John Lithgow’s Beatriz at Dinner ‘steak’ was really watermelon

Actor John Lithgow had no problem eating steak for take after take in new movie Beatriz At Dinner, because the ‘meat’ was actually made from watermelon.
The Terms of Endearment star, 71, portrays a billionaire racist who clashes with Salma Hayek’s titular immigrant character, a holistic medical practitioner, who finds herself out of her depth when she is invited to join a dinner party at a wealthy client’s home.
Much of the film takes place around the dinner table as the guests tuck into a meaty meal, but Lithgow reveals they didn’t actually have to endure eating steak for hours on end, thanks to a crafty prop designer he previously worked with in 2014, when he performed in a production of King Lear for New York’s Shakespeare in the Park shows.
“Let me tell you a little piece of theatrical trickery,” he smiled during an appearance on U.S. show The Chew. “In fact, if there’s no other reason to see this movie, it’s to watch me eat ‘steak’.
“A couple of years ago, I did King Lear in the park, and there was a scene where King Lear eats heartily with his knights, and I wanted a big piece of meat – this was Medieval England – so I asked the prop master, this brilliant prop guy called Jay Duckworth, ‘Get me meat that I can actually eat onstage’, and he invented stage meat made out of watermelon with stage colouring!
“You just pop it in your mouth, it’s gone immediately, you can even hydrate!” Lithgow marvelled. “And if you watch Beatriz at Dinner, you’ll see me chomp down bite after bite of ‘steak’, talking my head off!”
The comedy, directed by Miguel Arteta and co-starring Chloe Sevigny and Connie Britton, opened in limited release in the U.S. on Friday (09Jun17) and impressed industry experts by grossing a little over $150,000 (£118,400) from just five theatres.