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Movie Detail Monday: The Price of Being Stung By Real Bees in ‘Candyman’

Candyman Trilogy Bee Stings
TriStar Pictures


Movie Detail Monday: The Price of Being Stung By Real Bees in ‘Candyman’

CGI bees? Nope. These bees were real, man!

There’s a price for everything in Hollywood, including getting stung by real bees.

As everyone who’s seen the horror flick “Candyman” knows, bees play a substantial role in the angst-inducing picture. Were they CGI? Nope. Actual bees, man!

According to director Bernard Rose:

“Norman Gary, a professor of entomology, was breeding immature bees in hives on the studio roof – they don’t have any venom, so we tried to use those. After every shot, he would vacuum them up into a little soft pouch and take them back to their dressing room. All Tony had was a dental dam to prevent them going down his throat. He was very courageous – it’s such an unsettling and stunning image when the bees emerge from his mouth.”

But when working with insects anything can happen of course, so Candyman himself Tony Todd was given a sweetener in his deal. Per an interview the actor gave to The Guardian:

“I negotiated a bonus of $1,000 for every sting during the bee scene. And I got stung 23 times,” Todd recalled. “Everything that’s worth making has to involve some sort of pain. Once I realized it was an important part of who Candyman was, I embraced it. It was like putting on a beautiful coat.”

Bee stings suck. A thousand dollars almost makes up for one. Unless some bond company stooge was actually there checking for welts, I definitely would’ve embellished the number of stings I claimed to have received.

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