2020's Birds of Prey was an odd little film, at times brutal and crass, at other times twee and kitschy. One of the most random moments in the film was when Margot Robbie's lead character of Harley Quinn tries and fails to eat her sandwich. The whole thing is presented in slow motion, with mournful orchestral music, like an epic tragedy. In an interview with EW, the film's writer Christina Hodson explained what inspired the idea of the mythical "perfect sandwich".
"When I lived in New York and I was broke, I would wake up hungover every now and then - of course, not too often [laughs]. You wake up hungover, and the only thing in the world that will make everything right again is a bodega sandwich. And that feeling of, you don't have much money left, it's probably, like with Harley, your last three bucks or whatever, and it feels just like the most momentous and most important thing in the whole world, and that's your true passion. It was in the [script] outline from super early on, initially just as kind of a detail. And then [laughs] as we started working on the script, it became so clear that like, of course this is the most important thing to Harley in this moment. That is the be all and the end all!"
Crying over the destruction of a sandwich, especially when one is being chased by multiple bloodthirsty enemies, which is exactly what happened in the film, might seem excessive for other people. But it fits right in with the characterization of Harley Quinn, as someone who had gotten so completely inured to violence that she barely spared a thought to the people trying to kill her, and instead put her whole focus on the one good thing left in her life, her sandwich. According to Hodson, filming the scene in which the sandwich splatters across the street was made very tricky because of how seriously everyone took that sequence.
"The death of the egg sandwich was also super important. That was a difficult day on set because it was a crazy day, we was right at the end of shooting, we were trying to get like main unit stuff with Harley going up the fire escape, and then the second unit team was working with the super slow-mo camera, trying to shoot the perfect death. And it's really hard because you want the ingredients to splay out, but you also want the ingredients to look right. Like you can't have your slice of cheese not melted, but if it's too melted then it's going to be sticky so it was a whole thing."
"We threw a lot of sandwiches through the air, and then shot it in very, very serious, [laughs] very high-end slow motion, to get it just right. I remember being just such a pain in the ass, standing there like, "I'm the writer, I'm not meant to give notes," and I'd run over to Cathy and be like, "Cathy, can I please tell them that they really need to make the egg yolk bleed, because it's really important?" And then they'd have to cook softer egg yolks because it wasn't bleeding enough. [Laughs] It was pretty silly but also pretty important so I'm very pleased that other people take it seriously too."
This news arrives courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.