What’s in a Fat Suit? Here is everything you need to know about the prosthesis


Fat suit is a commonly used prosthesis in movies that is used to make an actor look on the heavy side. It is usually topped with prosthetic makeup that helps complete the look required for a particular role. This has been used widely in Hollywood films over the years. In fact, the most recent incident was when Oscar winner Renee Zellweger was spotted doing a fat suit shoot for her new project, The Thing About Pam, in New Orleans.

Usually there are films and roles in which the actor needs to gain weight and then immediately lose the pounds. However, it is time consuming, and rapid weight loss can also have health implications. In these cases, a thick suit will help the actor look overweight. Fat suits are mostly hidden or sometimes deliberately exposed. Most of these body-like underwear are meant to be invisible and worn under a costume. While there are some who appear as natural human flesh and are viewed directly.

Allegedly, these fat suits are too sophisticated and require adequate and extensive three-dimensional prosthetic make-up, which is much more than just putting a pillow under the actor’s shirt. The final output that we see on the screen takes laboriously long hours of facial makeup to make it look real. The cheeks and multiple chins are all part of the makeup routine that needs to be paired along with the suit, which mainly covers the arms, legs, breasts and stomach.

There have been a number of films and television series that have received recognition for the use of such prostheses. Not many roles have made serious use of this. Most actors dressed in thick suits are usually part of a comedy or television series. One of the most watched or cherished roles was on the famous sitcom FRIENDS, which starred Monica Geller as an obese kid in college. Courteney Cox, who played the role of Monica, had filmed multiple episodes in the fat suit and was loved in her obese avatar.

Similarly, Eddie Murphy made us laugh when he played Sherman Klump in The Nutty Professor. The actor wore a thick suit that helped him look obese and slim whenever the plot of the film required it. More recently, Chris Hemsworth wore a thick suit for this role as Thor in the latest installment of Avengers: Endgame. The actor gave the superhero role a funny twist in the thick suit.

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