanted to cinch my waist in three inches smaller than what it actually is every day so that my shoulders looked broader,” Akerman said, according to BuzzFeed. Akerman compared the suit to a “human condom,” noting,
“It takes on whatever temperature it is and then magnifies it. So if we were shooting outside and it was freezing, it made me extra cold, and if it was indoors and hot, it made it extra hot.”
“I thought it was really f***ing hot (at first). Then I tried it on, and I thought it was really f***ing uncomfortable. And the smell? When you take it off, it smells like a human condom,” said Akerman.