John C. Reilly lost weight getting in and out of his fat suit on the set of Stan & Ollie.
Playing Oliver Hardy, opposite Steve Coogan as his double act partner Stan Laurel in Jon S. Baird’s new film, John had to undergo hours in wardrobe and make-up to make sure he really resembled the legendary slapstick comedian.
And the transformation was so good, Oscar nominee John said nobody recognised him when he sat around the set.
“(All that was) needed was the right make-up man. I had prosthetics all over,” the 53-year-old recalled, reports Page Six. “Not just an application. Ears, head, jowls. Contact lenses. The fat suit contained water tubes, moved like flesh and had skin markings. The make-up so complete, staring in a mirror I’d lose my lines. Three hours for costuming. Make-up eventually got down to two hours. Getting it off finally took 45 minutes. I lost weight doing this.
“Sitting outside as some fat guy makes you disappear. I learned they don’t want to see you. When I did this, nobody knew me. I was not John C. Reilly, just some fat guy.”
The film, which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October (18), hits screens from late December. It tells the story of when Laurel and Hardy attempted to reignite their film careers in post-war Britain.
To prepare for their roles as the famous twosome, John and Steve watched back old Laurel and Hardy routines.
“I grew up watching totally inspirational, ahead of their time Laurel and Hardy,” he smiled. “You laughed with them. Clued into something eternal, their movies ran on TV over and over. Watching the masterful comedy inspired my voice and movement.
“Vaudeville guys, greatest comedy team of their time, no political agenda, they wrote all their routines themselves. We re-created the skits, watched all their old shows and spent hours practising.”
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