The science-fiction film "Splice" throws some seriously tough scenes at viewers. But star Adrien Brody says the intense subject matter only makes the need to laugh on the set more important.
And Brody is a veteran of tough scenes, earning an Oscar as a Polish-Jewish musician struggling to survive the destruction of a Warsaw ghetto in Roman Polanski's haunting film "The Pianist."
"Roman (Polanski) and I were not laughing every day on 'The Pianist' but there were a lot of times where the level of sadness was so profound you needed some levity," says Brody.
He recalls a scene where they were shooting in an abandoned barrack outside of Berlin for the 2002 film.
"Roman's stuffing me in the corner of the attic, throwing a burnt wool blanket on me with dust. I'm like allergic and he's putting dust on my head," says Brody. "And we were laughing. We were laughing at the absurdity of it."
"And then you let go of that and you get back to the responsibility."
While a very different subject matter in "Splice," Brody recalls one scene in particular that needed a little laughter (SPOILER ALERT).
That's the scene where he has sex with his grown daughter-figure/mutant creation and his fellow-scientist/girlfriend, Sarah Polley walks in on the sex scene.
"It was he absurdity of what we were engaging in," says Brody. "And Sarah gets in the picture and I keep running after her saying, 'Baby wait!' "
"It's freezing by the way. I'm running out there half-naked. And (the director) is like, that's so great, but don't say, 'Baby.' He didn't like it."
"That's funny. And when you're really cold you laugh more."
In the end, levity is essential even when you're breaking major social taboos on screen. "If there's no laughter on the set you're in trouble," says Brody.