When it comes to playing a super hero, the clothes really make the man, and the stars of “The Avengers” had to wear some of the most elaborate costumes ever made.
“It’s like a Halloween party. It’s really a good time,” said actor Jeremy Renner, who plays Hawkeye.
“The Avengers” brings together an ensemble cast to play Marvel Comics superheroes who join forces to save the world from total destruction. The team of Avengers includes Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr.; Captain America, played by Chris Evans; Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth; and the Incredible Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo.
The four mighty heroes are recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D., a defense intelligence organization. Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury, the director of the service, and by his side are Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson; Hawkeye, played by Renner; and Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders.
Together, they take on supervillian Loki, Thor’s adoptive brother and archenemy, played by Tom Hiddleston. “The Avengers,” which is produced by ABC News’ parent company, The Walt Disney Company, premieres in theaters nationwide on May 4.
In an interview with “Nightline,” the cast, sans Downey Jr., was laughing and joking around with each other, and it was clear they enjoy working together. They talked about putting themselves — and their costumes — through the wringer with action-packed stunts in the oppressive heat of the desert in Albuquerque, N.M., where “The Avengers” was filmed.
“None of [the costumes] were comfortable, especially in the middle of the desert,” Hemsworth told ABC’s Chris Connelly.
Johansson said her Black Widow costume was like a “wetsuit” and the heat became so bad, she hallucinated while filming a fight scene on a makeshift roof.
“It was so hot, I would wring out my socks at the end of the day,” she said.
The demands of her stunts, she said, “shredded” her costumes, which had to be replaced every few days.
“They’re like tires,” she said. “You would just go through sets of them. Every time you get a new costume, you just feel real nice and then three days later, it’s like the discount Widow.”
Hemsworth’s Thor costume included “a little air-conditioning unit” underneath to help him stay cool in the desert sun.
“We all had that option,” Hemsworth said. “It was like this T-shirt you’d wear with like a hose that you’d plug in and there was cool water.”
“There’s a mini bar in there,” Johansson joked.
But Johansson said she thought Hiddleston had the most uncomfortable costume out of the group. In the original Marvel Comics, the character Loki resembles the devil with body armor and massive horns protruding off a head piece. Hiddleston said the whole costume was “30 pounds of leather and metal,” but the horned head piece alone was around 8 pounds.
“On one level, it’s incredible because it does so much of the work for me,” Hiddleston said. “When you’re wearing 30 pounds of leather, then you get very hot, and then all the heat that would normal escape through your head is just kind of encased inside this steel balaclava and your brain slowly turns to scrambled eggs … so it has its challenges.”