Behind the Seams: 50 Surprising Facts About Iconic Movie Costumes

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1 Fan-Made Stormtroopers

Fan-Made Stormtroopers

When filming “The Mandalorian” in 2019, the crew ran out of Stormtrooper costumes. They reached out to a local branch of a Star Wars fan organization, whose members joined the filming in their homemade Stormtrooper costumes.


2. Anthony Daniels, who endured years of discomfort in the C-3PO costume, cursed at Alan Tudyk for playing K-2SO in Rogue One in a motion-capture suit. Tudyk later joked that a “fu*k you” from Daniels was one of the highest compliments he had ever received.


3. While filming “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Robin Williams would walk through the streets of San Francisco in full Mrs. Doubtfire makeup and costume. On one occasion, he visited a sex shop to buy a large dil*o and other toys.


4. John Krasinski auditioned for the role of Captain America. However, after trying on the costume, he said, “I’m not Captain America.”


5. The Robocop’s suit in the 1987 movie was so cumbersome that the actor could not fit into the police car while wearing it. Therefore, every time you see Robocop driving in that movie, he is not wearing his Robo pants.


6 Reeve’s Real Muscles

Reeve's Real Muscles

For the first Superman movie, producers wanted Christopher Reeve to wear fake muscles under the suit. However, he refused and started an intense two-month training program that added 14kg to his 86kg frame. He got so big that they had to reshoot earlier scenes as they did not match the later shots.


7. The budget for the original 1978 film “Halloween” was so small that the actor playing Michael Myers was paid only $20 per day. The original Michael Myers mask was purchased at a local costume shop for $1.29. Despite this, the film grossed $47 million.


8. In “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” most of the uniforms worn by the Nazis in the Berlin book burning scene are authentic World War II uniforms and not costumes. A cache of old uniforms was found in Germany and obtained by Costume Designer Anthony Powell for use in the film.


9. Peter Cushing, who played Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars, found his costume’s boots to be very uncomfortable and therefore anytime his feet were not visible in the shot, he would wear comfy slippers. Therefore, Grand Moff Tarkin destroyed Alderaan wearing comfy slippers.


10. Sean Bean is terrified of flying. Therefore during the filming of “Lord of the Rings,” when the cast had to fly to remote shoot locations by helicopter, like the snowy mountains, he travelled part of the way via ski-lift and then spent two hours walking the remainder of the journey, in full Boromir costume.


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11 Historically Inaccurate Costumes

Historically Inaccurate Costumes

Braveheart has been described as one of the most historically inaccurate modern films. One historian took particular exception to the costumes, comparing them to “a film about Colonial America showing the colonial men wearing 20th century business suits, but with the jackets worn back-to-front.”


12. Arnold Schwarzenegger pays Warner Brothers $1 a year to borrow his Mr. Freeze costume from Batman and Robin. Also, the lights on the costume last for 9,000 hours.


13. When filming the original Borat film, Sacha Baron Cohen never washed Borat’s suit or wore deodorant when in character. He said it gave Borat a “kind of dreadful Soviet-bloc smell the moment I walk in.”


14. Bela Lugosi, famous for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1931 film and other horror movies, was buried in a full Dracula costume, cape and all.


15. The Cowardly Lion costume in The Wizard of Oz was made of real lion fur, skin, and human hair. In 2014, it was sold at auction for $3 million.


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16 Christopher Lee’s Wizardry

Christopher Lee's Wizardry

Christopher Lee sent Peter Jackson a photograph of himself in a wizard’s costume, wanting to play Gandalf, but Jackson decided he would be a perfect Saruman instead.


17. During the filming of The Three Stooges’ second anti-Nazi comedy film “I’ll Never Heil Again,” Moe Howard rushed from the set wearing his “Hitleresque” costume to get to his daughter’s birthday party. Bystanders reported to LAPD seeing “Hitler” running red lights.


18. Gal Gadot was visibly pregnant during reshoots of “Wonder Woman,” so the production team cut open her costume and put a green screen on her midsection. Her belly was later removed with CGI.


19. The dwarf actors in the 1987 film “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie” could only survive in their costumes for five to seven minutes before their oxygen depleted, so a paramedic with a stopwatch was required on set to keep the takes quick and prevent the actors from asphyxiating.


20. The costume worn by Star Trek’s Seven of Nine had to be modified after an error was made measuring the original. The bad fit cut off the blood supply to her carotid artery, causing her to pass out twice and require medical intervention. The costume was modified to prevent it from happening again.


15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History


21 Princess Leia’s “Florida” Moment

Princess Leia's

According to Carrie Fisher, the golden bikini in Princess Leia’s slave costume was made of hard plastic that didn’t move with her body, so the other actors got an eyeful. She quipped, “if you stood behind me you could see straight to Florida. You’ll have to ask Boba Fett about that.”


22. The actor who played Boba Fett in the original trilogy was cast solely based on his uncanny fit in the costume which had already been made.


23. The Cat costume Mike Myers wore in the 2003 live-action Cat in the Hat film was made out of wool and human hair.


24. During the production of Schindler’s List (1993), to gather costumes for the more than 20,000 extras, the costume designer took out advertisements seeking clothes from the 1930s and 40’s. Economic conditions were so poor in Poland that many people were eager to sell their clothing.


25. The actor who played Roger Rabbit in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, when performing his lines on-set alongside the other voice actors, insisted on doing so in a custom-tailored rabbit costume.


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