Anatomy of a Scene: Stone’s Condition

The Night Of — Episode 8, Scenes 65–67

Following each episode of The Night Of co-writer/director Steven Zaillian breaks down elements of a key scene.

Steven Zaillian: Finally, all the prior scenes dealing with Stone’s eczema, which heretofore have informed his character, are about to collide with the plot.

We have seen him at his local pharmacy, buying OTC creams and prescription corticosteroids, and what those drugs do to him — in his apartment, slathering his feet with Crisco, wrapping them in cellophane — in doctors’ offices, beseeching them for some kind of relief, or at least some hope. We’ve seen him in his sandals on many occasions, and once regarding with longing a pair of dress shoes in a shop window that he can’t wear.

John Turturro took this aspect of his character and his struggle to deal with the skin condition — which affects about 10% of adults in the US — very seriously.

He spoke to people who suffer from it, to doctors who treat it. I won’t go so far as to say he enjoyed the almost daily two-hour makeup process to apply the lesions to his feet and elsewhere, but he also never complained about it. I think, perhaps, this was a necessary component of his process to further get inside the character of Stone.

There were various stages of the eczema over the course of the story, carefully charted by Head Makeup Artist Stephen Kelley, so on any given day on a schedule that wasn’t always chronological, he would know exactly the extent of the redness and sores he needed to apply.

From creators Steven Zaillian and Richard Price, ‘The Night Of’ is an eight-part limited series that delves into the intricate story of a fictitious murder case in New York City.

New episodes of The Night Of air Sundays at 9 PM on HBO and are available on HBO GO and HBO NOW.