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We’ve heard countless stories of the ways in which actors are dedicated to their craft, but few have shown more commitment to a scene than the actor who played Sal in Birds of Prey. Despite appearing on screen just briefly, he practiced a pivotal moment for his character -- making that egg sandwich -- over and over again, just to make sure he got it right. However, it wasn't always so clear the egg sandwich would be pivotal to Birds of Prey.
Near the beginning of Birds of Prey and the Emancipation of Harley Quinn, an extremely hungover Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) stumbles into her favorite diner to get her favorite breakfast sandwich, courtesy of her favorite short order cook, Sal (Bruno Oliver). From the way the film’s protagonist narrates the sandwich’s creation, shot in close-up a’la to enhance the melt-in-your-mouthiness of it all, you’d think it was a gourmet revelation. And seeing as how it’s her first meal after coming to terms with her breakup with the Joker, it kind of is a revelation -- metaphorically speaking, anyway. “What a way to start my new life,” she muses. “With the perfect egg sandwich.”
Bruno Oliver recently spoke to Variety about his experience making said perfect egg sandwich, one of the most unforgettable moments in Birds of Prey. According to him, he had absolutely no idea that his bit part in the movie would become such a big deal.
You couldn’t tell from the audition necessarily and as actors, we always worry about our scenes being cut. I really didn’t understand the place the egg sandwich had in the movie until I saw it.
The actor is definitely committed to his craft and we know exactly how committed he got, because he also revealed he spent quite a bit of time making sure he had the culinary basics down before they shot the scene. Per Bruno Oliver:
It was definitely one of the oddest preparations as an actor I’ve done. I spent the night destroying my kitchen making egg sandwiches over and over and over again. And while he did make the sandwich in man takes, the close-up “food porn” shots were done by the catering chef. There are little things I can’t do – like crack two eggs with one hand.
Though Sal is on screen even less than the sandwich he makes for Harley, Bruno Oliver has come to appreciate the importance of his character’s role in Birds of Prey. Some fans have noted the fact that she doesn’t get to eat the sandwich that symbolizes her fresh outlook on life, because it is destroyed while she’s on the run from a slew of people looking to air their grievances with her. Not only is that sad -- it feels symbolic as to where she is in her recovery process. Given the significance of The Sandwich, it’s understandable that fans have fixated on it, both because of what it represents to Harley, and because it just looks really delicious:
I’ve read a lot about the sandwich as a metaphor for Harley’s recovery. I’ve read a lot that refer to Sal as the only male in the movie who doesn’t screw her over.
Bruno Oliver, it seems, also does not want to screw us over. Because as part of the interview, he took the time to illustrate how to recreate the sandwich in our own kitchens. That means we can all have at least one halfway decent quarantine meal -- that is, if we can find all of the ingredients.
Birds of Prey is currently available to stream on VOD.