Behind the Seams: 50 Surprising Facts About Iconic Movie Costumes

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26 Jasmine’s Covered Costumes

Jasmine's Covered Costumes

The costumes for the 2019 version of “Aladdin” were redesigned to show no skin. The classic outfit of Jasmine, having her belly button shown, was deemed “inappropriate these days for families” and was removed.

27. For Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, Michelle Pfeiffer had to be “vacuum-packed” into her latex Catwoman costume.

28. In the LOTR series, around 19,000 costumes were produced with each design having 40 versions due to the long shooting schedule and the large number of stunt doubles.

29. All the plastic costume parts for Star Wars Ep. IV (stormtrooper uniforms, etc.) were made by one man in the back of the London candy shop he ran as his day job.

30. Whoopi Goldberg, playing the Queen in Cinderella (1997 film), refused to wear costume jewellery and instead convinced Harry Winston to lend $60 million worth of jewellery to the film.

31 Godzilla Costume Disparity

Godzilla Costume Disparity

Most of the costumes seen in the Godzilla movies throughout the decades were custom-made for each film, which is why there is such a disparity between his appearance from movie to movie. For the 1973 film Godzilla vs. Megalon, the crew created the suit from scratch in just one week.

32. On the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey, numerous costume parts for the man-apes went missing. The actor who played the man-ape Moonwatcher suspects they ended up in the hands of costume designers from The Planet of the Apes, which was also filming at the same time.

33. Actor Matthew Lewis wore a fatsuit, fake teeth, and more throughout most of the Harry Potter films to make Neville Longbottom appear more unattractive.

34. In 1999, actor Martin Lawrence almost died running in the Big Momma fat suit costume in 100°F (38°C) heat. He went into a coma for 3 days and had a body temperature of 107°F (41.7°C).

35. The original Obi-Wan Kenobi cloak, worn by Alec Guinness in A New Hope, was misplaced after filming and discovered 30 years later at a costume shop in London, where it had been rented out for fancy dress parties.

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36 Psychological Strain of Costume

Psychological Strain of Costume

Actor Michael Chiklis had to consult with a therapist during the production of 2007 Fantastic Four movie due to the psychological strain the Thing costume put on him.

37. Around 120 battle suits representing “grunts, dogs, and tanks,” weighing up to 130 pounds (59 kg), were handcrafted for Edge of Tomorrow. Each actor needed 4 people to help put on the suits, and between takes, they would be suspended by chains from iron frames to take the weight off their shoulders.

38. The iconic ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz were not actually ruby-colored. They were originally silver but were changed to ruby for better visibility on the Technicolor film.

39. Al Mulock, the actor who stars in the opening scene of “Once Upon A Time In The West,” committed suicide wearing his character’s costume. Before being taken away in the ambulance, director Sergio Leone shouted, “Get the costume, we need the costume.” The costume was then worn by a stand-in.

40. The suits worn by the Guild members in the movie Dune (1984) were old body bags found in a disused fire station. The bags had actually been used several times, something that was kept from the cast members until shooting was complete.

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41 Iconic Jumpsuit Reuse

Iconic Jumpsuit Reuse

The yellow jumpsuit worn by Bruce Lee in “Game of Death” is the same jumpsuit worn by Uma Thurman in “Kill Bill.”

42. The Joker’s mask during the initial bank robbery in “The Dark Knight” is almost identical to the mask worn by Cesar Romero during a hijacking scene in the TV series episode “Batman: The Joker Is Wild (#1.5)” (1966).

43. In the movie “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” certain scenes called for a full-size costume for the alien, which was worn by Matthew De Meritt – a 12-year-old boy born without legs.

44. The costume worn by Darth Vader in the “Star Wars” movies was inspired by the armor of a samurai warrior. Costume designer John Mollo used a combination of leather, fiberglass, and plastic to create the menacing look of the iconic villain.

45. The costume designer for the movie “Titanic,” Deborah L. Scott, recreated the ship’s original crew uniforms by using actual photographs and blueprints from the time period. She spent months researching and sourcing materials to create historically accurate costumes for the film’s crew members.

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

46 Heavy Raincoat Design

Heavy Raincoat Design

The iconic yellow raincoat worn by Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain” was actually made of wool and weighed nearly 30 pounds when wet. Costume designer Walter Plunkett created the raincoat to look good on camera, even though it wasn’t practical for the actor to wear during the famous rain scene.

47. The costume designer for the movie “Gone with the Wind,” Walter Plunkett, had to be resourceful with his materials due to wartime fabric shortages. He used items such as curtains and bedspreads to create some of the iconic dresses worn by the film’s leading lady, Vivien Leigh.

48. The costume designer for the movie “Moulin Rouge!,” Catherine Martin, created over 300 costumes for the film’s elaborate musical numbers. She used a mix of historical and modern fabrics and techniques to create the film’s extravagant and over-the-top wardrobe, which included everything from can-can dresses to top hats.

49. The costume designer for the movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Milena Canonero, created a unique color palette for each of the film’s time periods. She used bright, pastel colors for the 1930s-era sequences, muted tones for the 1960s scenes, and dark, somber colors for the World War II era flashbacks, creating a distinct visual language for each time period.

50. The iconic dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in the movie “The Seven Year Itch” was designed by costume designer William Travilla to be lightweight and flowy. He used a blend of silk and rayon to create the dress, which famously billowed up around Monroe’s legs as she stood over a subway grate.

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