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15 Superhero Movie Costumes That Embarrassed The Actors Wearing Them –

There’s just something about dressing up like a superhero that makes people feel powerful. Many was the child who tied a sweater or a towel around their neck, forming a make-shift cape while playing pretend. Kids and adults both dress up as their favorite superheroes at Halloween. Cosplayers spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars assembling their super-suits for conventions and charity events. And a lucky few actors, who ultimately get paid to play pretend and dress-up for a living, get to bring these legendary characters to life.

These actors may feel somewhat less than lucky, however, once the shooting starts and they get their first look at what they are wearing. Sometimes the costume designers are more concerned with what looks good rather than what is comfortable. Mobility is also an issue if the costume designers and director were more focused on aesthetics than thinking about what would be practical for the character to fight or move in. Even if an actor is wearing a motion capture suit and having their costume added in digitally, there’s a fair chance they might wind up looking more silly than inspiring.

For this reason, many actors who play superheroes are relieved once the shooting is over and they can put their super-suits behind them. At least, until the sequel comes round.

 

15. CHRISTIAN BALE AS BATMAN

Christian Bale cut quite the intimidating figure as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies. Offering up a darker, more psychological look at the Batman mythos, the movies pitted Bale’s Batman against the likes of Ra’s al Ghul, The Joker, and Bane. Yet the greatest struggle may have taken place off-screen, when the technical crew rushed to get Bale out of his armor whenever the actor needed to to use the little bat’s room.

One design flaw to Bale’s Bat-suit was that it was impossible for Bale to get himself out of the armor when nature called.

Bale described the experience as “a little bit humiliating” in an interview with The Guardian. In fact his only advice to Ben Affleck, when he approached Bale for advice about playing Batman, was that Affleck should make sure he could take his costume off unaided.

14. MICHELLE PFEIFFER AS CATWOMAN

Michelle Pfeiffer proved the purr-fect choice to bring Selina Kyle to life in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns. Famous for playing the femme fatale and earning a successive number of Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, Pfeiffer made a wonderful foil for Michael Keaton’s Batman.

While Pfieffer loved playing Catwoman, she had numerous difficulties with her catsuit. Pfieffer described it as “the most uncomfortable costume I’ve ever been in” to The Hollywood Reporter. “The face mask was smashing my face and choking me… we had a lot of bugs to work out.”

Reportedly Pfieffer had to be powdered down and helped into the vinyl costume, which was then vacuum-sealed around her. Needless to say there were some embarrassing rips as the filming progressed. Some of these rips were self-inflicted, as the claws on the costume’s gloves kept catching on things, embarrassing Pfeiffer further as she required help to free herself.

13. ANDREW GARFIELD AS SPIDER-MAN

Many Spider-Fans found Andrew Garfield’s take on Spider-Man to be the perfect portrayal of Peter Parker. Most felt that Garfield nailed the wise-cracking confidence of “Ol’ Web-Head.”

Garfield was far less confident than he let on whenever he was wearing the classic Spider-Man costume.

In fact, he said that wearing the costume made him feel incredibly uncomfortable. This was due to how tight the suit was and how little it left to the imagination. Garfield elaborated in an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show:

“The whole point of wearing a mask is you feel free and you can be whatever you want and you can be witty. That was the whole point; Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man and he becomes this other ego, his alter-ego. But knowing that your keister has been shot from many different angles makes you very uncomfortable.”

12. OLIVIA MUNN AS PSYLOCKE

Olivia Munn built a huge following of fans as co-host on Attack of The Show!, a correspondent on The Daily Show, and a star of HBO’s The Newsroom.

Munn was a fan favorite for the role of the psychic assassin Psylocke even before the character was announced as being part of the planned cast for X-Men: Apocalypse.

While the costume designers for the film were able to perfectly recreate Psylocke’s infamous purple leotard and thigh-boots super-suit, they were less thoughtful about how to get Munn dressed when they discovered that, despite being made of latex, the leotard had almost no flexibility.

Munn described her difficulties during an interview with Conan O’Brien. The suit and Munn’s body both had to be specially prepared and two costume assistants had to help Munn slide into the suit. Despite being inflexible, the latex was fragile and Munn reportedly ripped several of the leotards over the course of the filming.

11. BEN AFFLECK AS BATMAN

While critics and audiences savaged Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck’s performance as Bruce Wayne was one of the few aspects of the movie that failed to draw much fire. Indeed, most were pleasantly surprised by how well “Batffleck” portrayed an older, wiser Batman.

Perhaps the most infamous scene in the movie was the battle between Superman and Batman, for which Bruce Wayne donned a special set of power armor that allowed him to face Superman on equal footing. Few people realized that this special Bat-suit was entirely computer-generated.

That doesn’t mean that Ben Affleck escaped the costume issues that other Batmen suffered. Affleck described the special motion-capture suit he wore for filming the battle as “the most humiliating, ridiculous thing in the world.”

10. SCARLETT JOHANSSON AS BLACK WIDOW

First appearing in Iron Man 2, Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow has been a stalwart presence in The Marvel Cinematic Universe. She has appeared in all of The Avengers movies as well as all of the modern-day Captain America films.

While Johansson has loved bringing Natasha Romanoff to life and is open to playing The Widow in a solo film, she has admitted to being less than crazy about Black Widow’s costume. Johansson spoke about the problems with Widow’s trademark catsuits in an interview with ABC News.

The chief problem was that the suits sealed in body heat, causing Johansson to become so hot she began to hallucinate while filming one fight scene. “It was so hot, I would wring out my socks at the end of the day.”

The demanding stunt work also resulted in the costumes becoming “shredded”, with Johansson having to get a new suit every few days.

9. HALLE BERRY AS CATWOMAN

The 2004 Catwoman movie might not be the worst comic book movie of all time, but it is a definite contender for the title. Indeed, the final film was so far removed from its source material one could make a case that it isn’t really a comic book movie at all.

Technical arguments aside, it cannot be denied that Halle Berry’s costume for Catwoman is the stuff of comic fan legend.

Clad in a leather halter top, claw-tipped opera gloves and shredded leather pants with a cat-faced helm, Berry bore no resemblance to any previous version of Catwoman. Resembling a cat-themed dominatrix dressed by someone who had no idea how a dominatrix might actually dress, Berry was clearly uncomfortable during the filming of Catwoman. Small wonder then that she went on to win The 2005 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress – a dishonor Berry accepted in person.

8. RYAN REYNOLDS AS “DEADPOOL”

X-Men Origins: Wolverine had a host or problems, but none was quite so symbolic of the filmmakers’ lack of care for the source material as how they handled Wade “Deadpool” Wilson.

In the comics, Wade is known as “The Merc with the Mouth” due to his inability to not taunt his foes during a fight – or keep his mouth shut at any other time. Ryan Reynolds – a huge fan of the Deadpool comics – took the role expecting to play Wade Wilson as his usual sassy self.

Reynolds was stunned to find that the movie’s final act saw Wade transformed into a multi-powered killing machine with his mouth sewn shut. While this could have been a source of comedy, Reynolds was forced to play the scene painfully straight, much to his embarrassment.

Thankfully, Reynolds was able to bring the real Deadpool to the big screen years later and to throw some shade at the other Deadpool in the process.

7. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER AS MR. FREEZE

When Joel Schumacher set out to recapture the campiness of the 1960s’ Batman TV series with Batman and Robinhe found an agreeable accomplice in actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. While Arnold took great glee in delivering lines like “Ice to see you!” he was less thrilled about wearing the special cooling-suit built for Mr. Freeze.

There were a number of technical problems with the bulky costume, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The worst of these was that an LED had to be placed in Schwarzenegger’s mouth to properly light his lower face.

The LED’s battery dissolved when exposed to saliva and Schwarzenegger suffered injuries when the battery acid leaked into his mouth.

Small wonder then that Schwarzenegger spent as little time as possible in the costume after that. According to Chris O’Donnell, he never acted opposite Schwarzenegger, due to Schwarzenegger assigning as many of the long-shots as possible to his stand-in.

 

6. TOM HOLLAND AS SPIDER-MAN

While quick to praise his Spider-Man costume as “a work of art“, actor Tom Holland did admit to some discomfort and embarrassment regarding it, in an interview with Short List.

The chief problem was that one version of the suit was a one-piece affair without a removable mask. This left Holland unable to drink anything while in the skin-tight costume – something he considered a far bigger issue than the costuming assistant to whom he expressed his concerns did!

“He goes, ‘Why would you need to drink water?’ And I said, ‘Because I’m human! I need water to survive!’”, quipped Holland.

Another problem came when Holland needed to use the bathroom. While the suit was easy to remove, it was tight enough that it required Holland wear special underwear. This required Holland going to wardrobe, removing his costume, putting on a robe then running to the bathroom whenever nature called.

5. GEORGE CLOONEY AS BATMAN

While many people disliked Batman and Robin, it’s unlikely that they have as much loathing for the film as George Clooney. Reportedly, on the final day of filming, Clooney famously quipped, “I think we just killed the franchise.”

His words would prove prophetic and the better part of a decade would pass before Warner Bros. attempted to make another Batman movie. Clooney was reportedly so embarrassed regarding his turn as Batman that he cheerfully refunded the cost of a ticket to fans who complained to him about the movie.

While Clooney had many reasons to not be proud of Batman and Robin, his Bat-suit was at the top of the list. With a sculpted rubber chest and defined buttocks that were gratuitously flashed at the camera, Clooney’s costume became the stuff of legends and considerable mockery in superhero parodies for years afterward.

4. REBECCA ROMIJN AND JENNIFER LAWRENCE AS MYSTIQUE

Though the character of Mystique usually wore a white dress in the comics, the designers on X-Men renvisioned her as a reptilian being with a female figure without any personal detailing.

This caused actress Rebecca Romijn a fair bit of embarrassment and discomfort.

Romijn spoke about the make-up process in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. It took four artists working 9-10 hours each day to secure the prosthetics and paint her entire body blue. Despite all this work, Romijn was essentially wearing no costume on the set.

By the time Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Mystique in the X-Men prequels, the make-up team was able complete the work in 7 hours. Lawrence suffered the same humiliations as Romijn had. She also, according to an interview with E!, developed such a severe rash from the make-up that a doctor had to be called to the set.

3. MARGOT ROBBIE AS HARLEY QUINN

Many fans of Harley Quinn took exception to the character’s costume in Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie spent most of the movie sporting a too-tight T-shirt reading “Daddy’s Little Monster” and booty shorts that left little to the imagination. Robbie was less than thrilled with the provocative costume, as she explained in an interview with The New York Times.

“As Margot, no, I don’t like wearing that. I’m eating burgers at lunchtime, and then you go do a scene where you’re hosed down and soaking wet in a white T-shirt, it’s so clingy and you’re self-conscious about it.”

Robbie revealed that while she’s personally uncomfortable with displaying her body, she works past her embarrassment when it is something that her character would do. As Harley, Margot explained, she’s “wearing hot pants because they’re sparkly and fun,” and not because “she wanted guys to look at her…”

2. BEN AFFLECK AS DAREDEVIL

Being cast as Matt Murdock in the 2003 Daredevil movie was a dream come true for actor Ben Affleck. A life-long comic-fan, Daredevil had been Affleck’s favorite comic growing up. Such was his love for The Man Without Fear that Affleck wrote about it as part of the introduction to the trade-paperback collection of Guardian Devil – a legendary Daredevil story written by Affleck’s friend, director Kevin Smith.

Sadly, the Daredevil movie quickly went from a dream to a nightmare for Affleck. The movie was widely lampooned by film critics and comic book fans alike.

One frequent point of mockery was Affleck’s stiff leather costume, which many said looked more appropriate to a biker bar. It also failed to allow Affleck the freedom of movement for which Daredevil is famous. He would later describe the suit as “a source of humiliation” in a statement to Forbes.

1. RYAN REYNOLDS AS GREEN LANTERN

Created in the hopes of matching the 2008 Iron Man movie’s success in establishing a cinematic universe using a relatively obscure superhero as the cornerstone, the 2011 Green Lantern movie was a critical and commercial failure. Many were quick to point fingers as to precisely why Green Lantern failed to fly, but the decision to utilize a less-than-convincing CGI costume was one of the movie’s primary flaws.

The 1978 Superman movie made audiences believe that a man could fly, but Green Lantern couldn’t make audiences believe that Ryan Reynolds was wearing a mask.

Reynolds was the costume’s harshest critic, going on to joke about it in an improvised line in the movie Deadpool. 

As Wade Wilson is being taken away to be experimented on and turned into a brainwashed super-soldier, he begs the villain Francis, “Please don’t make the super suit green or animated!”

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