Here's How Actors Can Eat Endless Food In Eating Scenes, And It's Disgusting

Whether you’ve been mesmerised by the chocolate cake scene in Matilda or can’t stop thinking about the chocolate river in Willy Wonka (I would have been Augustus Glooped so fast), you’ve probably wondered what happens when those scenes require a retake.

Do actors just keep chowing down on a cold dinner for hours? If so, how do they act out action-packed scenes afterwards ― or even stay upright?

Well, TikToker, director, and filmmaker David Ma shared a video explaining how “eat acting” really works ― and it’s a lot more gross than we’d expected.

What is “eat acting?” 

Well, David explains that the actors would “get sick or full if they actually had to eat” the food on set.

So, if you’re wondering how they do it, David Ma said “the secret is... they don’t.“

He says this is called “eat acting,” he revealed, before sharing an industry secret that’s going to change how I see movies forever.

“You’ll notice the camera cuts away before the actor swallows” in eating scenes, he shared. This is so “they can spit” the chewed-but-uneaten remains out (eww ― where does it go?).

What are some good examples?

David points out a burger-eating scene from Pulp Fiction: “Vince takes a bite but then Mia bites her burger and they quick cut back to Vince chewing. It all feels real and seamless due to the editing.”

In The Fast and the Furious, he says, “Here’s Tyrese going in on some chips ― he’s chewing, chewing, chewing. But before he can finish, we cut away to Dom and Ledy.”

And lastly, he mentions the famous fettuccine alfredo scene in The Office, in which Michael chows down on some creamy pasta before a misguided 5k run.

In order to prevent the actor from throwing up as the character does in the show, the camera cuts from Michael before he can swallow. 

Of course, not all actors are comfortable with the process ― Paul Mescal has spoken before about how he ate sausage after sausage during a commercial because he felt rude for spitting them out.

And most of the food in the Harry Potter Great Hall scene in the first movie was real, with actors encouraged to eat it if they liked ― until the food, which was left out for days, spoiled under hot lights and made the set smell rancid.

Showbiz, eh?