Filming for hours in special space suits can never be easy for an actor. In the history of sci-fi movies, many actors have expressed their frustration and even ultimate scare that almost took them closer to experiencing the numbing effect of death.
Starring in Michael Bay’s Armageddon, Ben Affleck came back from the shadow of death but it did leave a scary scar in the actor’s memory. He will never forget the movie or the ultimate scare one could have on set.
Ben Affleck’s Near-Death Experience in Armageddon
Armageddon is one of Michael Bay’s biggest early movies that went on to earn over $553 million at the global box office starring ensemble casts including Ben Affleck and action star Bruce Willis. However, the movie has been quite a rollercoaster for Affleck. The Batman actor met the similar fate that Sandra Bullock faced while filming the acclaimed space horror Gravity. The production crew added a lightbox to film the Alfonso Cuarón movie. Bullock had to spend a lot of time inside the box all alone and it gave her the scare of her life.
Bay had an even faster approach, on the first day of shooting the actors had to wear the spacesuits. Despite being expensive, the suits were not comfortable at all. Of course, it was meant to protect the actors but wearing the suits itself was a headache as it took five people to put an actor in it.
“They’re walking out of a plane crash … [in] 100 mile an hour winds. And all of a sudden, I see Ben Affleck trying to hit his face shield. They had real NASA locks on their helmets. I’m like, ‘Cut, cut, cut. What’s going on? Ben, what’s going on?’ So, we have to run literally like a football field toward [him]. And he was trying to find a rock to bust his mask because he couldn’t breathe because the air thing was shut,” Bay once explained to Collider.
Perhaps, Ben almost saw the flickering lights at the other end as it gave him the scare of a lifetime. But for Bay, as his reputation of being a stylist proceeds, he extracted what he needed from the actors.
The Spacesuits Were Insanely Expensive
Armageddon was expensive, it took $140 million to complete the movie. But the spacesuits, the vital costumes of the movie, cost an insane amount which is quite a shocker. As per reports, the producers have spent $1.5 million on the spacesuits alone yet it ironically almost killed Affleck. Also, Bay later explained that the suits were almost like a curse as they troubled the entire process of making the movie. A French costume designer created the suits and the cultural barrier kicked in. French are more artistic and the original minimalistic design of the suits would do more harm to the movie.
“They do things very differently in France, they’re very more the artists, this is not big American moviemaking where if you don’t have a spacesuit that works for a big f***ing movie star, you are f**ked,” Bay said on Armageddon‘s DVD commentary.
It was a major fiasco for Bay and caused a series of problems throughout the 120 days of shooting The design itself was not below ordinary but the practicality and safety were highly compromised.
Armageddon can be streamed on Hulu.