An oral history of superhero actors complaining about going to the toilet

Ali Gray

6th July 2017

There's a strange, unspoken relationship between a journalist and a film star that absolutely nothing personal must be discussed during an interview. Except, that is, when that film star is playing a superhero, in which case it's absolutely on message to ask them exactly how they pissed and/or shat while wearing their super-suit. The weirdest thing is just how willing the actors are to share.

Tom Holland swings into cinemas this week in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Naturally, journalists had lots of questions for him, most of which revolved around his exact urination techniques. Holland is not the first Spider-Man to be asked about pissing, and he won't be the last.

Tom Holland, star of Spider-Man: Homecoming: "I didn't go to the bathroom for like eleven hours or something because we didn't really figure out how to take the suit off quickly at that point. And that's an expensive suit. You do not want to wet yourself in that suit."

Andrew Garfield, star of The Amazing Spider-Man: "[The image above] was a picture journal that I took throughout with a still photographer. I was so frustrated certain days in that suit that I needed to do something stupid, so we just went around the Sony lot. I think there's one of me taking a shit. I mean, who wants to hear an actor complain about being Spider-Man? No one, right? But it sucks. Spandex isn't fun, spandex is not fun."

IMDB trivia for Spider-Man (2002): "Tobey Maguire had to have his Spider-Man outfit remodeled as the original design had not made allowances for when the actor needed a bathroom break. A vent was added to enable him to perform that function without having to take the entire costume off."

Tom Holland: "You have to completely disrobe and then put a dressing gown on... And then you race across the lot to the toilet, then come back, get back into it – it's such a mission."

Andrew Garfield: [On The Amazing Spider-Man 2] "We're going to make it easier for me to piss. That's #1. It's like you have to body-shoehorn yourself out of it. It looks good, but they didn't really consider that, the whole bodily-functions thing. But next time we will remember that I am human."
Batman is a comic-book character that almost transcends the medium: a 21st century boogeyman for the forces of good - a dark and shadowy saviour with a complex moral barometer. Also he sometimes needs to take a slash.

Christian Bale, star of The Dark Knight trilogy: "The only thing I said to [Ben Affleck] was to make sure to [be able to] take a piss without having anyone help him, because it's a little bit humiliating. You have to have someone… help you out of the costume in order to be able to do that... I found it to be ridiculously unheroic between takes when I said, 'Excuse me, I need to pee, could somebody undo me please?'"

Unnamed source on Batman Vs Superman set: "[Ben Affleck] is constantly trying to avoid going to the toilet because it's such an ordeal. The entire production has to stop and begin the tedious process of peeling the suit on and off. It’s not an ideal situation."

Henry Cavill, Superman in the DC universe: "I spoke to the costume designer - it was very, very important - and I said, "The first suit was great, I loved it, but creatively, I would really like to be able to pee this time whenever I choose."

Russell Crowe, Jor-El in Man Of Steel: "You couldn't get your bits and pieces out of it. It took nearly 25 minutes just to get it off."

Henry Cavill: "It's like, can you pee in that? If you're powerful, you must be able to pee."

Michael Keaton, original Batman star: "I drink a lot of coffee, I eat a ton of vitamins and I drink a ton of water – I couldn't do (any) of that because I couldn't get up to go the bathroom. So, they put me in this thing and inside -
honestly, I started having panic attacks. Literally, panic attacks."

Val Kilmer, also Batman: "You need help getting dressed … it takes about 45 minutes to get undressed. You need help going to the bathroom. You can't hear anymore... And then when you call out for help, no one comes."

Unnamed source on Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin: "Due to the difficulty and large amount of time it took to remove the Batman suit, George Clooney urinated in his suit on at least one occasion."
I don't know exactly how girls go to the toilet, no one does, but it doesn't sound like female superheroes have it any better. Ah, movie junkets: the only time and place it is acceptable to ask a famous female Hollywood film star about her pee hole.

Alicia Silverstone, Batgirl, at least in 1997: "That costume was so uncomfortable. Maybe something more comfortable would be nice. Something you can sit in. Something you can get out of to pee."

Michelle Pfeiffer, Catwoman in Batman Returns:"It was the most uncomfortable costume I've ever been in. They get you in this contraption, and in order to go to the bathroom you have to completely disrobe, and it takes an hour to get it back on."

Anne Hathaway, Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises: "There were provisions made in the suit for wearing it that there hadn't been in the first Batman. They designed it differently. I was thankful for that!"

Malin Akerman, star of Zack Snyder's Watchmen: [On her Silk Spectre II suit] "You dread it more and more every day. The first day, it's exciting and it's fun, and by the end of it you just want to burn the thing. Mine was made out of latex. It's always freezing, and they were always hot, because they had the foam. It would have been difficult to go to the bathroom, but I figured out the 'slide to the side' technique, because there's no other way. Sorry to get so graphic, but it's a graphic novel."

Rebecca Romijn, Mystique in X-Men (2000): "You sort of have to go to a zen place. [There was] Blue paint on everything, including every time I had to go use the loo, blue toilet seats. Everybody knew when I had to go use the bathroom because there was a blue toilet seat."

Jennifer Lawrence, Mystique in X-Men: First Class (2011): "I have to pee on myself every time I have to go to the bathroom. I don't have to pee on myself but I have to pee out of a funnel standing up because the people who made the suit are like, 'She doesn't go to the bathroom - she's a girl!'... I can't sit down so I have to stand and I have to pee out of a funnel, and I just can never get it right."
Marvel, DC, X-Men or other - no matter the cinematic universe, the need to expel hot urine from one's urethra binds all of our super-friends together. Tell us more about piss, movie stars. Keep talking about piss for a bit.

Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool actor: "To pee, it took me about 30 minutes to find my penis, so it was no joke... The suit was never made to make that easy. This guy, [costume designer] Russ Shankle, hates me. There is a zipper but it's a whole process. I always say to my friend Hugh Jackman, how come you don't get to wear a suit? You get to wear blue jeans. I need six people to help me go take a leak."

Michael Chiklis, The Thing, a while back: "Once they glued the suit on me, I couldn't get it off without help, no matter how hard I struggled. I had six people around me all day, to take me out of the suit, put an air conditioner in my head and feed me water... Going to the bathroom was horrendous. It was a physical and psychological nightmare."

Robert Downey Jr, Iron Man: "It was a drag... Going to the bathroom was like trying to pull an enoke mushroom out of a sealed envelope."

Chris Evans, on the set of Captain America: The First Avenger: "I need to pee easier. Just whatever makes things easier — like being able to pee easier. Whatever makes it easy to get them off or on. And obviously, there are certain parts that pinch or scratch, and in a fight sequence you want it to be accommodating. But, really — just being able to pee."

Jeremy Renner, complaining on behalf of Chadwick Boseman: "Terrible sweating – if it takes you 30 minutes to go to the bathroom, that's a problem."

Benedict Cumberbatch, star of Doctor Strange: "What was difficult was going for a bathroom break. You'd have to get out of it all and put it back on again. It was just arduous for everyone."

Chris Evans, on the set of Captain America: Civil War: [On peeing] "Now they've done a wonderful job and peeing's really easy."

Paul Rudd, star of Ant-Man: "I was able to go to the bathroom all by myself like a big boy."
All quotes researched by Ali Gray of TheShiznit.co.uk. If his wife is reading this, that's why his Google searches were so weird recently.

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