updated: 30/07/2003

obese makeups: Shallow Hal

I’ll stick with the IMDb summary: a shallow man falls in love with a 300 pound woman because of her ‘inner beauty’. The problem for many people, particularly those of a certain size, was that while the fat Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow) may have been lovely, ‘beauty’ was equated to being thin and blonde. Whatever, putting Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat-suit generated miles of column inches (and thus free publicity) before a single image was released.

The fat makeup inself was brilliant and was helped by the use of actress Ivy Snitzer (who herself had to wear a fat-suit) as a body double: thus apparently allowing us to see Rosemary’s bare arms and legs. There were also special hand/forearm appliances for Gwyneth to wear in closeup shots. While Rosemary’s makeup was meticulously planned to achieve the look the filmmakers wanted, the decision to make her mother Mrs Shanahan (Jill Fitzgerald) fat was taken at such short notice that Tony Gardner and Artists’ Asylum did not even have an opportunity to do a bodycast.

Tony Gardner designed and created the makeup effects; Conor McCullagh & David Smith were key makeup effects; Jessica Huebner, Lilo Tauvau, Carol Koch, Vance Hartwell, Stephanie [Webb-]Williams & Linda Benevente-Notaro were makeup effects; Rebecca Lafford was Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal makeup artist.