Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

'Killer Joe' Star Gina Gershon Says NC-17 Ratings Seem "Random"; Talks Changes Made To 'Bound' To Secure R-Rating

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 15, 2012 at 2:45PM

Well, it's now official. After an appeal, the MPAA has weighed in and given William Friedkin's "Killer Joe" the dreaded NC-17 rating. And while this is unlikely to draw the celebrity and political support of the campaign Harvey Weinstein is putting behind the R-rated documentary "Bully," it's still a reminder of the MPAA's conservative viewpoint and the mysteriousness of the process by which they hand out ratings. And none of this is lost on "Killer Joe"'s star, Gina Gershon.
1
Killer Joe Emile Hirsch Matthew McConaughey Juno Temple Gina Gershon

Well, it's now official. After an appeal, the MPAA has weighed in and given William Friedkin's "Killer Joe" the dreaded NC-17 rating. And while this is unlikely to draw the celebrity and political support of the campaign Harvey Weinstein is putting behind the R-rated documentary "Bully," it's still a reminder of the MPAA's conservative viewpoint and the mysteriousness of the process by which they hand out ratings. And none of this is lost on "Killer Joe"'s star, Gina Gershon.

Playlister Cory Everett sat in with the actress and Emile Hirsch as they chatted with press at SXSW earlier this week, before the the MPAA made their decision on the appeal. And she was quite candid with her feelings on the ratings board. "The NC-17, it's so befuddling to me because there are so many movies that I've seen that are so uber-violent, you're 'If this is NC-17, why aren't those NC-17.' It feels so random to me," she said. "I dont' think it should be PG for sure, but it's a tricky thing. I just think parents should be able to decide what their kids are going to see, and it certainly isn't more violent than other movies that I've seen. I always wonder if [my character] were a guy, if it would've been an NC-17 -- like when he hits her, and there's that violence -- would it have been, 'Oh it's okay.' "

Citing "Saw," "Hostel" and "Casino" as films whose violence are far more explicit than anything in "Killer Joe," Gershon revealed that it's not the first time one of her films got under the skin of the MPAA. "[For] 'Bound' we had to change the love scene to make it an R. And the love scene that they didn't like was a really intense, beautiful love scene. And you didn't see any body parts, you didn't see anything, it was an intense [scene] between me and Jennifer [Tilly]. And they were like, 'Oh we can't have this.' And when we changed it to the other love scene, which was much more -- not violent, but it had a hardness to it -- they were like, 'Oh yeah this is fine.' I was like, 'I don't understand this,' " she said, adding, "[Paul] Verhoeven would tell a lot of stories about 'Basic Instinct,' how they kept saying, 'No no no' and one day they said 'Yes,' and he goes, 'I didn't change a thing.' "

Whatever the exact reasons for the rating, we'll never quite know. But "Killer Joe" is a pretty sizzling piece of work, so if it does manage to pop up at a screen near you, make the effort to go see it. But leave the kids at home, and you might not want to eat any fried chicken immediately before or after viewing...

This article is related to: Gina Gershon, Killer Joe, Emile Hirsch


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates