Movies have the power to make an audience believe an actor has always looked a certain way. Take, for instance, Kelsey Grammer in the X-Men films. With a bit of makeup and some prosthetics, you truly believe he could have been a blue, beastly mutant at one point in his life. The reality, however, is slightly more complicated. It takes more than just the clothing and a hint of makeup to make a costume come alive. Whether the outfit is CGI or handcrafted by a costume designer fans always remember the greats. Check out these 10 shocking facts you didn’t know about your favorite movie costumes.
Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War
Wakanda is one of Marvel’s most technologically-advanced countries in the world, notable for its massive supply of vibranium—the same metal found in Captain America’s shield. But what you probably didn’t know is the durable and powerful metal is also found in King T’Challa’s Black Panther suit giving him one big advantage in Captain America: Civil War. Actor Chadwick Boseman spoke in detail about the Black Panther costume revealing to Entertainment Weekly that the infused suit absorbs attacks from an opponent. That explains how Black Panther stood perfectly still while being shot at by police in a helicopter in “Civil War.”
Catwoman in Batman Returns
A popular figure in DC Comics, Catwoman has been featured in most media adaptations related to Batman (most recently in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises). But arguably Selena Kyle’s finest moments came in Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns, which had Michelle Pfeiffer step into the role. While Pfeiffer’s sexy and sleek outfit gave the appearance of latex, it actually took a little more work to get that glossy and sheen look. When Pfeiffer put on her cat costume, the costume department used big sponge brushes to lather her in a thick silicone. Costume designer Mary Vogt has stated the process was messy but the final look was perfect giving the actress a fluid and elegant look with a hint of grunge.
Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands
This Tim Burton film featured an almost unrecognizable Johnny Depp with tight and creaky leather, a wild mess of hair and the scissors for hands, of course. The look came together to give Depp a Frankenstein, American goth feel but with the art came a bit of suffering for the actor. To ease some of Depp’s pain the director and costume designer installed a special cool suit that would stop him from overheating in the Florida sun on those long shooting days. Despite these efforts the actor would still rush over to special fans to cool down after a shot.
Viggo Mortensen in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy features the rugged character Aragorn (played by Viggo Mortensen). When initially introduced, the character had a distinctive look of a grungy and rough man, which is exactly what Mortensen wanted. The actor wanted to give his costume the lived-in appearance and took it upon himself to make that happen. He reportedly took his outfit home, then lived, breathed and sweated in it until it looked as beaten and battered as possible. He even repaired the costume whenever it needed it. Mortensen’s efforts paid off, as the actor not only delivered a breakout performance, but looked 100 percent the part doing it.