14 Character Costumes That Were a True Nightmare to Wear

Costumes are one of the most significant tools the director has to tell the story. They not only communicate the details of a character’s personality to the audience but assist actors to transform into new and believable people on screen. These character costumes were a nightmare to wear.
Costumes aren’t as straightforward in comparison to wearing everyday clothes. Designers create them for particular scenes and occurrences, often with the actor in mind. Some outfits need to be fitted and tailored to the one who is portraying a character. A piece of clothing contributes to the success of a movie but sometimes becomes a nightmare for actors who forcibly wear them. They prove that acting is not a piece of cake. The character costumes are a nightmare to wear. 
If you’re curious about them, scroll down to see character costumes that were a true nightmare to wear.

#1 Angelina Jolie — Maleficent

Character Costumes, maleficent costumeSource: © Maleficent / Jolie Pas and co-producers© disneymaleficent / Instagram

To become a scary Maleficent, Angelina Jolie had to undergo a drastic transformation, wearing prosthetics on her nose, cheekbones, and ears. The makeup team spent 2.5 hours doing it. Although the actress also put on special fangs and contact lenses, the horns were the most challenging part to bear for her. In addition, she wore 5-inch heels and constantly hit herself with the horns on stage. A couple of times, she even came close to knocking herself out.

#2 Saoirse Ronan — Mary, Queen of Scots

Character CostumesSource: © Mary Queen of Scots / Focus Features and co-producers

For her role in “Mary, Queen of Scots”, Saoirse Ronan wore a corset for 12 hours a day, which was greatly reflected in her physical appearance. After the movie, it took her a month to remove her hourglass figure.

#3 Ralph Fiennes — Harry Potter saga

Character CostumesSource: © Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II / Warner Bros. and co-producers

The intense makeup session to transform into the Dark Lord was a true nightmare for Ralph Fiennes. Because he constantly tripped over his costume, he had to put on pantyhose under the cloak. Eventually, the actor couldn’t stand it and asked the designers to do something. They decided to cut off the top of the pantyhose and added garters on each leg.

#4 Tilda Swinton — The Grand Budapest Hotel

Character CostumesSource: © The Grand Budapest Hotel / Fox Searchlight Pictures and co-producers

The makeup artists spent 5 hours transforming Tilda Swinton into an old woman. The actress revealed, “It was very interesting to watch these guys work. A whole team was taking care of me. They would take a piece of something that looked like bacon and apply it to my face, hands, and ears.” It also took much time to remove makeup from the actress’s face.

#5 Brie Larson — Captain Marvel

Character CostumesSource: © Captain Marvel / Walt Disney Pictures and co-producers

During filming for Captain Marvel, Brie Larson needed 2 assistants to put her costume on each time. In such conditions, going to the bathroom must have been a dubious pleasure, as a team of 5 people had to join Brie there too.

#6 Orlando Bloom — Lord of the Rings saga

Character CostumesSource: © The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers / New Line Cinema and co-producers© The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and co-producers

For his portrayal of Legolas, Orlando Bloom forcibly wore blue contact lenses, which irritated his mucous membranes and constantly fell out. So, when returning to the role of Legolas in “The Hobbit” trilogy, he refused to wear them. As a result, his eyes were painted with CGI.

#7 Helena Bonham Carter — Planet of the Apes

Character CostumesSource: © Planet of the Apes / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers

Though filming started at 7 a.m., Helena Bonham Carter had to get up at 2 or 3 a.m. to make up. The actress said, “It’s hard to put up with it, and by the end of the shoot, your nerves are completely worn out”.
Additionally, it was so hard to eat or drink in the monkey suit. So, the actress had to use a mirror to know where her mouth was. Due to the huge monkey ears prosthesis, sometimes she couldn’t hear her colleagues.

#8 Christina Ricci — Penelope

Character CostumesSource: © Penelope / Summit Entertainment and co-producers

It took about an hour and a half to wear a prosthetic nose on Christina Ricci’s face. During this process, the actress wasn’t supposed to move her mouth and had to press her fake nose to her face.

#9 Gary Oldman — Darkest Hour

Character CostumesSource: © Darkest Hour / Focus Features and co-producers© Darkest Hour / Twitter

Gary Oldman had to undergo a 4-hour transformation for his role in “Darkest Hour”. Gary had a special patch applied to his body, which he wore like a Victorian-era corset. The actor spent 18-20 hours looking like that for 48 days in a row.

#10 Michael Sheen — Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1

Character CostumesSource: © The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 / Summit Entertainment and co-producers

For him, the vampire contact lenses turned out to be the worst. His eyes were covered which make them much larger than usual. The process was like torture. The assistants would lift his upper eyelid and partially insert the lens. They did the same with the lower eyelid. The lenses basically nullified his peripheral vision.

#11 Gwyneth Paltrow — Shallow Hal

Character CostumesSource: © Shallow Hal / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers© Ken Hively/ Los Angeles Times / Getty Images© Shallow Hal / Twentieth Century Fox and co-producers

For her character costumes, Gwyneth Paltrow suffered emotional trauma. The actress experienced what overweight people feel and didn’t like it: “The first day I tried on the costume, I was at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, and I walked across the lobby. I felt so sad and anxious. No one looked me in the eye because I looked like a person suffering from obesity. I felt humiliated because people looked down on me.”

#12 Rachel Brosnahan — The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Character CostumesSource: © The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel / Amazon Studios and co-producers

Because the movie is set in the 1960s, the actress always had to wear a corset under her dress. She said, “I suffered an injury because of the corset. In the series, we spoke very fast, so I didn’t have enough time to inhale. I think I wasn’t breathing deeply enough because a couple of my ribs got stuck together. Now I can’t inhale deeply”.

#13 Shawn and Marlon Wayans — White Chicks

Character CostumesSource: © White Chicks / Revolution Studios and co-producers© White Chicks / Revolution Studios and co-producers

The transformation from brothers to sisters was the biggest challenge for both the makeup team and the actors. The process took 7 hours a day in the beginning, but the artists managed to reduce it to 5: “We did it for 60 days. It was exhausting. The makeup had to be fixed immediately if they ate or drank something. The guys hardly slept during the breaks between makeup application and shooting.”
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