Bones and All: How Michael Stuhlbarg Prepared for his Role in Second Teaming with Director Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name)

Director Says ‘Bones and All’ Star Michael Stuhlbarg Asked Many Questions in Prep to Play a Cannibal

Bones and All hits theaters today, November 18.

At a recent screening, the Italian director shared that frequent collaborator Stuhlbarg sent more than 100 queries to him and screenwriter David Kajganich: “They were all incredibly inspiring questions.”

Like Call Me by Your Name, the annibalism-themed love story, Bones and All, casts him opposite Timothée Chalamet.

Stuhlbarg had lots of questions to get prepared.

“Michael sent me and screenwriter David Kajganich probably more than a hundred questions in preparation for the character,” Guadagnino said at the TCL Chinese Theater during the AFI Fest premiere.

The queries make more sense after seeing Stuhlbarg’s turn in the MGM/UA release as a mullet-sporting “eater” in a particularly creepy scene set around a campfire.
“They were all inspiring questions,” Guadagnino said. He must’ve put the answers to good use because even his co-star Mark Rylance was convinced: “That’s a wonderful, powerful scene, isn’t it?” he said.
Director Luca Guadagnino on the set of BONES AND ALL
Director Luca Guadagnino on the set of Bones and All. COURTESY OF YANNIS DRAKOULIDIS / METRO GOLDWYN MAYER PICTURES

Sharing a scene with Chalamet was a powerful experience for Stuhlbarg. “I love the way he thinks. I love to see him think, I love to see him invent. I love the playfulness he has, his availability and his heart,” said Stuhlbarg.

The actor also teamed with Guadagnino as the narrator of his 2020 documentary, Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams.

“He’s just so effusive and fun. We had such a good time together on Bones and All, and the little time we had — it was only a couple of hours where we could have a conversation other than do the work itself — we got to take a drive from point A to point B together.

We were able to catch up a little bit about our lives since Call Me by Your Name, and that was delightful. I’d love nothing more than to get a chance to play together again.”

He said of Guadagnino. “I hope we get to work together several times, if I’m lucky enough to do that. I love his imagination. I love his inspiration. As we get older, you sort of think, ‘How do I want to spend my time?’ What do I want to make? What are the stories we want to tell? And who do we want to tell them with? If Luca wants me to be there with him on any of those, I’ll be there.”

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Luca Guadagnino, Taylor Russell, Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg and writer David Kajganich catch up on the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of Luca Guadagnino's Bones and All at AFI Fest on Nov. 5, 2022
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Luca Guadagnino, Taylor Russell, Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg and writer David Kajganich catch up on the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All at AFI Fest on Nov. 5, 2022 COURTESY OF ERIC CHARBONNEAU
(L to R) Taylor Russell as Maren and Mark Rylance as Sully in BONES AND ALL, directed by Luca Guadagnino
Taylor Russell as Maren and Mark Rylance as Sully in Bones and All. COURTESY OF YANNIS DRAKOULIDIS / METRO GOLDWYN MAYER PICTURES
BONES AND ALL
Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet in a scene from Bones and All. COURTESY OF VENICE FILM FESTIVAL/YANNIS DRAKOULIDIS/METRO GOLDWYN MAYER PICTURES