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Lessons learned from the disastrous ‘Scarface’ 35th anniversary panel

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19:  Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian De Palma and Al Pacino attend the
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 19: Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brian De Palma and Al Pacino attend the "Scarface" 35th Anniversary Cast Reunion - 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at Beacon Theatre on April 19, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

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It's springtime in New York and the Tribeca Film Festival is in full swing. There are lots of interesting new movies, but one of the events that made the news was a panel about a decades-old classic: "Scarface."

The panel was one of the most anticipated events at the festival and featured Al Pacino, Brian De Palma, Steven Bauer and Michelle Pfeiffer, who rarely attends public events like this one. Vanity Fair's Rebecca Keegan was there for the panel that she described as a "sexist dumpster fire."

I would say in my many years of attending cringeworthy Q & A's this was the most cringeworthy. So much so that the audience kind of revolted when the moderator went about 15 minutes into the Q & A without posing a direct question to Pfeiffer and then his first question for her was to ask her what her weight was when she made the movie.

The question immediately received "boos" from the audience, said Keegan. 

Pfeiffer had reasons to be thin when filming "Sacrface." Her character Elvira Hancock is a cocaine addict who wastes away over the course of the movies as she becomes sicker. Moreover, she has actually said many times in the past that she had difficulty maintaining that thin weight for the duration of the film and spent most of the shoot hungry. 

"Had it been couched perhaps in the realm of her performance and what that was like for her maybe it would've been different," said Keegan.


On The Lot, Take Two's weekly segment about the business of entertainment and Hollywood, airs every Monday.