Movies

'Grand Budapest Hotel' actor suffers 42 slaps for his art

March 26, 2014 at 10:53 AM ET

Among the A-list names cast in "The Grand Budapest Hotel," there's a relative unknown: Tony Revolori, who plays the part of lobby boy Zero in the movie. His initiation into film acting was swift, and as it turns out, painful, he said. 

"They had talked about this scene with Ralph (Fiennes), Harvey (Keitel) and Wes (Anderson, director): 'Okay, you're going to slap Tony,' and I wasn't there," said Revolori, who with "Budapest" co-star F. Murray Abraham visited TODAY Wednesday. "I arrived to set, (Keitel) slapped me — and then, because Wes likes 47 takes, we rounded (out at) about 42. Forty-two takes, and he's an ex-Marine. There's no small takes. He went for it!"

But Revolori already knew what it was like to get injured in the line of duty: When he learned he'd won the part of Zero, he bumped his head. "I hit myself on the top of the car," he confessed. "I was sitting down very excited, not wearing a seat belt, which is very unsafe — you should always wear a seat belt ... and I was so happy I jumped up and hit my head really hard. But all the adrenaline just took the pain away ... until later on that night."

Clearly he recovered in time to play the role, which is a younger version of the part Abraham plays in the film, Mr. Moustafa. And as Abraham noted, there was a different kind of pain he experienced in playing that role. "I saw myself with a wig (in the movie)," he said. "I hadn't seen myself with hair in such a long time, I said, 'I miss my hair.'"

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" is playing now in select theaters.

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