She-Hulk: Attorney at Law featured many different behind-the-scenes stories, but one that stood out is the inclusion of 6'5" actress Maliah Arrayah, the on-set reference for the titular character. And now, the Disney+ show's costume designer has explained why the actress is crucial to the project's success.
Despite numerous complaints about the show's CGI, many fans were amazed about Arrayah's off-screen presence, considering that her towering presence was essential in bringing She-Hulk to life.
During the show's Disney+ run, the 6'5" actress also gave fans a sneak peek of her fun moments off-screen with lead star Tatiana Maslany and Abomination actor Tim Roth.
Aside from the hilarious off-camera moments, significant details about the actress' role have emerged.
She-Hulk Costume Designer Explains 6-Foot-5 Actress' Importance
Speaking with Marvel, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law costume designer Ann Foley talked about the process of bringing 6'5" actress Maliah Arrayah into the show and how she helped the VFX crew from a visual standpoint.
When asked about the process of dressing a person who is sometimes not entirely just a human body in the series, Foley admitted that "it was fun" yet it was a "challenge" when it came to figuring out the difference between Maslany and Arrayah on-set:
Marvel: "She-Hulk was an interesting challenge as a character who is half the time an actress and half the time a CG being who is also an actress, but is a different size and a different scale and all of those things. What was that process working through, of how to dress a person who is sometimes not entirely just a human body?"
Foley: "It was great. It was fun, it really was a challenge figuring out the mathematics to be perfectly honest because that was really important to Marvel. Like, what are the mathematics? The difference between Tatiana and Maliah, who is our visual reference or lighting reference."
Foley then revealed the key role of Ryan Meinerding, who is Head of Visual Development at Marvel Studios, in figuring out She-Hulk's size in order to create a muscle suit for the on-set reference actress:
Marvel: "Right, so a whole actress, who would who was taller, right?"
Foley: "I think she only is 6'5", she’s 6'5", or she’s 6'6". So the process started once we had Malia cast, Ryan Meinerding who is the head of visual development of Marvel or Vis Dev as I like to call them. He created the musculature of the body so to speak for She-Hulk and knowing that what She-Hulk size was, what her muscles were, we then took that digital information and created a muscle suit that was made for Maliah. And then once we had the muscle suit, then we knew,we could figure out those mathematics much easier."
Foley continued by giving an example of how Maliah was crucial in finding out where such wardrobe "would naturally stretch," specifically citing the courtroom scene of the series against Titania:
"So we would build the suit, like the opening courtroom suit, for example, to fit Tatiana, knowing how the scene was going to happen. Tatiana’s character, Jen Walters is going to court, not expecting ever to have to be She-Hulk in court. So, she’s not wearing a suit that has any stretch capabilities. So we then take that suit, and then we do a fitting with Maliah afterwards to sort of see where that would naturally stretch. How short the skirt would go? Where it would rip, you know, on the leg? How far up the sleeves would go on the arms we’re on the, you know, in the arms. Where would it rip apart, you know, at that shoulder point? All that stuff was really fascinating and really interesting. And it was all real. Those were real stress points."
The Marvel costume designer ended by giving gratitude to the 6-foot-5 actress, noting that she was essential in creating She-Hulk for the show:
"So we thankfully had the gift of Malia to be able to figure that stuff out. And then VFX would scan Malia in costume every time she worked so that they could use that information to help create She-Hulk."
Will She-Hulk's 6-Foot-5 On-Set Actress Return?
Ann Foley's latest comments further cemented the importance of Maliah Arrayah to the success of creating She-Hulk while also establishing that the 6-foot-5-inch actress is the perfect fit as an on-set reference (She-Hulk's height in the comics is 6'7").
This also shows that Marvel doesn't rely solely on CGI. It is unknown if using an on-set reference actor or actress would be the studio's route, but it's clear that She-Hulk: Attorney at Law was able to prove that this technique works.
Based on Foley's enthusiastic comments about Arrayah, it's safe to assume that she will have another tour of duty as She-Hulk in a potential second season and future MCU projects.
Hopefully, as Marvel expands with more projects in Phase 5, the studio is poised to find the right balance in mixing practical effects and CGI to produce a win-win situation for everyone involved.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is streaming on Disney+.