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Charlotte Gainsbourg Says She Thought Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac' Was Just A Joke & Provocation At First

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 3, 2014 11:09 AM
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"My next film, and Kirsten [Dunst] demanded it, will be porn. That's how women are. Really hard core. That's what I'm writing now," Lars von Trier told a Cannes Film Festival press conference back in 2011. We all had a good laugh, but here we are three years later with the director's two part epic "Nymphomaniac" is already rolling out overseas and slated to open stateside this spring - and we weren't the only ones who thought Lars was just fucking with us.

Continuing the promotional train, Zentropa Productions has unveiled the first official interview, a 12-minute conversation with Charlotte Gainsbourg, who plays the lead character Joe in the sex flick. The actress reveals that she too thought Lars was just being Lars when he announced the project. "The first time I heard anything, was [Lars] talking in Cannes, and I thought he was making a joke. We were doing an interview with Kirsten Dunst for 'Melancholia,' and he said, 'My next film is a porn film with those two.' [Laughs] I thought he was making fun, and it was quite funny," she said. "And then much later on, I read the script."

"I just thought it was a joke, and that it was a provocation," Gainsbourg continued. "And I didn't want to hope too much that he was going to ask. The big thing for me was that I was realizing he was asking me to do a third film, and it was such a blessing, and that's the way I always thought about it. And I didn't want to think about it too much in case it wasn't true."

Well it turned about to be true, with much of the talk around the film centering on its explicit, hardcore sex, much of it performed by porno body doubles. For Gainsbourg, that was crucial.  "I was very, very nervous at first. I needed it to be very clear that actors were not going to perform sex. As long as that was clear, I was fine."

The end result? We'll soon find out. "Nymphomaniac: Part One" opens in theaters on March 21, 2014, and will be available On Demand starting March 6, 2014. "Nymphomaniac: Part Two" will open in theaters on April 18, 2014 and will be available On Demand as of April 3, 2014. Watch the full interview below.

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  • filter | January 5, 2014 9:23 PMReply

    "I needed it to be very clear that actors were not going to perform sex. As long as that was clear, I was fine." I'm glad that was made clear to her, because for most of us, the film was originally promoted as having the actors actually performing the sex. Who the hell wants to see Shia Lebeuf with a digitally added dick?

  • Cathy Arc | January 5, 2014 7:04 PMReply

    This is not "the end result", the end result will be when people see that the movie is a flop! The end result will be when all the participants of this "Christmas provocation" get their "come-back". When their benedictory God (or Antichrist?) and a military extremist Lars Von "Tripper" will be officially called "The Worst Contemporary Director".

  • Paul | January 4, 2014 4:03 PMReply

    No, Lars wasn't just joking he is an asshole, indeed! No shame, no brain, no talent, only provocation, scandal and fracas and brawl! But The Worst Contemporary Director must justify his title and people's hopes! The film is senseless, boring, vulgar and unattractive, to put it mildly. The biggest disillusionment of the year, and no wonder!

  • Xen | January 17, 2014 3:29 PM

    I'm afraid that you're a dirty big scumbag.

  • Alex | January 5, 2014 1:04 PM

    Wow! That's so true what you say! The worst film ever or the worst director of the all time!

  • Cathy | January 4, 2014 4:00 PMReply

    No matter do the movie actors perform real sex or the doubles do it, real sex on screen is a real screen sex! It's just a porno, no matter the plot. Next time another director will say "I wanna comedy with real sex or action, why not if it's possible with drama!" and then we see only porno everywhere. It's the road to hell!

  • Cathy Arc | January 5, 2014 7:15 PM

    Yes, you are right, and more over, I'm sure that Trier & co will get some horrible come-back soon for what they are doing! They will only get blame, scorn, damnation and darkness with that kind things! Popularity based on scandal, debauch and lechery never brings anything good, that's for sure! for the very authors and participants, in the first head. "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!" must always remember about that, specially being a public figure.

  • Paul | January 4, 2014 4:04 PM

    Agree 100%! Thanks for your great comment!

  • Guest | January 3, 2014 7:03 PMReply

    I'm surprised she's actually doing any promotion, given the dramatic death of her sister 3 weeks ago. She's not her direct self on this video.

  • El Hanso | January 7, 2014 11:46 AM

    What the hell is going on here? This is the most pointless and most impolite comment I've read in a long while. Think of Von Trier and his films what you like, but these kinds of brazen attacks against people you've never met are insane. This is really low. I just hope that 90% of the comments here come from the same stupid person.

  • Alex | January 5, 2014 1:03 PM

    Well, people who work with Trier do not care about such "unimportant" things like sister, brother, mother, father, husband or wife; are they dead or alive, who cares? when their "God" Lars von Trier (or better to say Antichrist Trier) called and blessed them! Per se, she is saying here: "I sold my soul to Devil (thanks to Antichrist Trier, he blessed me for that). May my sister go hell. All for the Palm in Cannes!" :)

  • Sven | January 3, 2014 3:47 PMReply

    It is a very good movie with a lot of sex scenes but nothing hardcore at all, it's all decent enough. So certain people better lower their expectations...

  • Alotta Vagina | January 3, 2014 5:55 PM

    Wait for the director's cut for the genital close ups.

  • jamie | January 3, 2014 1:28 PMReply

    That was my reaction when I first heard about Nymphomaniac. I remember him joking about it in the Cannes press con and it really cracked me up especially about the "We don't give a shit about the dialogue." I think he said that it would be 3 hours and look now, it's 5 hours.

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