Pfeiffer as Elvira Hancock
|Created by||Oliver Stone|
|Portrayed by||Michelle Pfeiffer
|Spouse(s)||Frank Lopez (ex-boyfriend)
Tony Montana (Husband)
Elvira Hancock is a fictional character in the 1983 American mob film Scarface, portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer. This proved to be her breakthrough role. She is the mistress of Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia) and after his death, becomes the wife of Tony Montana (Al Pacino).
Before Pfeiffer was cast as Hancock, Rosanna Arquette, Melanie Griffith and Kim Basinger turned down the part whereas Geena Davis, Carrie Fisher and Sharon Stone did not get the part despite auditioning for it. Kelly McGillis and Sigourney Weaver were also considered. Initially, Pacino did not want Pfeiffer to play Hancock, instead he wanted Glenn Close to play the role. Pfeiffer's agent called the film's producer Martin Bregman and requested him to pay for her transportation from Los Angeles to New York City. Bregman refused and Pfeiffer reached the audition theater on the West Side of Manhattan by her own means. Bregman said in a later interview that, after the audition he was sure that she would get Hancock's part. Pfeiffer said that during the shoot she felt hungry.
Hancock is from Baltimore. She is the girlfriend of drug dealer Frank Lopez. Tony Montana has Lopez killed and marries Hancock. They do not share a good relationship. She and Montana do not have kids and the latter blames it on her heavy drug use. She in turn blames Montana's profession as a drug dealer as part of the reason the pair had no children. She left Montana after he berated her for not having kids and her heavy drug usage.
Reception and legacy
Critic Roger Ebert wrote, "that [Montana] must have [Hancock] is clear, but what he intends to do with her is not; there is no romance between them, no joy [...] she's along for the drugs". Vincent Canby felt that for her role, "[Pfeiffer] would not be easily forgotten". Susan C. Boyd labels her as "the token cultural symbol of Western male capitalist success".
In his review of Scarface for Texas Monthly, James Wolcott likens her to the "white-satin molls" portrayed by actress Jean Harlow. Pointing towards the lack of romance between Montana and Hancock, he notes that both are "travelling along parallel lines of toot". Sherrie A. Inness compares her to Poppy in the 1932 Scarface and points out that though Montana and Hancock get married, this "hardly uplifts her character". She terms her an "embittered drug addict with the self-esteem of an empty bullet casing" and a "complainer". Amy Adams played Hancock for Saturday Night Live in an episode aired December 20, 2014 and titled "A Very Cuban Christmas".
The character is noted particularly for her costumes, created by Patricia Norris. In 2006, Gwen Stefani adopted a look inspired by Hancock. AskMen has ranked her 3rd in its Top 10 Outlaw Girlfriends list.
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