This weekend the Tribeca Film Festival in Manhattan hosted a panel with the cast and crew of Scarface, to commemorate the 35 anniversary of the classic gangster movie.
In attendance was director Brian DePalma, actors Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer and Steven Bauer, with author Jesse Kornbluth moderating the discussion.
Now, if you've ever seen Scarface you'll know that Pfeiffer plays Elvira Hancock, the woman that lead character Tony Montana steals from his rival, but who winds up as a drug addict.
Pfeiffer, who was an unknown actress at the time, gives an incredible performance as a vulnerable woman caught in the crossfire between two toxic male characters.
Yet, rather than ask her about how she prepared for the role or what it was like to work with Pacino or DePalma, Kornbluth felt it was appropriate to ask her about her weight at the time of filming.
Upon asking the question Kornbluth was booed and jeered by the crowd. Yet, being noticeably bewildered by the question, Pfeiffer managed to give a very considered answer.
Those in attendance at the event managed to capture footage of the moment.
If you couldn't quite catch what she said, here is her answer in full.
Well, OK, I don’t know [what my weight was].
You know, the movie was only supposed to be a three-or four month shoot. I tried to time it so that as the movie went on, I became thinner and thinner, and more emaciated.
The problem is, it ended up going six months.
I was starving by the end. The one scene, the end of the film, where I was thinnest, it was always next week, then next [and so on].
I literally had members of the crew bringing me bagels, because they were all worried about me and how thin I was getting.
I think I was living on tomato soup and Marlboros.
Kornbluth, who was criticised for his line of questioning did try to defend himself afterwards.
In a quote obtained by IndieWire he said:
It is true that a gentleman should never ask a woman about her weight. But that was not my question.
It is a comment on the knee-jerk political correctness of our time that no one would be shocked if you asked Robert De Niro about the weight gain required for his role in ‘Raging Bull’ but you get booed — not by many, but by a vocal few — for asking Michelle Pfeiffer about the physical two-dimensionality required for her to play a cocaine freak in 'Scarface.'
That being said, Vulture reports that Pfeiffer was only asked one other question in the entire conversation about her role, whereas Pacino, DePalma and Bauer were never asked about their weight.
Footage of the question and Pfeiffer's response has since gone viral on Twitter and it sparked a conversation about the sexist question and why men feel the need to ask these sort of questions.