Costumes and Makeup

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.  


Ruth transforms 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."

Perhaps 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.


Ruth teases Michelle’s hair for Hope’s disheveled look

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