Michelle Pfeiffer Asked About 'Scarface' Weight, Audience Boos
Following a 35th-anniversary screening of "Scarface" at the Tribeca Film Festival Friday night, original stars Al Pacino, 77; Michelle Pfeiffer, 59; and Steven Bauer, 61; joined director Brian De Palma, 77, for what should have been a victory-lap Q&A — so why were there boos in the audience?
Moderator Jesse Kornbluth of Head Butler earned the audience's wrath by asking, "Michelle, as the father of a daughter, I'm concerned with body image. The preparation for this film... what did you weigh?"
The crowd immediately got rambunctious and Pfeiffer raised her mic to exclaim, in support of the ruckus, "Seriously."
When Kornbluth attempted to smooth things over by claiming the question was not what it seemed, Pfeiffer went with it, answering, "Well, okay. Uh, I don't know. But I was playing a cocaine addict... yeah, so, that was part of the physicality of the part, which you have to consider. So, but I do remember, you know, the movie was only supposed to be — what? — a three-month, four-month [shoot], it ended up, and of course I tried to time it so that as the movie went on I became thinner and thinner and more emaciated."
Pfeiffer said of her diet as the shoot progressed: "I think I was living on tomato soup and Marlboros.”
Pfeiffer's plan was upended when the production of the film dragged on. She continued, "The problem was the movie went six months. 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. I literally had members of the crew bringing me bagels because they were all worried about me and how thin I was getting."
Kornbluth later released a statement to IndieWire defending his question:
"It is true that a gentleman should never ask a woman about her weight. But that was not my question. It is a comment on the knee-jerk political correctness of our time that no one would be shocked if you asked Robert De Niro about the weight gain required for his role in 'Raging Bull' but you get booed — not by many, but by a vocal few — for asking Michelle Pfeiffer about the physical two-dimensionality required for her to play a cocaine freak in 'Scarface.'”