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Louisa Jacobson Says Her Corset Affected Her Sleep


  • Louisa Jacobson’s period-appropriate clothing for “The Gilded Age” was painful during filming.
  • Jacobson plays Marian Brook on HBO’s drama, which takes place in late 1800s New York City. 
  • She said on the “Reign with Josh Smith” podcast that the corset affected her ability to sleep.

“The Gilded Age” star Louisa Jacobson said the costumes required for the period drama were “taxing physically and mentally” for her.

“I couldn’t sleep on my side for a long time because my ribs were so sore,” she told Josh Smith during an interview for the “Reign with Josh Smith” podcast released Tuesday, in a conversation beginning at the 7:00-minute mark. 

On the HBO drama set in 1800s New York City, Jacobson, who is Meryl Streep’s daughter, plays Marian Brook, a young woman encouraged by her two aunts to use her charms to find a suitable husband. 

Jacobson shared that she had begun to consider her ideas surrounding body image as a result of the role “I realized how I’d internalized beauty standards,” she said. 

She told Smith that she’d asked the costumers fitting her to tighten the corsets. “Just tighten it, I want to look snatched,” she recalled telling them, describing that choice as “ambitious.” 

Jacobson added that ultimately she “really suffered from that decision” because her “Gilded Age” costumes were each based on the tightness of the corset she selected at the initial fitting. 

Cynthia Nixon, who plays Jacobson’s on-screen aunt on “The Gilded Age,” had previously revealed the show’s costumes are bespoke at the 51:00-minute mark of an interview for an episode of HBO’s official “Gilded Age” podcast released on February 7.

Cynthia Nixon, Louisa Jacobson

Cynthia Nixon with her on screen niece Louisa Jacobson in a scene from “The Gilded Age.”

Alison Cohen/HBO


“The fabrics are amazing,” said Nixon. “They’re all individually made of course for each performer so they fit like a glove.” 

The costumes for the series truly are tailored to each actor. Nixon and Jacobson’s costar Carrie Coon previously told Insider’s Claudia Willen that the show’s costume designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone “pivoted” her vision for Coon’s character Bertha Russell’s aesthetic once Coon replaced Amanda Peet, who originally had that part.

Jacobson told Smith she eventually asked that her costumes be altered. She also shared her appreciation for living in a time where she can wear what she feels comfortable in. 

“Every day when I took it off, I was so grateful. I will never take for granted being a female-identifying person in 2022, who does have the freedom to put on a pair of pants that are kind of loose and call it a day,” she said. 

Louisa Jacobson, Thomas Cocquerel

Louisa Jacobson in character as Marian Brook on “The Gilded Age.”

Alison Cohen/HBO


“The things women had to do — the corset was crazy,” she added.

New episodes of :The Gilded Age” air Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO Max. Listen to Jacobson’s full conversation with Smith below.



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