How to explicitly invoke default method from a dynamic Proxy?

Since Java 8 interfaces could have default methods. I know how to invoke the method explicitly from the implementing method, i.e. (see Explicitly calling a default method in Java)

But how do I explicitly invoke the default method using reflection for example on a proxy?


interface ExampleMixin {

  String getText();

  default void printInfo(){

class Example {

  public static void main(String... args) throws Exception {

    Object target = new Object();

    Map<String, BiFunction<Object, Object[], Object>> behavior = new HashMap<>();

    ExampleMixin dynamic =
            (ExampleMixin) Proxy.newProxyInstance(Thread.currentThread().getContextClassLoader(),new Class[]{ExampleMixin.class}, (Object proxy, Method method, Object[] arguments) -> {

                //custom mixin behavior
                if(behavior.containsKey(method.getName())) {
                    return behavior.get(method.getName()).apply(target, arguments);
                //default mixin behavior
                } else if (method.isDefault()) {
                    //this block throws java.lang.IllegalAccessException: no private access for invokespecial
                    return MethodHandles.lookup()
                                        .unreflectSpecial(method, method.getDeclaringClass())
                //no mixin behavior
                } else if (ExampleMixin.class == method.getDeclaringClass()) {
                    throw new UnsupportedOperationException(method.getName() + " is not supported");
                //base class behavior
                } else{
                    return method.invoke(target, arguments);

    //define behavior for abstract method getText()
    behavior.put("getText", (o, a) -> o.toString() + " myText");


    //print info should by default implementation

Edit: I know a similar question has been asked in How do I invoke Java 8 default methods refletively, but this has not solved my problem for two reasons:

  • the problem described in that question aimed on how to invoked it via reflection in general – so no distinction between default and overriden method was made – and this is simple, you only need an instance.
  • one of the answers – using method handles – does only work with nasty hack (imho) like changing access modifiers to fields of the lookup class, which is the same category of “solutions” like this: Change private static final field using Java reflection: it’s good to know it’s possible, but I wouldn’t use it in production – I’m looking for an “official” way to do it.

The IllegalAccessException is thrown in unreflectSpecial

Caused by: java.lang.IllegalAccessException: no private access for invokespecial: interface example.ExampleMixin, from example.ExampleMixin/package
at java.lang.invoke.MemberName.makeAccessException(
at java.lang.invoke.MethodHandles$Lookup.checkSpecialCaller(
at java.lang.invoke.MethodHandles$Lookup.unreflectSpecial(
at example.Example.lambda$main$0(
at example.Example$$Lambda$1/1342443276.invoke(Unknown Source)


If you use a concrete impl class as lookupClass and caller for the invokeSpecial it should correctly invoke the default implementation of the interface (no hack for private access needed):

Example target = new Example();

Class targetClass = target.getClass();
return MethodHandles.lookup()
                    .unreflectSpecial(method, targetClass)

This of course only works if you have a reference to a concrete object implementing the interface.

Edit: this solution will only work if the class in question (Example in the code above), is private accessible from the caller code, e.g. an anonymous inner class.

The current implementation of the MethodHandles/Lookup class will not allow to call invokeSpecial on any class that is not private accessible from the current caller class. There are various work-arounds available, but all of them require the use of reflection to make constructors/methods accessible, which will probably fail in case a SecurityManager is installed.

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