Many actors have tried to explain the thrill of finally getting into full costume after long preparing for a role and how the costume, in turn, draws the character out more completely. However, wardrobe and makeup departments have a way of pushing the envelope, and as a result, they sometimes offer thespians quite uncomfortable getups. Audiences quickly become absorbed in the performances and enjoy the ups and downs of the storyline, but they don’t often pause to consider just how much the actors might actually be suffering for the sake of art. But most actors indeed are willing to make such sacrifices. Here are a few actors who endured uncomfortable and complicated movie costumes.

Dave Bautista as Drax

Dave Bautista who plays Drax in The Avengers needed to sit in a sauna just outside his trailer after each shoot—not out of enjoyment, but because he needed to sweat his body makeup off. In fact, one of his makeup artists had to join him in the sauna to scrub his torso, arms, neck, and head to get the dedicated Bautista “out of costume.”

David Oyelowo in The Butler

David Oyelowo spoke about a simple but painful piece of wardrobe he wore in the historical drama The Butler. “I had to wear this mesh T-shirt,” the English-American actor recalled. “It basically acted like a cheese grater on my nipples.” Ouch.

Marcia Gay Harden in Barkskins

Marcia Gay Harden recently shared a challenge she faced while filming Barkskins, a historical drama set in French-colonial Canada. “Going to the bathroom—that was the biggest challenge,” the Oscar-winning actress said. “You’re wearing corsets, things going over the corsets, petticoats, and your skirt dragging through the mud, and there was a lot of mud. Usually, you’d be like, ‘Hey, can I have five minutes to run to the restroom?’ In this case, you have to go, ‘Ugh, can I have 30 minutes please?’”

Anthony Daniels as C-3PO

Anthony Daniels who plays the beloved golden android C-3PO in the Star Wars franchise had unique obstacles to endure during shoots. The actor was unable to sit down while adorned in his metallic attire, so he needed to remain propped up until his scenes were completed. He recalls his loneliness on set as his fellow castmates and crew started to regard him as a real droid. “After a few days, I had become an object,” he said. “People forgot I was there. They accepted, because of my brilliant portrayal, that I was a robot and a machine. And you don’t have to be nice to machines. You don’t have to say, ‘Are you okay?’” Mind you, in the 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope, Daniels was wearing the metal suit in over 100-degree temperatures on the Tunisian desert set. 

Robert John Burke in RoboCop3

Robert John Burke inherited the title role in RoboCop 3 after the original actor Peter Weller passed on it. Unfortunately for Burke, it seems the production was conserving money and required him to wear the RoboCop costume that was said to have been constructed for Weller. Being that Weller had a significantly smaller build, Burke found himself not only in a state of discomfort but in agony when wearing the suit. In order to fit into it, he would try to lose weight by sweating in a sauna or jumping rope before each shoot. Keep in mind, the metal and fiberglass costume weighed a whopping 150 pounds. It was a “torture chamber,” he said—that it was akin to “acting with somebody on your shoulders.”

Of all the costumes you’ve worn on stage or screen, which would you say was the least comfortable, and why? Please share!

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