Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Actors Who Wore Butt Pads For Their Movies

Hollywood is the land of dreams, and seasoned viewers of films and television shows know not to trust anything they see on screen to be anything other than skillfully orchestrated make-believe. But some fans may be crestfallen to learn that many of the butts seen on screen are padded and artificial. Without getting into the discussion of any surgical enhancements or prosthetics (both topics for another day), there are several examples of actors admitting to wearing butt pads in their movies, and their testimonies serve as a real wake-up call for anyone who still believed in the authenticity of cinematic butts.

Butt pads serve a wide variety of visual and practical purposes on the film set. They make a relatively unobtrusive place for stunt performers and actors to cushion themselves against potential injury, and they also alter actors' looks for subtle visual effects. Here are several examples that will hopefully remind the reader to look at every butt they see on screen with a healthy bit of skepticism.

Anne Hathaway wore a size 6 butt pad in The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil may wear Prada, but Anne Hathaway in "The Devil Wears Prada" had to settle for a no-brand butt pad for parts of the film. The actress stars as Andy Sachs, a freshly graduated journalism student who takes up a job as a personal assistant to commanding editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Hathaway explained to Access Hollywood in 2006 to promote the movie, "I lost quite a bit of weight for the film, just for the character, but we still had to pad me up for the size-6 part, so I had a butt pad."

In case you're wondering, yes, she kept it. "I took it at the end of the film," admitted Hathaway, "and I've had it framed with a little plaque that says "Andy's Ass." She claimed that she kept the pad and plaque in her office, although it's very possible this was just a joke. But it might make a good icebreaker if you ever find yourself making small talk with the "Devil Wears Prada" star.

The mystery of the fake Spider-Butt

With all of the different Spider-Men assembled in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," including some actors pulled back to the role after many years, there are inevitably stories about the Spidey costumes. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Peter Parker, Tom Holland, drew fans' attention specifically to their derrières with a comment he made on "Late Night With Seth Meyers." "I'll give you a spoiler, and I'm not going to tell you who, but one of us has a fake ass in their suit," said Holland, referring to himself and fellow "No Way Home" co-Spideys Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire.

The trouble is, the truth of which Spider-Man needed some extra padding in the back has gone unsolved, and our only additional clues have come from Garfield, who was also asked about this important topic during a subsequent interview on "Late Night With Seth Meyers." "All I know is that I am totally unmodified," Garfield said. "And that's all I can share."

Garfield dropped a few other clues during the media frenzy surrounding this issue, including the tidbit that he didn't think it was Maguire, either: "I don't think it's Tobey," he told "Entertainment Tonight". "I've seen Tobey's butt. Tobey's got back." This is one butt pad mystery that will likely never be solved, but many "No Way Home" fans probably have their own theories.

Tom Cruise may or may not have been padded up for Valkyrie

Sometimes a butt pad becomes more than just a butt pad and reaches the status of viral internet meme phenomenon. The only trouble with this is that this particular butt pad's very existence has been called into question. This particular meme stems from a still taken from the otherwise mostly forgotten 2008 historical thriller "Valkyrie," starring Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, the real-life Nazi military official who led a failed plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler during World War II.

Twitter was aflame over whether or not a scene in "Valkyrie" represents Cruise's natural assets. The actor is famously trim, which had many fans thinking this is a butt pad. Cruise himself has adamantly denied that he's using padding. Some fans claimed it was the butt of one of Cruise's stunt doubles (an unlikely scenario given Cruise's well-known penchant for doing his own stunts). Padding is often used in stunts to provide discreet physical protection, but ultimately the truth about Cruise's butt pads or lack thereof on "Valkyrie" is the stuff of movie legend.

Jessica Simpson's padded Daisy Dukes

When it came time for Hollywood to make a "The Dukes of Hazzard" feature film, Jessica Simpson was at the exact level of stardom required to fill out the Daisy Duke's iconic Daisy Dukes. But, on the poster for the movie at least, she admitted to "Access Hollywood" that she wore butt pads to do justice to her character's famous wardrobe. "I tried on probably 40 different types of shorts, but then I ended up having to wear butt pads," Simpson said. "So it's like, what's the point?"

It's not clear whether Simpson had any rear padding during the filming of "The Dukes of Hazzard" or if this memory was specifically related to the photo shoot for the poster. But it does seem apparent that she is part of the elite Hollywood fraternity of performers that have had to pad their butts at some point over the course of a production.

Kristen Stewart's padded Twilight stunt

Kristen Stewart suffered many an indignity in the role of Bella Swan in the "Twilight" franchise, including a particular fall on an icy sidewalk in the first "Twilight" movie. Stewart discussed the fall with MTV News to promote the movie back in 2008, and she revealed that the secret to performing the stunt safely was a bit of strategically placed padding: "No! I stuffed, like, a little pad in the back of my jeans [and that was it]. But they did some weird thing. There was something to look like ice. They poured it all over the concrete, and it was very slippery."

Thankfully, Stewart said the stunt wasn't difficult for her given her past experience. "It wasn't hard to fall on my butt," she said, saying that she's been similarly clumsy in the past.

This anecdote shows the many forms that butt pads can take in modern film production, ranging from the aesthetic to the utilitarian. And as in the case of Stewart in "Twilight," they can even be an easy solution to getting a tricky or potentially injurious shot on camera.

Shahid Kapoor has reportedly been padded since 2003

Of course, butt pads can do more than cushion physical blows in movie stunt work. They can also cushion the sometimes fragile egos of movie stars, as was once reported to be the case with Bollywood film superstar Shahid Kapoor. In 2009, Kapoor, or more accurately, Kapoor's butt, was the subject of a Hindustan Times report that revealed a bit of gossip from a source who purportedly went to the same gym as Kapoor. The source claimed that Kapoor is happy with his physique but self-conscious about his butt, using "butt bags" to accentuate his butt more. The source claimed Kapoor had been wearing them since "Ishq Vishq," his first film, in 2003.

Kapoor has since owned up to wearing butt pads. "Of course, I wear them," he said (via the Times of India). "They are so comfortable that I don't need a chair to sit on." In 2012, Kapoor was on the cover of Filmfare magazine in a story that asked whether he had "the best butt in Bollywood," so those pads may be doing the most work of any on this list.

Julia Roberts sported some posterior padding for August: Osage County

If you've seen the 2013 film "August: Osage County," based on the play of the same name by Tracy Letts, you know that Julia Roberts is very much playing against type. Roberts portrays Barbara Weston-Fordham, the mean-spirited eldest daughter of Violet (Meryl Streep) and Beverly Weston (Sam Shepard). Roberts had to disappear into the role to make the project work, and she said at a press conference at the Toronto Film Festival (via Broadway.com) that this dedication included wearing a butt pad.

She said that the character she plays in "August: Osage County" wasn't how she imagined her first role opposite Streep: "I thought we'd be together, drinking tea together and speaking in fabulous accents and dressed up and looking very chic," she said. "And instead there I am sweating and wearing a big butt pad." Her prep for the role clearly paid off, as she got a supporting actress nomination at the Academy Awards for playing Barbara, butt pad and all.

Vidya Balan reportedly wore butt pads in Dirty Picture

Another Bollywood star that opted for butt pads rather than the more arduous process of gaining weight for a film is Vidya Balan. Balan plays Tamil and Telugu cinema actress Silk Smitha in the 2011 film "Dirty Picture," and the actress reportedly used padding to increase her hip size to look more like the person she's playing.

The unconfirmed report had it that the film's tight production schedule made it impossible for Balan to gain the weight necessary to play the role. An ANI report (via Yahoo) confirmed that "Dirty Picture" producer Ekta Kapoor wanted his star to actually gain the weight for the role, but Balan's own reluctance to gain and lose weight quickly made the butt pads the best option. The production kitted Balan up with hip and bust pads as well to play the Indian sex symbol — and got herself membership to the storied Hall of Butt-Padded Screen Performers in the process.

Leonardo DiCaprio needed padding for his spanking scene in Killers of the Flower Moon

It's far from the most disturbing part of Martin Scorsese's "Killers of the Flower Moon," but possibly the oddest: Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) receives some sort of ritualistic spanking punishment from his uncle William Hale (Robert De Niro). If you had the thought as you watched the film that the spanking seemed real, you're right: It wasn't achieved through editing. According to cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto in a conversation about the film with Insider, the production team used some movie magic to create a pretty authentic paddling scene.

To alleviate the pain on DiCaprio's bum, especially since they shot multiple takes, the actor had to wear butt padding. "There was some padding on his butt," Prieto said. "But you could tell De Niro was really hitting him." He praised DiCaprio's commitment to the role and expressed his admiration for DiCaprio and De Niro's ability to do multiple takes. "I do remember doing them quite a few times and thinking, 'Oh, that must hurt,'" Prieto recalled.

Linda Hamilton had to pad her butt to reprise the role of Sarah Connor

Science-fiction action fans had plenty of reason to rejoice when the great Linda Hamilton made her long-awaited return to the "Terminator" franchise in "Terminator: Dark Fate." But according to a chat between franchise veteran Hamilton and Graham Norton on "The Graham Norton Show," her body wasn't quite up to the filmmakers' standards even after a heavy diet and workout regimen.

"I worked out, leaned out, worked for a year," Hamilton said. "Didn't have carbohydrates for a year. And then I show up on set and they were like, 'Well, we have to build you a butt' — which is interesting: After a year of working out and leaning down, they had to actually add ass."

"Building a better butt" sounds like the kind of thing an ambitious Cyberdyne Systems engineer might be working on during the weekends, but producers likely thought it was necessary for Hamilton to properly reclaim the role of Sarah Conner decades after doing it the first time.

Did Captain America use butt pads, or was it all Super-Soldier Serum?

One of the most famous and memorable butts in recent mainstream cinema comes in "Avengers: Endgame" when a time-traveling Captain America (Chris Evans) draws attention to what Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) calls "America's ass." During the time heist in "Endgame," Steve Rogers encounters his Captain America variant from another universe and faces off with him, finally incapacitating him — and inadvertently getting the chance to see what Scott Lang was talking about. It's a beloved movie moment, and many patriots may not want to believe this, but an undisclosed source once told Entertainment Weekly that the shot was enhanced with posterior padding.

True? An unfortunate rumor? Evans himself doesn't appear to have been asked to confirm whether it's his real butt under that costume or not. So fans will just have to keep debating whether or not America's ass is really and truly America's ass or just the result of Hollywood engineering.

Alexis Louder needed some padding for Copshop

It bears repeating that not all butt pads are for aesthetic purposes. And the rest aren't all necessarily for what you would call stunt work either, unless sitting on concrete for long periods can be considered a stunt. Alexis Louder found out that much sitting isn't as easy as it might sound during filming on the 2021 crime thriller "Copshop" alongside Gerard Butler, and she mentioned the necessary padding in a promotional interview with JOE. "I know I needed a foam [butt pad] to sit on for my bits," Louder said, "because we're sitting on concrete."

But Louder added that she wouldn't have wanted the padding to be too comfortable, lest it compromise the nature of these scenes: "But when you have scenes like that, where you're stuck sitting down, the energy on the inside is 'I want to be standing up, I don't want to be confined to this,' and I think that is what brings the energy into what we're saying and what we're trying to get from each other." Butler, for his part, said he didn't mind sitting with his butt on hard concrete — it's surely easier than the action-hero work he's put in for films like "Greenland" and "Plane."

James Marsden's Enchanted butt pads

James Marsden plays the ultimate fairy tale prince in "Enchanted," and costume designer Mona May told Apparel News that his look needed more than just butt padding to get right. "What was interesting about his character too was to make his body, his physique, appear, again, animated," she said. "We actually built a chest pad for him, so the chest was also padded, so you get this roundness of the chest and again a small waist. We also gave him a butt pad and crotch enhancement."

Butt pads and crotch enhancement? For a Disney movie? According to May, it was all about making his character seem like a slightly absurd animated character brought into the real world: "He really had this very kind of animated, cartoony physique. Stately, prince, puffed. His hair was puffy, the sleeves were puffy, the chest was puffy. He really looks ridiculous every time he walks to the street, and meanwhile he's also singing."

Helen Mirren's royal padding for The Queen

In a wide-ranging 2007 conversation with a host of Hollywood stars, Helen Mirren revealed to Newsweek that when she played Queen Elizabeth II in the fact-based 2006 drama "The Queen," her physique wasn't quite royalty-correct for the part. "I had a padded butt in 'The Queen,' as well," said Mirren, adding "It wasn't just Penelope [Cruz]." That's in reference to the prosthetic butt that Cruz famously wore in the film "Volver" that same year. The prosthetic butt Cruz wore became a frequent talking point for entertainment media about her performance, so she seemed relieved that she was in good company. "Now every time someone asks me this, I'm going to say, 'Helen had one, too,'" Cruz said.

Unfortunately, we didn't get any additional insights from Mirren on what it was like to play the Queen of England in butt pads. But she did get an Oscar for it. The butt pads were not thanked in her speech, but in a way, they were still honored at the ceremony: "The Queen" costume designer Consolata Boyle was nominated at the Academy Awards as well.

Anushka Sharma reportedly went the butt pad route for a film opposite Shahid Kapoor

Bollywood star Shahid Kapoor appears elsewhere on this list for his well-known association with butt pads, and his co-star Anushka Sharma has had her name linked to the butt pad practice as well. In 2010, Sharma had lost a significant amount of weight for another film project and needed some extra help to play a more "robust" character in the cricket drama "Patiala House."

In the film, Sharma plays the stepsister and love interest of conflicted bowler Gattu (Akshay Kumar). Since Sharma is not the hero and "Patiala House" mostly focuses on Gattu and his father (Rishi Kapoor), reviews don't tend to focus on her performance or look. But for professional actors like Kapoor and Sharma, butt pads are all part of a day's work. Whether you're in a Hollywood picture, a British movie, or a Bollywood production, pretty much anywhere they make movies with butts in them, those butts are being padded out.