Superhero movies aren’t going away. We’ve been watching them for decades now, but recently, there’s been a major uptick in the sheer amount of superhero films that are coming out, most of them with gargantuan budgets and unbelievable special effects. We like watching superhero movies because the idea of being a hero and having superpowers appeals to us. We want to be the superheroes in our own lives, so to speak. We want to save people and wear the cool costumes and all of the trappings that come with being a hero. While superheroes are undeniably cool, there’s one thing we don’t consider when we talk about what it’s like being a superhero: the costume. Sometimes the costumes the heroes wear are great, but a lot of the time, they’re really uncomfortable and even ruin the experience.
As a cosplayer that’s made a few superhero cosplays, I can make it so my outfit fits my body and feels comfortable to wear. However, when you’re an actor on a big-budget superhero film, the costumes are made to look good on camera, and sometimes they’re kind of awful to wear. Some of these actors were stuck wearing outfits that were uncomfortable, while others ended up in a CGI suit that ended up not translating well on screen. Still, others were in a position where they were obligated to wear skimpy outfits they might not have been all that comfortable with. Regardless, these fifteen actors and actresses hated their superhero costumes, and when you hear about their experiences, it’s not hard to understand why.
15. Andrew Garfield – Spiderman Suit Made Him Feel Objectified While People Took Shots Of His… “Assets”
Andrew Garfield didn’t love being photographed in his suit. While he was filming in Los Angeles, he had the sense that people were taking pictures of him in all his unflattering glory while he was in the suit. “I knew there were paparazzi taking terrible unflattering shots of my, you know, my everything,” Garfield told Ellen Degeneres. On top of that, they were objectifying him by taking all kinds of shots of his butt while he was in the suit. We often hear about women getting objectified in their super suits, men have the same issue as well. He also wasn’t a big fan of his movies since they underperformed at the box office, making it so the third movie in his Spiderman franchise never got made. However, now that Sony is allowing Spiderman to be used in the Marvel universe that has the Avengers in it, he’s out and Tom Holland is in. Garfield isn’t upset about that, though, saying that he’s more than happy to just be a fan again.
14. Scarlett Johansson – Black Widow’s Costume Is Like Wearing A Wetsuit All Day
There’s no denying that Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, is awesome. She doesn’t have a movie of her own yet, but she’s a prominent character across the Marvel Cinematic Universe, showing up in a lot of the movies since Iron Man 2.
However, there are downsides to playing her, and one of those is the costume. The costume is designed to promote a lot of fan service, which causes a lot of fans to be really dismissive of her and even slut-shame her if a fictional character can be slut-shamed at all. She’s even described having to wring the suit out at the end of the day because it was so hot in there.
Fortunately, Scarlett Johansson likes the costume enough to feel empowered when she wears it anyway. “The Widow costume is, I have to say, it’s probably the most comfortable of the superhero suits because, it doesn’t require a built-in air conditioning unit like Hemsworth’s does. You know, I don’t have a lot of under armor or any of that kind — huge leather cape, headdress, whatever, all that stuff. You know, it’s pretty straight forward. It’s kinda like a wetsuit actually, sort of this one-piece. And I’m always amazed when it goes on and zips up. I’m like, ‘Wow. It’s on.’”
13. Ben Affleck – The Batsuit Is “The Most Humiliating, Ridiculous Thing In The World”
To be fair to Ben Affleck, nothing about his costume in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice looked comfortable or easy to wear. He’s no real stranger to superhero costumes, but the fact that he made it through Daredevil and still calls the Batsuit “the most humiliating, ridiculous thing in the world” says something about this. To be fair, a lot of his costume was made so he’d have a larger range of movement on the silver screen, which is why he also called the costume “visual effects pajamas.” Ben Affleck just hasn’t had a lot of luck when it comes to getting cool, comfortable superhero costumes that translate well to the screen. Then again, other people who’ve played Batman have also had this issue, so maybe it’s just the nature of superhero costumes. If you’re dreaming of playing a superhero for a major franchise, you may need to take into consideration that the costume might end up being the most uncomfortable thing in the whole world.
12. Chadwick Boseman – The Black Panther Suit Made It Impossible To Scratch An Itch And Was Unbearably Hot
The Black Panther movie’s going to be historic and awesome, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t downsides to playing that character. While everyone in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to deal with the heat, Chadwick Boseman gets it a bit worse because he had to shoot his scenes in 90-degree weather. On top of that, he had to do stunts in that suit, and he hated it.
When he was talking about doing stunts for the movie, he mentioned that in order to wear the suit and do what he was doing, he’d needed to re-teach himself how to breathe in it. He also talked about how the suit would be covered in sweat and made it impossible to deal with any itchiness thanks to the sweat and the inability to scratch. He needed to get into a zen sort of mental space to get through the stunts because of that. All in all, it sounds like a terrible experience, but it all paid off because his performance in Civil War was fantastic, and his movie looks like it’s going to be great.
11. Rebecca Romijn – Totally Naked Under The Mystique Makeup (Which Took 8 Hours To Put On)
While many of the people on this list are here because they were stuck wearing so much that they were overheating, Rebecca Romijn had the opposite problem: she wasn’t wearing anything at all. Whenever she needed to appear on screen as a blue person, she needed to undergo an eight-hour makeup session on her whole body. Every time she’s onscreen and she’s blue, she’s totally naked under all the paint. The other X-Men were at least able to wear clothes, even if they were uncomfortable.
“I’ve been in denial about the nudity: ’No, no. I’ve VERY covered up.’” she told EW. “I kept checking with the rest of the cast, ‘You guys, I’m totally covering up, right?’ And they’d tell me, ‘No, Rebecca, you’re naked.’” Her director, Bryan Singer, even walked in on makeup artists touching up the paint around her butt crack while she was bent over a chair. Jennifer Lawrence would need to go through the same process when she played Mystique in the new X-Men series, and the process wasn’t much better for her either.
10. Margot Robbie – She Kept Stabbing Herself With Harley Quinn’s Spiky Bangles
Margot Robbie made a star turn as Harley Quinn, in an outfit that deviated from her original outfit, almost controversially considering how many people were upset by it. Harley Quinn’s original outfit is a suit with a big hammer that looks kind of like a clown’s, but her outfit in Suicide Squad is basically short shorts and a baseball tee. You’d think that that would make the outfit a bit easier to wear and move around in, but you’d be wrong.
She went on record with the Washington Post not long ago, saying that the makeup wasn’t really comfortable, but that it also went deeper than that. “Not just the makeup, but the wig, the costume. It’s obviously not the most comfortable get-up. And we’re doing a lot of fight scenes and stuff. Actually, the worst thing were the gold bangles. They had spikes on them, and I’d always stab myself. I hated them.” She also spent a lot of time perfecting the Harley Quinn voice and striking the balance between accuracy and fitting into the darker, grittier movie.
9. Christian Bale – He Couldn’t Breathe In The Batsuit
When you’re little, you dream of becoming Bruce Wayne, or at least someone with his resources and ability to fight crime. Many people have played Batman before, but Christian Bale is one of the most famous names to put on the cape. Unfortunately, he had to go through a lot to shoot three movies in that costume.
The suit is awesome, he admits, but it restricts your breathing to the point where the wrong weather front can choke you. He talked to Syfy about it in 2012, saying that the costume needed to be fixed so he could breathe more easily. “When it gets cold the cowl is extremely tight, and it gets better the warmer I get it; it becomes more flexible. But after a couple of takes, I was trying to breathe properly in my nose. I was starting to see stars and I said ‘I have to take this off’. And thank God on this one I can—on Batman Begins I couldn’t—so I had to get inside because I couldn’t let anybody see me without the cowl. It never looks how it feels. It’s so weird.”
8. Malin Akerman – The Silk Spectre Costume Was Hot And Sweaty… And It Reeked
I don’t know about you, but the Silk Spectre was my hero growing up. While all the girls would have picked Black Widow if they were going to be a hero without superpowers, I thought she was a lot more compelling. Watchmen spoke to me more than any other group of superheroes out there, and while this movie isn’t quite as popular as the Batman or Avengers franchises, it’s still one of the best things DC Comics has ever done.
Unfortunately, while Malin Akerman was doing all of her stunts and putting in a good performance, she was dealing with a sweaty, stinky costume. She talked to Maxim about it later, saying that the costume smelled uniquely terrible. “I thought it was really f**king hot. Then I tried it on, and I thought it was really f**king uncomfortable. And the smell? When you take it off, it smells like a human condom.” That’s one way to describe it, and it paints one smelly picture.
7. Olivia Munn – Needed Help Getting Into Her Psylocke Costume… And The Crotch Popped!
Olivia Munn‘s costume as Psylocke already looks uncomfortable, but she revealed on Conan that getting into it was a lot more trouble than it looked. She described the process, and it sounds like a lot more trouble than it was worth. The costume was so stubborn that she needed the help of two other women to get into it, and even then, she needed a lot of lube so she could slip into it even with the added help. That all sounds bad enough, but it gets worse when you realize that even all of that might not keep the suit on. The first time Munn got on set with the veteran actors in X-Men, the crotch popped on her outfit. That’s one first day at work story for the history books. Considering how hard it was for the suit to get on, we can infer that it was a bit hard to move in it, and we can definitely infer that the suit was really hot.
6. Paul Bettany – Vision’s Costume Takes 3 Hours To Put On And Has To Go Over His Head Too
Paul Bettany is just one of many Marvel superheroes that needed to squeeze into his super suit, but he had other issues with his suit that are worth talking about. He didn’t just have to wear super tight material on his body, he had to wear it on his head too. That means that all of the issues other superheroes have with their costumes were compounded with him because he basically had to wear a suit on his head.
“You’re working in it for 10 hours and not really being able to hear well. There’s only this much of your face open to the air. The first day is not the problem. The second day is not the problem. The third day gets a bit tough. By the fourth and fifth day of the week, you are really having to meditate on the line of actors, thousands of them, who would love to be in your position. You have to concentrate on how lucky you are,” he told USA Today. He loves playing Vision, but it takes over three hours to put on, and he’s so happy to take it off that he just rips it off every time he has to wear it.
5. Ben Affleck – Daredevil Made Him Want Batman More So He Can Do Things Right
Ben Affleck has played a lot of parts, and the path to becoming the current Batman has been filled with hits or misses. One of his less well-received movies was his first turn as a superhero in Daredevil. Daredevil’s gotten very good treatment recently thanks to the Netflix series, but the first adaptation starring him simply wasn’t very good.
To add insult to injury, this movie was terrible right when really good superhero movies like X2, Spiderman 2 and Batman Begins were coming out. The costume, in particular, seems a bit clunky and really uncomfortable. Ben Affleck has also gone on record saying how much he hated that costume, going so far as to say he’d never play a superhero again.
Part of the reason why he wanted to be Batman in the DC universe is that he wanted to get a superhero movie right for once. “Part of it was I wanted for once to get one of these movies and do it right – to do a good version. I hate Daredevil so much.” Whether he actually did that is anyone’s guess though, since Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn’t all that great either.
4. Ryan Reynolds – The Green Lantern’s CGI Suit
When Ryan Reynolds signed on to Green Lantern, he was a rising star who was slated to kick off DC’s cinematic universe and make it a rival to the juggernaut that is Marvel’s. Unfortunately, it really didn’t work out that way. Green Lantern was a terrible movie for both the critics and the audience, and the star of the movie eventually went on to create one of the most successful movies for the Marvel movie universe: Deadpool.
Ryan Reynolds had played Deadpool before this, in the very ill-fated X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but that version of him was definitely not a faithful interpretation. That led Reynolds to make a Deadpool movie that was worthy of the character. In that movie, he pokes fun at his turn as Hal Jordan, which he said he’d never do again. Even the trailers have Deadpool begging not to make his suit green or animated. The suit was all CGI, which really didn’t do the movie any favors.
3. Jessica Alba – The Invisible Woman, She Felt She Wasn’t Taken Seriously
Before Jessica Alba started running The Honest Company, she was in the original Fantastic 4 series, which was terrible but somehow less terrible than the remake in 2015. She had a terrible time on the set, in no small part thanks to director Tim Story. He had glowing acting tips like “be prettier when you cry” and even suggested adding tears via CGI. At that point, Alba knew she was about to star in a terrible movie because there was something missing with how the film was being made.
On top of that, she was constantly trying to be taken seriously as an actress and avoid being typecast as the sexy pinup girl. While she’s beautiful, she’s also a good actress, and the movie didn’t do her any favors in that regard. Part of that had to do with the costume. While she was basically in a uniform like the guys were, she was consistently used as fan-service throughout the series.
2. George Clooney – Batman … And His Nipples
George Clooney‘s take on Batman had him with the infamous “nipple suit,” as you can see in the picture above. There’s not a lot to be said about the movie itself that hasn’t already been said. Everyone was unhappy with how this movie turned out. Director Joel Schumacher of The Lost Boys fame was upset with how the movie was basically turned into a toy commercial.
George Clooney still managed to become a star despite this movie dropping his reputation at a crucial point in his life, proving that he could basically survive any career hit. He’s called the film a waste of money and even thought he’d killed the franchise, going so far as to apologize for the film every so often. It would take Christian Bale and Batman Begins to make the hero successful in live-action again. As for the costume: we don’t know too much about how Clooney felt about it because he hated the movie as a whole, but the fact that this suit had inexplicable nipples on it should say it all.
1. Christopher Reeve – Superman Films Didn’t Fit The Vision He Wanted
Before Henry Cavill played Superman, he auditioned for the part wearing Christopher Reeve‘s version of the suit. That’s how iconic Reeve’s portrayal is. While Reeve is most famous for playing Superman, he wasn’t always happy in the part. We don’t really know much about how he felt about his costume, but we do know that the Superman movies were plagued with behind the scenes problems and issues.
First, Superman III was basically turned into a comedy starring Richard Pryor for some reason. Then the series was dropped after making less money than its preceding movies, and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace became a thing. Reeve was particularly excited about getting into the topic of nuclear disarmament, and even managed to get Gene Hackman to come back as Lex Luthor. Unfortunately, the budget for the film got cut down to ribbons, resulting in a terrible movie. Reeve talked about how the film really didn’t fit the vision he wanted for the film.