Ah, the timeless question of how much weight actors lose or gain for roles! You would think, by 2018, journalists would stop asking this question, especially when actors like Anne Hathaway are preparing for the criticism far in advance. And while it’s true that some roles require intensive, physical transformations, it seems like men are rarely asked about prepping their physique for movies at the same rate women are.
Unfortunately the moderator at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, who was overseeing a panel on Scarface, decided to ask this very question of Michelle Pfeiffer, who of course plays the svelte, glamorous cocaine addict Elvira Hancock in the movie. In a video of the exchange caught by podcaster Mark Espinosa, the moderator asks “Michelle, as the father of a daughter concerned with body image, the preparation for this film, what did you weigh?” And someone in the audience screams “WHY DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?” followed by a round of boos from the audience. “This is not the question you think it is!” he adds.
“Well, okay, 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,” Pfeiffer responds, who quickly puts her appearance into the context of the character. “The movie was only supposed to be what, a three month or four month [shoot] and then of course they tried to time it so that as the movie went on I became thinner and thinner and more emaciated.”
I’m curious as to why he didn’t ask “Al, as the father of a daughter concerned with drug addiction, how much cocaine did you snort in preparation for the film?” or “Brian, as the father of a daughter concerned with gun violence, why make this movie at all?”