By Fred Topel | Image property of Yari Film Group.
Norton and Biel in The Illusionist
It’s almost a shame to cover Jessica Biel up with corsets and gowns, but if anyone can remain sexy under turn of the century clothing it’s Biel. She plays a 1900s era duchess in The Illusionist and had to dress the part, including squeezing her slim waist even tighter.
The Illusionist with Jessica Biel
“I had a really sore back my first couple days wearing a corset,” she said. “It was really kind of painful actually. We kept tightening the corset. The corset got tighter and smaller and smaller as my body kind of formed to the corset which is kind of interesting. In a short time, my high waste was smaller than it was when I started. It’s kind of interesting that your body can move so quickly.”
Luckily, Biel returned to normal proportions after two weeks post-corset. Plus, being a modern day glamour icon, fashion hasn’t changed all that much. “It’s pretty similar. So many things use corsets, like little mini corsets inside of a dress. In interior, beneath the zipper, sometimes there’ll be like a three pronged minicorset. I encounter those all the time.”
Like most kids, playing dressup was a part of Biel’s childhood. Films like The Illusionist just let her get paid for it. “I liked to dress up as some sort of a character. I was always dressing up as a fairy or some sort of wild character. Halloween was always huge in my house. My mother had a huge trunk and a closet full of Halloween stuff. She also said that I liked to change my clothes a lot. So I would put something on, an hour later it’d be in a heap on the floor and I’d put something else on. It was always about changing, which I don’t do anymore.”
Okay, so princess wasn’t always the costume of choice, but now that she’s a woman, Biel could appreciate it. “It was fabulous. It was just so much fun. I mean, I dressed like a princess every day. And that wasn't necessarily a goal for me as a little girl. I wasn't necessarily princess-crazy. But as an adult, it was just so fun and lovely and living in Prague for a couple months was [like] if I didn't have to come home, I wouldn't have. I would have stayed forever.”
The Illusionist opens to theatres this Friday, August 18th.