Jeremy Strong got into trouble for using a "fart machine" on the set of 'The Trial of the Chicago 7'.

Jeremy Strong

Jeremy Strong

The 41-year-old actor - who portrays political insurgent Jerry Rubin in director Aaron Sorkin's new Netflix film - wanted to mimic the dynamic between those in authority and the counter-culture figures on trial, so wasn't afraid to pull a few pranks in order to "f*** with people".

Jeremy concealed the device in the judge's dais in the courtroom set, and it particularly annoyed Frank Langella, who portrayed Judge Hoffman.

He said: "I wanted to have a whole bag of tricks — not in any way that was prescribed, but, you know, we’re in this courtroom for a long time...

"This, for me, was one of the ways I found to amuse myself — and to also get under the skin of Judge Hoffman who to Jerry and Abbie and Bobby and the rest of the men represented everything that was despicable and odious and bigoted and authoritarian in American government.

"So I planted a fart machine in the judge’s dais where he couldn’t find it. I would set it off sometimes before a close-up, and it would really p*** him off. His face turned red. Those are the takes we used in the film.

" It was great — there was real, palpable tension in the room when that happened."

While he admitted his antics got him a dressing down from the director, Jeremy felt he was just doing his job.

He told Vulture: " I got in trouble sometimes with Aaron and the producers, but I kind of felt like … if I’m Jerry Rubin, and I’m not in contempt of some court, then I’m not doing my job.

"Aaron is a very diplomatic person. Aaron needs to make sure that he gets what he wants. He’d give me a pretty wide berth to do, in Aaron’s mind, whatever the hell it is that I’m doing.

"Sometimes he would send the producer to give me a dressing down.

"But, listen, I loved everyone that I worked with and everything that I was doing. And everything we were doing was to serve the material and to bring it to life.

"Aaron has such a classical, precise structure. He’s so precise that, when you’re trying to inhabit someone who was messy and chaotic and anarchic, I think you have to find a way to bring some jazz or even some kind of punk rock to that strict classical structure and set it on fire a little bit. That was the healthy creative kind of tension on the set for me."


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