There is a scene in the film city of god where the local drug dealers go mess around with some kids and all of them run away but they trapped 2 and he tells them where do you want to get shot?

And the kids puts their hand but he shoots them in the foot and the smallest one cries very very realistically its almost shocking

I've always wondered if it was actual acting or if they made him cry somehow. Is there any information about this?

  • @close-voters Keep in mind that not every question that contains the words "what do you think" is automatically "primarily opinion-based". But I fixed it for you.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Mar 11, 2015 at 8:33
  • 3
    Though, it might be a duplicate of this more general question: movies.stackexchange.com/q/993/49.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Mar 11, 2015 at 8:34
  • Nobody can know in that particular case unless they were there when the scene was filmed or read or saw an account of filming that scene. When I was a child I was annoyed to learn that some adults believed that some children could and would fake crying to get sympathy. To my naive self it seemed unbelievable that anyone would cry unless they were feeling very strong negative emotions. Many adult and child actors can turn tears on and off at will. Others struggle with it and need the right kind of assistance and sometimes get it. Jackie Cooper (1922-2011) in Please Don't Shoot My Dog (1982) t
    – MAGolding
    Jun 21, 2015 at 5:32

3 Answers 3


The name of the kid actor is Felipe Paulino. His acting coach is Fátima Toledo and the movie director is Fernando Meirelles. According with this inverview (it's in Brazilian Portuguese. The citation below is the English translation of its relevant excerpt):

"To Felipe Paulino, 22, it was a shot in the foot. (...) As he recalls, Fátima Toledo asked actor Leandro Firmino ("Lil Zé") to scare Felipe with a gun in a dark bedroom. She would've also told Felipe to think about his mother drowning to death.

Famous for her method of extracting visceral reactions from actors, the coach states that "nothing of this happened" and that Felipe might have "created a fantasy". She states that she showed Felipe a gun and asked him if he knew what it was, then he replied: "Yes, I know, and this one is a toy".

In order to make the scene look real, Fátima states that she asked Felipe to imagine a very strong pain, like a toothache, moving towards his foot.

"Maybe Felipe confused reality with fiction, because his performance was extraordinary", states Meirelles, the movie director. "As soon as the scene was cut, I was so impressed that I ran towards him and hugged him."


Every child is equipped with the ability to over-exaggerate. I, personally, was a champion at getting my brother in trouble for hitting me by making it seem like an ambulance ride was in order.

These children are actors. I'm fairly certain it didn't take much. Throw a rock at his foot (lightly) and tell him it's a bullet, and he'll compound that pain 100-fold in his mind. It's really not hard to do.


To prepare the child actor who's shot in the foot by Li'l Zé, acting coach Fátima Toledo told him to harness his greatest fear, which turned out to be a toothache. She told him to pretend his toothache moved to his foot.

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    Any source for backing this theory. May be link of blog or article where you found this interview. Or at least mention which interview , who confirmed this.
    – Panther
    May 11, 2017 at 7:05
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    She actually asked him to think of his mother's death. There is an article from Época, a brazilian magazine from 2002, where she explains.
    – LeonX
    Jul 3, 2017 at 18:22

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