If you haven’t heard of “deepfake” videos yet, congratulations: You have so far been spared the horror and dread they bring. Steve Buscemi, unfortunately, has not only heard of them but been the subject of one. There is a viral video spreading of his head over Jennifer Lawrence’s body, delivering her words in her own voice, and somehow it’s frighteningly more realistic than it sounds.
When Buscemi stopped by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to promote his new show on TBS, Miracle Workers, in which he plays God, he was asked about it—and his reaction was priceless. “Have you heard of something called deepfakes?” Colbert asks, to which Buscemi replies, “Somebody told me about this; sounds disturbing.”
Colbert then explains exactly what a “deepfake” is, saying, “Deepfakes is when they take a video of someone speaking and then they digitally replace that person’s face with someone else’s face…so it looks like someone else is talking. It’s a marriage of their faces. It’s quite disturbing, actually, but also wonderful in its frightening way. Someone replaced Jennifer Lawrence with your face after an awards ceremony, and this is her answering questions as you.”
Cut to the viral video of Lawrence being asked about her favorite Real Housewife (Lisa Vanderpump)—a moment that actually took place, in 2016, after Lawrence took home the Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy, for Joy—while Buscemi’s face is attached to her head. The Late Show camera then pans to Buscemi, and his facial expression is quizzical. He doesn’t even react verbally until a moment goes by and he says, with a shrug, “I’ve never looked better.”
“Does that amuse you or frighten you?” Colbert asks.
”It makes me sad that someone spent that much time on that because I’ll bet that was hard to do,” Buscemi replies.
It should also make Buscemi and everyone else sad because there is concern about how deepfake technology will be used with the upcoming 2020 presidential election looming. According to CNN, deepfakes “could be the next stage of information warfare,” and the Department of Defense is currently delving into them. So laugh now, while you still can.