Costumes and Makeup
Costumes and Makeup were
challenging aspects of the production for a variety of reasons.
The make-up personnel, Dan
Wolcott and Ruth Eisner (Jessica’s younger sister), had substantial
experience in theatre and modeling make-up, respectively, but
little experience in film and none in Hi-Def. Numerous lighting,
camera and product tests eventually allayed their worries and
they went on to design each character’s signature look. Ruth
Eisner was primarily responsible for designing the make-up to
transform Steve Hodgson into "Mom" and maintaining the look
as he sweated profusely under the hot studio lights.
Steve into 'Mom'
"That’s a whole lotta man!"
Ruth exclaimed, "and when I was finished with his face, I still
had a whole lotta neck!"
The crew agreed that this
responsibility was almost as grueling as maintaining the bloody,
leaking, meat clock.
"The thing that drove me
was the end result... and a lot of Hope," Ruth concluded. "Luckily,
Hope (Michelle Porras) had natural beauty that made my job easier."
Dan and Ruth select make-up for Michelle Porras (Hope)
Costume design, along with
many other responsibilities, fell to the elder Eisner.
The obese cast members’ clothing
sizes ranged from a nebulous 3X to an unbelievable 6X. Eisner
scrounged plus-size stores, websites and thrift stores to obtain
clothing suited to each character. She was surprised to find
that getting big, sexy outfits for Pumpkin was the easiest task
since, apparently, the American clothing industry has been among
the early responders to the obesity epidemic.
Angel models one of Pumpkin’s sexy outfits
Clothing for the 6X-sized
T-Bone was the most difficult to find - hence the decision to
keep his character in the same outfit throughout the film.
There were no
small make-up tasks in the film
"The Muffin Man logo t-shirt
supplier couldn’t find plain red t-shirts in ‘6X’ so I ended
up sewing together two 3X shirts for T-Bone in the tug of war
scene," Eisner recalled. "Actually, I handcrafted several items.
I wanted each character to have a distinctive look and intrigue
the repeat viewer. Even the Japanese kanji on Jack’s headband
in the 'snushi' scene has a message."
the most arduous costuming chore was getting clothes for the
6'6", 350 lb "Mom". Eisner wanted her to have the appearance
of a stylish and confident older lady, however, actor Hodgson
wasn’t eager to go into women’s shops and try on clothes.
"It was really rough for
him," said Eisner, "because he is very masculine and most sales
people assumed he was a giant drag queen."
Nothing could be further
from the truth. Hodgson even negotiated exactly how many eyebrow
hairs could be plucked for his gender-bending role in the production.
teases Michelle’s hair for Hope’s disheveled look