michelle pfeiffer scarface

Elvira Hancock/YouTube

‘Scarface’ reunion derails with sexist question, awkward interruptions

The moderator asked Michelle Pfieffer about her weight—and the audience was not thrilled.


Tess Cagle


The stars and director of Scarface commemorated the film’s 35th anniversary on Thursday night with a Q&A session at the Tribeca Film Festival. But some of the comments made from the stage were an unwelcome throwback to old-school sexism.

After the panelists discussed the infamous chainsaw scene, moderator Jesse Kornbluth, asked Michelle Pfeiffer—who played drug-addicted Elvira in the film—a tone-deaf question about her weight.

“As the father of a daughter, I am concerned with body image,” Kornbluth, who runs the blog Head Butler, said. “In the preparation for this film, what did you weigh?”

Kornbluth’s question was not received kindly by the audience, which responded with boos and a collective “No!”

“This is not the question you think it is,” Kornbluth said to the audience. But the damage had been done and some fans even took their disdain for his question to Twitter. Ironically, the festival had kicked off the evening before with a statement about female empowerment during the premiere of a Gilda Radner documentary, according to Deadline.



After the crowd settled down, Pfeiffer actually responded to Kornbluth’s question.  

“Well, OK … I don’t know. But I was playing a cocaine addict,” she said. “As the shoot went on, I tried to time it so I became more and more emaciated. The problem is, the movie went six months and the climactic scene kept getting delayed…The crew kept bringing me bagels because they were so worried about me. I think I was living on tomato soup and Marlboros.”

The awkwardness of the panel didn’t stop there, either. Steven Bauer, who played Manny, was reportedly noticeably very intoxicated on stage and eager to keep the spotlight on himself; he even cut off his castmates to answer questions that weren’t intended for him.

The part-Cuban actor also elicited some angry responses from the crowd when he defended the film against critics upset about its depiction of Latino and Cuban communities.

“I tried to tell them, ‘Relax, man,’” he said. “’It’s a movie.’”

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