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

Actors Who Hated Their Costumes

Being an actor will naturally involve wearing a costume to portray whichever character it is you're trying to bring to life on the big screen. It doesn't matter if you're playing a dorky teenager or a city-stomping atomic monster, you'll need a costume to sell that to an audience. Not all costumes are created equally though, at least in terms of comfort, which is why a lot of actors responsible for portraying some of the most memorable characters on the silver screen actually hated the costume they had to wear.

Haruo Nakajima as Godzilla

Characters don't come much bigger than Godzilla and few actors have had the honor of stepping into his giant scaly shoes in an official sense. Amongst the most famous is, Haruo Nakajima, the man who portrayed the Big G in his very first film outing in 1954. Widely considered the finest actor to don the Godzilla suit and waddle around hip-tossing giant monsters into cardboard city-scapes, Nakajima frequently spoke of how proud he was to be so synonymous with literally one of the biggest icons of Japanese cinema.

This isn't to say Nakajima particularly enjoyed playing Godzilla, since the suit very nearly killed him almost every time he put it on—a sentiment echoed by other actors who have portrayed the radioactive lizard on screen. According to Nakajima, the first Godzilla suit weighed over 100 kilos and was so heavy he could only take a few steps in it before becoming exhausted.

Dehydration was an ever present threat while wearing the costume with Nakajima having to wring the sweat out of his t-shirt every chance he got, which also inevitably caused the suit to smell really bad. Something that was only compounded by the fact Nakajima occasionally had to wallow around in giant pools full of pee in full costume. While you never really expect portraying a giant lumbering atomic monster to be all that glamorous, you also don't quite expect it to involve standing in a stew of your own sweat and someone else's pee either.

The entire cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation

Attentive Star Trek fans may have noticed that the costumes worn by the crew of the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation change in the show's third season. This, as it turns out, was a decision made almost entirely because the spandex suits worn in the first few seasons smelled terribly and hurt everyone's back.

In keeping with creator Gene Roddenberry's idea of the future being a time of perfect equality between the sexes and uniform utility, all of the uniforms for the first two seasons were unisex Spandex singlets made to look futuristic. To make the uniforms looks as sleek as possible, they were also all intentionally made two sizes too small. This caused two major problems. One, because Spandex is difficult to clean, the uniforms soon began to smell of stale sweat and dry cleaning detergent. Two, making them two sizes too small caused everyone on set to suffer horrible back pain.

All of the actors on TNG hated the costumes and constantly complained to the costume department, which heroically ignored their pleas to not walk around smelling of sweat until the third season. At which point a new member of the costume department named Bob Blackman mercifully redesigned the costumes to consist of two piece woolen numbers that neither smelled nor caused back pain.

Anthony Daniels as C-3PO

Anthony Daniels has been portraying C-3PO since the original Star Wars trilogy and is one of the few actors besides Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) to have been involved with nearly every live-action Star Wars project. Daniels has always maintained that the C-3PO costume has never really been all that comfortable and that he's merely grown used to wearing it it over the years. 

In fact, the actor seems to take an odd sort of pride in the fact he believes no other actor is "crazy enough" to don the iconic golden costume. Moving past the fact that there are thousands of fans who'd probably do his job for free, it's certainly true that the C-3PO costume is massively uncomfortable to wear. Though at least it's not dangerous anymore.

As Daniels recounted in an interview with People Magazine, literally the second step he ever took while wearing the costume caused the left leg to shatter, driving a sharp piece of plastic right into his foot. Daniels presumably then had to spend the rest of filming (some of which took place in a Tunisian desert remember) nursing this injury while trying to remain as calm and collected as possible inside of a baking hot plastic suit.

Peter Weller as RoboCop

The RoboCop costume itself was famously the most expensive prop on the set of the original 1987 RoboCop. Designed by legendary special effects artist Rob Bottin, the costume was both behind schedule and not at all what the actor who was set to wear it, Peter Weller, had in mind. Weller reportedly spent weeks studying with an accomplished mime artist so that he could accurately move they way he felt an unfeeling robotic police officer would, training that was thrown out of the window the moment he tried to put on the costume and realized he could barely move.

The costume took ten hours to put on and so severely restricted Weller's movements that he seriously contemplated quitting the entire movie. Adjustments were quickly made to the suit to allow Weller to move more freely, though its bulk still prevented him from moving as gracefully as he'd originally hoped. Luckily, some extra coaching from the aforementioned mime artist allowed Weller to develop a less organic, more robotic way of moving that he felt worked better with the costume's restrictions.

Despite this, Weller still found it impossible to drive because the suit's lower half was too big to fit into a car. With production already behind schedule the decision was made to just let Weller drive without robo-pants on and shoot him from the waist up. 

Michael Keaton as Batman

A problem with any live action interpretation of Batman is striking a balance between form and function in regards to his costume. On one hand, the Batsuit should appear to be heavily armored if we're supposed to take him seriously as a vigilante who faces off with armed criminals, however, a bulky costume that prevents the actor wearing it from moving kind of makes it hard to believe Batman is also a master martial artist/ninja.

This latter fact apparently wasn't something they worried about while making the Tim Burton Batman movies because the costume Michael Keaton had to wear featured a large rubber a mask so heavy Keaton literally couldn't turn his head. Yes, the costume supposed to be worn by a hero known for being a master of stealth and subterfuge was so bulky the actor wearing it couldn't look over his own shoulder. To work around this, Keaton had to turn his entire body whenever he wanted to face someone (a move now known as the "bat-turn") and needed to rest against a large wooden device when they weren't filming to help him move around.

Jeff Bridges as Tron

In almost every interview he's ever given about the movie Tron, Jeff Bridges has explained that the most memorable aspect of the entire production process was the fact he had to wear a dance belt (basically a form-fitting thong) under his costume the entire time. This belt, according to Bridges, was massively uncomfortable and pinched so much he jokingly claims to still have the scars from sitting down too quickly while wearing it.

Exactly why Bridges needed to wear a dance belt isn't clear, though the most commonly given reason is that it was simply to add an aesthetically pleasing smoothness to his groin area, since nobody really wants to see the outline of a man's penis below form-fitting Lycra. However, a popular rumor is that Bridges had to wear the belt because his penis was so huge and distracting it would have ruined the movie. A rumor, it seems, that is just that—a rumor. Both Bridges and his co-star Bruce Boxleitner had to wear a dance belt and nobody seems to talk about Boxleitner having a movie-ruiningly large penis. 

Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin

Peter Cushing was a man who was very proud of the fact that he had big feet. So big, in fact, that for many of his roles he needed to have shoes specially made for him by the costume department. But when Cushing was portraying Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: Episode IV, the costume department never got the memo about his giant man-flippers and sent him a pair of regular-sized boots. Boots that caused Cushing excruciating pain whenever he wore them.

The pain got so bad that Cushing eventually took director George Lucas aside and politely asked him if it'd be possible to only film him from the waist up so that he could wear the ill-fitting boots as little possible. Lucas was reportedly amused by this request and gave the actor a pair of carpet slippers to wear instead before agreeing to only film him from specific angles to hide his feet.

Along with being hilarious, this also means that technically, Grand Moff Tarkin gave the order to destroy Alderaan while chilling in a pair of house slippers.

Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom

Matthew Lewis' astonishing transformation from an awkward tub of boy-lard into a smoldering hunk of man has been well-chronicled by the internet since he first rose to prominence portraying the chronically clumsy and downtrodden Neville Longbottom in the live-action Harry Potter movies. Though Lewis is undoubtedly thankful for the shot in the arm the films gave his acting career, he has admitted that he hated wearing his costume.

You see to make his character seem even more pathetic, Lewis was asked to wear a fat suit under his Hogwarts robes during filming of the earlier movies in the series. If you never realized this and thought that perhaps Lewis was just a little on the heavy side when he was younger, you're not alone because according to Lewis, everybody on set thought that too. Especially the girls.

What made it worse for Lewis is that he was going through puberty at the time, which as you can imagine, only made things more awkward. "Being 15 years old in the middle of puberty, having to wear a fat suit. There's girls around; I've got this fat suit on every day," he said.  "No one knows I'm wearing this damn thing, they all just think I'm fat."

Charlie Cox as Daredevil

Daredevil is a superhero defined by his ability to outmaneuver his opponent using his heightened senses and natural affinity for bone-crunching right hooks. The live-action Daredevil series seemed to acknowledge this by making actor Charlie Cox (initially) wear a costume consisting of cargo pants and a black shirt with a bandana covering his eyes, reminiscent of the character's appearance in The Man Without Fear comic. This was soon swapped out though, for a more heavily armored suit that visibly restricted the actor and his stunt double's movements as well as looking kind of terrible.  

As Cox later tactfully noted in an interview with IGN, the suit needed some "small tweaks" both in terms of its aesthetics and the maneuverability it provided. This mostly involved switching back to cargo pants, which gave Cox the freedom of movement needed to utilize the character's distinctive back-flip oriented fighting style.