This is uplifting: Pan Am pilot star Christina Ricci recalled a few panic-struck moments on set struggling in and out of stiff corsets and other foundation garments to play a 1960s-era Pan Am flight attendant for the upcoming ABC drama.

“That was painful,” she said of being filled to bursting during on set costume changes during a CTV Upfront press conference in Toronto on Thursday.

Ricci, who plays head stewardess Maggie on the Sony Pictures TV drama, needed a slew of dressers to help her in and out of jackets and blouses and skirts, not to mention high heels, gloves and hats.

“Someone has to help you because I can’t get this back together fast enough to run back to set,” Ricci recounted.

The struggle with the iconic Pan Am airline’s blue-grey stewardess costume was worth it, the actress insisted, because it allowed her to play a woman who does more than serve men in the First Class cabin at 30,000 feet.

Pan Am flight attendants, she said, were living life and travelling the world in a way other women in 1963 could only dream of.

“In this male-dominated world, in that famously openly chauvinistic culture, these women were really taking the reins and running their lives in a way most women didn’t,” Ricci said.