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How Mary Stuart Masterson filmed that scary bees scene


How Mary Stuart Masterson filmed that scary bees scene


In honor of the 30th anniversary of the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes,” TCM and Fathom Events are bringing it back to cinemas for a limited time.

Southern Living recently spoke with Mary Stuart Masterson, who played Idgie in the film, and she shared some secrets from the set.

One of the most memorable scenes in the film is the food fight between Idgie and Ruth, played by Mary Louise Parker, in the kitchen of the Whistle Stop Café.

Masterson revealed that this scene was entirely improvised and filmed in one take.

The actors worked with the prop master to decide on their “ammo” and then just let loose in the scene.


Masterson said, “We each decided and worked with the prop master to give us what ammo we wanted ahead of time.

“And then that scene was entirely improvised. We had the ability to go shower and start over and get dressed again but I wanna say we only did it once with multiple cameras because it was just too fun.

“That was definitely the best day of work. Just the kind of thing you never get to do. Have a food fight.

Another iconic moment in the movie is the scene in which Idgie transforms into a bee charmer. Masterson revealed that she performed this scene without a stunt double.

She wore a drop of queen bee pheromone, which attracted the bees to her, and then stuck her hand into a hive full of bees.

The set was relatively closed on this day, with only a few people present, including the director, the director of photography, a driver, and the “bee guy.”

“I was just supposed to walk over and get the honeycomb and bring it back to camera.

“We did what’s called a series where you don’t cut, you just keep rolling and you set back to 1 and you do it [again].

“So, I did that three times and by the third time, I was so covered in bees I couldn’t even see. It looked silly like you know the bearded lady with the bee beard.”

The director eventually yelled “cut,” and the bee expert wafted smoke over Masterson and told her to run away.

She changed her shirt and returned to film the scene three more times.

Masterson noted that this was the last major scene she shot for the entire movie, and joked that it wasn’t by accident — in case she died.

Masterson also reflected on the lasting legacy of “Fried Green Tomatoes,” saying that she is grateful to have been a part of such a beloved film.

The limited re-release in theaters is a great opportunity for fans to revisit the movie and for new audiences to discover it.

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