‘Nightmare Alley’ Star Says Guillermo del Toro Brought A Real Magician To The Set To Help Teach The Casting Illusions

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  • Alley of nightmares“Star David Strathairn said there was a magician on set to help with the illusions.
  • According to Strathairn, the magician would help the cast with a “sleight of hand” and card tricks.

Guillermo del Toro’s new film “Nightmare Alley” transports viewers into the rowdy and rowdy world of traveling carnivals from the start.

At the center of the story is Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper), a con artist with a mysterious past. After meeting Zeena (Toni Collette) and her alcoholic and mentalist husband Pete (David Strathairn), Stan becomes intoxicated with the power that tricks and delusions of the mind can bring.

At a recent press conference for the film, Strathairn revealed that del Toro went the extra mile to make sure the cast for the carnival part of the film had everything they needed for their performances.

“We had a magician on set helping us out when we had sleight of hand, card trick stuff,” Strathairn said, although his own character “never used those kinds of illusions” .

Bradley Cooper as Stanton Carlisle in Guillermo del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley”.Kerry Hayes / 20th Century Studios

“Guillermo offered everything you could possibly need,” the “Nomadland” actor continued. “The encyclopedia, the reference material that he obviously brings to each of his films – it was like the library of Alexandria when it comes to mentalism, carnies and carnivals and all that.”

Strathairn said the cast were “very privileged” to have access to del Toro’s wealth of resources.

“It was really precious,” he told reporters.

Del Toro appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday night and shared some of his encyclopedic knowledge of carnivals – including the difference between marinated side attractions – with the host, then quizzed Kimmel on the slang of the years. 1940.

The “Shape of Water” director revealed that he even brought home the monstrous three-eyed pickled baby (nicknamed “Enoch” in the movie) from the set.

“I just couldn’t resist the little guy,” del Toro joked to Kimmel.

“Nightmare Alley” stars Cooper, Strathairn and Collette, as well as Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe and Richard Jenkins. The movie hits theaters on December 17th, and you can watch the trailer below.


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