Michelle Pfeiffer lived on a diet of “tomato soup and Marlboros” to play drug addict in "Scarface"
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival(NEW YORK) — Michelle Pfeiffer was hungry for the role of Elvira in 1983’s Scarface…quite literally it turns out.
People reports that during a panel at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival Thursday to celebrate the film’s 35th anniversary, the actress revealed she subsisted on a diet of “tomato soup and Marlboros” to play the part of cocaine-addicted Elvira.
Pfeiffer was prompted to discuss her character’s physical appearance after the night’s moderator asked what she weighed in the film – a question which elicited boos from the crowd.
“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 responded. “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.”
She added, “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.”
Pfieffer said concerned crew members were bringing her bagels because of how thin she was getting.
The role went on to become one of the actress’ most iconic. She was joined at the Tribeca reunion panel by co-stars Al Pacino, who played her drug lord husband Tony Montana, as well as actor Steve Bauer and director Brain De Palma.
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