A Scarface 35th anniversary panel went off the rails after actress Michelle Pfeiffer was asked an awkward question.
To commemorate the 35th anniversary of Scarface, the 1983 remake directed by Brian De Palma of the 1932 classic, the stars of the film, Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, and Michelle Pfeiffer, along with De Palma, reunited at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at the Beacon Theater in New York on Thursday.
The event, which was moderated by Jesse Kornbluth a self-professed “cultural concierge” and author, quickly turned awkward when Kornbluth asked Pfeiffer an odd question regarding her weight, according to Vanity Fair.
“Michelle, as the father of a daughter, I’m concerned with body image. The preparation for this film, what did you weigh?” he asked. The confused audience reacted immediately to Kornbluth’s indiscretion and booed.
The moderator went on to add, “This is not the question you think it is.”
Via Cinematic VisionsPfeiffer, nonetheless, decided to answer, “Well, OK. I don’t know, but I was playing a cocaine addict so that was part of the physicality of the part, which you have to consider,” she said. “The movie was only supposed to be, what? A three-month, four-month [shoot]? Of course, I tried to time it so that as the movie went on I became thinner and thinner and more emaciated …The problem was the movie went six months.”
The 59-year-old actress, who was 25 when Scarface premiered, played Elvira, the wife of drug dealer Tony Montana in the film. Pfeiffer’s performance received rave reviews from critics.
“I was starving by the end of it because the one scene that was the end of the film where I needed to be my thinnest, it was [pushed to the] next week and then it was the next week and then it was the next week,” she added. “I literally had members of the crew bringing me bagels because they were all worried about me and how thin I was getting. I think I was living on tomato soup and Marlboros.”
Pfeiffer also spoke about what her character represented to women.
“The other thing about Elvira, is that, because I remember at the time, even then, I got a lot of questions about, ‘You’re playing someone who’s subservient. What message is that sending to women?’” Pfeiffer continued. “And I was also in my early 20s, I hadn’t actually thought about it a lot of the time. Being an artist, it’s really presenting to people what is the truth and not sugarcoated, and I felt that by allowing people to observe who this character is and the sacrifices that she’s made said more than getting up on any soapbox and preaching to people.”
Kornbluth, who was widely criticized online for his bizarre question, clapped back at his haters by comparing the situation to male actors who are asked the same question, while also stressing his intention was not completely specified on her weight.
Still, it's an awkward situation nonetheless.