One of the Tribeca Film Festival’s greatest draws in recent years has been cast reunions for some of cinema’s most treasured modern films. Last year, the festival screened all three “Godfather” films before reuniting director Frances Ford Coppola with the remaining cast for an onstage panel. This year, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Brian De Palma’s “Scarface,” De Palma was reunited with stars Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Steven Bauer to look back the iconic gangster classic.
After a Thursday evening screening of the film at New York City’s Beacon Theater, the stars came out for a Q&A and were greeted with rapturous applause and cheers. Pacino, who plays Cuban gangster Tony Montana in the film, was given a standing ovation when he came out and greeted the crowd.
But the brief Q&A took a strange turn when moderator Jesse Kornbluth asked Michelle Pfeiffer a question about her weight during the filming of “Scarface.” “As the father of a daughter, I’m concerned with body image,” he asked Pfeiffer. “[During] the preparation for this film, what did you weigh?”
Pfeiffer’s character, Elvira, is an icy blonde who slinks around in sunglasses and slip dresses, and snorts cocaine profusely throughout the film. The audience immediately pounced on the question, loudly jeering and booing Kornbluth’s question. Several audience members shouted loudly, asking why Pfeiffer’s weight was of importance.
“This is not the question you think it is,” Kornbluth responded, seeming to settled the crowd down enough for Pfeiffer’s response. Despite that addendum to his original question, Kornbluth did not offer a follow up query or any further clarification to his ask.
“Well, okay. I don’t know,” Pfeiffer responded. “But I was playing a cocaine addict, which was part of the physicality of the part, which you have to consider. The movie was only supposed to be 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.”
But Pfeiffer admitted her plan was thrown off when filming on “Scarface” began to stretch out.
“The problem was the movie went six months,” Pfeiffer said. “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. I think I was living on tomato soup and Marlboros.”
Watch Pfeiffer’s response, as well as the audience’s initial reaction, below.
The infamous moment at tonight’s #Scarface reunion panel where #MichellePfeiffer was asked by the moderator (who apparently is “the father of a daughter”) how much she weighed during filming, which was followed by a mixture of confusion and disdain from the audience. #Tribeca2018 pic.twitter.com/xQUQ6FJqtC
— Mark Espinosa (@SportsGuy515) April 20, 2018