Benny Safdie in "Licorice Pizza"

Benny Safdie ate probably 30 tiramisu while filming the “Licorice Pizza” dinner scene.

Benny and Josh Safdie made their way to the top of the indie film world by invoking the do-it-yourself realism of indie legends like John Cassavetes. And now that they’re working on projects with some of Hollywood’s biggest actors and filmmakers, they still believe in going the extra mile to get the details right.

In a new interview with GQ, Benny Safdie opened up about his passion for food on camera. The director explained that he infuriates him when characters don’t eat during meal scenes because the actors didn’t want to consume food multiple times. It’s a mistake he tries to avoid when he takes action.

“I hate when people don’t eat. It destroys me,” Safdie said, recalling how much she went to make sure the “Licorice Pizza” dinner scene was realistic. “I don’t know how many tiramisu I ate, but it must have been 30”.

Safdie’s creative collaborators can vouch for her dedication to on-screen eating. Nathan Fielder, who is working with Safdie on Showtime’s upcoming comedy series “The Curse,” recalled Safdie’s impressive commitment to eating excessive amounts of food for the sake of the part.

“Any scene involving food, everyone was into their groove the first take,” said Fielder. “But Benny for some reason kept stuffing food in his mouth throughout the scene because he thought it would be more fun. And he was right. There was a scene where he ate a whole Chinese buffet dish every single take for 15 takes and it was always exactly the same volume of food. You would think that any sane person would eat a couple less popcorn shrimp every time as filming went on. But he wouldn’t.

“The Curse” is 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 curse. The series produced by A24 was announced in 2020.

“The fierce intelligence and wit of the incomparable Emma Stone make her the perfect match for the brilliant minds of the Safdie brothers and the subversive comedy of Nathan Fielder,” said Amy Israel, Showtime’s EVP of programming 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 who are looking to create their own shows that are both ambitious and singular.