Despite how cool and awe-inspiring they may be on screen, live-action comic book costumes can be a nightmare for the actors sporting them. That was the case for Arnold Schwarzenegger when he played #MrFreeze in 1997's Batman & Robin. But his bad costume experience wasn't just the inconvenience of long periods between bathroom breaks or restricted mobility. As revealed in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, his suit actually put his life at risk.
A Not-So-Safe Mr. Freeze Armor
THR released a special article to commemorate Batman & Robin's 20th anniversary, an interview Jeff Dawn, #ArnoldSchwarzenegger's trusted makeup artist. During the interview, Dawn revealed the actor went through a hell of a time during filming.
Mr. Freeze's suit is quite complex, and the movie's costume design team worked hard and did a whole lot of testing to get the armor right. One of the few easy things to pull off regarding the character's design was his blue face, which was accomplished using acrylic paint.
However, some adjustments were needed for Schwarzenegger's face to blend well with the high-tech suit for close-ups. To achieve that, an LED light was placed in the actor's mouth. Unfortunately, it proved to be an incredibly dangerous approach, because an unprotected battery and human saliva just don't mix well:
"When you put it in Arnold's mouth, Arnold's saliva would creep into the seams of this thing and attack the batteries. The batteries would immediately start disintegrating and start putting out battery acid into Arnold's mouth."
When that happened, the actor would start shouting:
"It tastes like s––t! What's in my mouth?"
Obviously, he was okay. But to prevent is from happening again, Dawn wrapped the device in a balloon to protect the actor's mouth from, well, literal battery acid.
As mentioned by Dawn earlier in the interview, a few years ago there wasn't much concern for what would be safe to apply on an actor:
"Nowadays it's a whole different ballgame when it comes to safety and safety data sheets and all that. But back then, you'd smell it and go, 'OK it's extremely flammable, and there's some smoke, skull and crossbones down here, but I think we'll be OK.'"
Yikes. Good to see times have changed since then.
What did you think about Arnold Schwarzenegger's battery acid anecdote? Let me know in the comments!
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]