Paul Freeman appears to eat a fly in the middle of his lines during a critical moment in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark — and the moment is still one of the most widely-discussed Indiana Jones trivia points. Adapting to the situation as the cameras were rolling, Freeman was able to remain in character during an unexpected moment that would’ve broken the focus in most seasoned actors (if the Indiana Jones fly existed, that is). In an attempt to remain committed to the scene, Freeman appears to have allowed a fly to crawl into his mouth on-camera, without reacting, just so he could deliver his lines properly. Or did he?
At approximately 1:42:25 into the Steven Spielberg classic, Indy confronts René Belloq (Freeman) and his Nazi counterparts from atop a canyon, threatening to destroy the coveted Ark in the Indiana Jones movie (with a rocket launcher) from his vantage point. This is a crucial moment within the story as Dr. Jones for once has a slight advantage over his adversary Belloq. The sinister antagonist almost immediately refutes Indy’s threats, and rather than being intimidated, commends Dr. Jones on his persistence — it is at this very moment that an insect decided to make a brief cameo, but did Paul Freeman actually eat a fly?
Paul Freeman Did Not Eat A Fly In Indiana Jones
Paul Freeman didn’t eat a fly in Indiana Jones. His character Bellog, however, did. While Freeman was speaking, a fly landed just above his brow, before quickly maneuvering down onto his cheek — and into his mouth. Or so it appears. This moment added another layer to Belloq’s menacing demeanor, as Freeman didn’t flinch or break focus. Ending the take with a vexed expression, eyes locked on Indy, Freeman couldn’t have played this moment better. However, according to Freeman, the take was carefully edited in post-production to accommodate the fly (via The Indy Experience). It was done by removing a couple of frames consisting of the bug taking flight, which made it appear to wander into his mouth instead.
The Indiana Jones Fly Is The Question Fans Ask Paul Freeman The Most
While Paul Freeman loved shooting the Indiana Jones movie, Since the film’s 1981 release, Freeman has noted the most commonly asked question by fans is whether he actually ate the fly or not (via YouTube). He’s attempted to clear up the debate, telling fans the story of how much fun the post-production crew on Indiana Jones had removing a few frames from the reel, making the insect appear to be crawling in his mouth. He has also noted how the sound team added a subtle buzzing to give the fly a greater on-screen presence, clearly in jest.
Simon Pegg, who previously worked with Freeman, confirmed Freeman’s account on Twitter, saying: “For the record, he never ate the fly. It took off faster than the frame rate of the camera and thus appears to go into his mouth.” Either way, Freeman remained in character as the fly almost flew into his eye, and his unwavering focus allowed the insect to almost crawl into his mouth – all for the sake of getting a good take. Considering how popular Indiana Jones is, it’s unlikely fans will stop asking Freeman this question, despite him answering it multiple times.
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