character: Shallow Hal

Shallow Hal

Following the advice of his dying father, Hal dates only women who are physically beautiful. One day, however, he runs into self-help guru Tony Robbins, who hypnotizes him into recognizing only the inner beauty of women. Shortly thereafter Hal meets Rosemary (Gwyneth Paltrow), a grossly obese woman whom only he can see as a vision of loveliness. But will their relationship survive when Hal’s equally shallow friend undoes the hypnosis?.

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 – until Hal finally learns not to be shallow.

Whatever, putting Gwyneth Paltrow in a fat-suit generated miles of column inches (and thus free publicity) before a single image was released.

The makeup

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 Christine 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 the key makeup effects artists; Jessica Huebner, Lilo Tauvau, Carol Koch, Vance Hartwell, Stephanie [Webb-]Williams & Linda Benevente-Notaro were the makeup effects artists.

Cindy J Williams was the key makeup artist; Rebecca Lafford was Gwyneth Paltrow’s personal makeup artist.