Benny and Josh Safdie rose to the top of the independent film world by invoking the DIY realism of indie legends like John Cassavetes. And now that they’re working on projects with some of the biggest actors and filmmakers in Hollywood, they still believe in going the extra mile to get the details right.
In a new interview with GQ, Benny Safdie talked about his passion for eating on camera. The director explained that it angers him when characters don’t eat during meal scenes because the performers didn’t want to eat multiple times. It’s a mistake he tries to avoid making when he acts.
“I hate it when people don’t eat. It destroys me,” said Safdie, recalling the great lengths he went to to make sure his Licorice Pizza dinner scene looked realistic. “I don’t know how many tiramisu I ate, but it must have been 30.”
Safdie’s creative collaborators can vouch for his dedication to on-screen eating. Nathan Fielder, who is working with Safdie on the upcoming Showtime comedy series “The Curse,” recalled Safdie’s impressive commitment to eating excessive amounts of food for the sake of little.
“Any scene that involved food, everyone would hit their stride at first,” Fielder said. “But Benny for some reason would keep putting food in his mouth throughout the scene because he thought it would be funnier. And he was right. There was a scene where he ate an entire Chinese buffet every 15 times and he would always match the same volume of food. You’d think any sane person would eat a few fewer popcorn pops each time as they went along. But he wouldn’t.”
“The Curse” was co-created by Fielder and Benny Safdie. Fielder and Emma Stone star as a married couple who host a fictional HGTV show that is derailed by a supernatural spell. The A24-produced series was announced in 2020.
“The incomparable Emma Stone’s intelligence and fierce wit make her the perfect partner for the genius minds of the Safdie brothers and the subversive comedy of Nathan Fielder,” Amy Israel, Showtime’s EVP of scripted programming, said in a statement announcing Stone’s casting. “Together, they promise to deliver groundbreaking satire that is both unexpected and deeply human. Showtime continues to shine as a beacon for visionary filmmakers looking to create their own ambitious and unique shows.”