I thought I’d blogged about this before but I obviously not. Vincent D’Onofrio and Barry Sonnenfeld spoke to Rachel Handler about the famous ‘Sugar Water’ scene from Men In Black:
The stiff walk, the way Edgar speaks, his facial expressions — where did those come from?
D’Onofrio: I was combining two voices: George C. Scott’s and John Huston’s. The first scene we shot was the one where I come in and kill the alien at lunch — where I say, “Pond scum” — and it really launched me into that voice. [Imitates Huston]: “Pond scum!” I’m sure you’ve seen Dr. Strangelove. George C. Scott has this particular raspy voice — he had it his whole career, even when he was younger. It got more and more pronounced and scratchy as he got older. He had this cadence he spoke with, which was kind of staccato. He’d put very weird pauses in and then fly out with a bit of dialogue. I was also really interested in Huston’s pronunciation of things. It was pedestrian in an elegant way. “Pooond scum.” He sounds out every letter. But I didn’t want it to be that slow, so I combined George C. Scott’s raspiness and cadence with John Huston’s enunciation.
Early on, I was looking at bug documentaries and it was such a fucking boring task. I hated it so much. I was sitting there with my roommate at the time, Steve, and at one point the camera zooms in on a beetle crossing a porch and I had to turn it off. Instead, I started to work backward, thinking about the end of the movie. If that thing was really supposed to be folded up inside me, it’d be a pretty difficult to get around. So I had my legs locked off, which was my own concoction. I went out and bought two basketball knee braces and locked off my knees and ankles so they couldn’t move up or down or to the side. The first week or so of shooting, that was under my costume. I had to force myself to move and make portions of my body react to each other involuntarily, so you knew something else was happening inside my body.
After reading, please watch Edgar the Bug’s best scenes.