Candyman’s most famous moment was painful and rewarding for Tony Todd


In order to give the bees in “Candyman” the right amount of menace, Rose – also the film’s screenwriter – crafted several scenes in which Todd would have to be covered in bugs. In one scene, Todd’s face was supposed to be crawling with bees. In another, his whole torso, flayed with flesh, housed thousands. In one particularly gruesome shot, bees must have flown out of Todd’s mouth.

Todd immediately recognized the risks of being covered in bees and feared exposing himself to being stung. Although Hollywood bug hunters know how to handle bees, they can’t be trained in exactly the same way as a dog or a cat. So, to make sure the beekeepers did their job as carefully as possible, Todd brokered a deal: he was to receive a $1,000 bounty for every time he received a bee sting. During filming, as the actor explained to The Guardian, Todd was stung 23 times. In 1992, that was almost enough to buy a brand new Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme.

Todd said in the Guardian that he doesn’t necessarily like getting bitten, but “anything worth doing has to involve some kind of pain”. Todd can be admired for his work ethic, but also for his skillful negotiating skills.


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