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Official Synopsis For 'Nymphomaniac' Arrives, Charlotte Gainsbourg Says Porn Actor Doubles Will Be Used

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 8, 2012 at 5:11PM

Women have never had it easy in Lars Von Trier's films, which is maybe why he's had such a hard time keeping a consistent leading lady. And despite slicing off her clitoris in "Antichrist" and losing her shit as the world ends in "Melancholia," the director has found a muse of sorts in Charlotte Gainsbourg who signed on for the lead in December in his most provocative film yet, "Nymphomanic."
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Lars Von Trier Charlotte Gainsbourg

Women have never had it easy in Lars Von Trier's films, which is maybe why he's had such a hard time keeping a consistent leading lady. And despite slicing off her clitoris in "Antichrist" and losing her shit as the world ends in "Melancholia," the director has found a muse of sorts in Charlotte Gainsbourg who signed on for the lead in December in his most provocative film yet, "Nymphomanic."

What we've known so far about the film is that it will track the erotic life of woman through the age of fifty, feature Stellan Skarsgard's floppy penis and be pornographic in nature with both hardcore and softcore versions being made (more on that in a second). But it seems aside from the sexual angle to the film, Gainsbourg will once again be put through the wringer as in the official synopsis for the film dug up by Twitch and unveiled at the European Film Market -- she gets beaten into semi-consciousness:

NYMPHOMANIAC is the light and poetic story of a woman's erotic journey from birth to the age of 50 as told by the main character, the self-‐diagnosed nymphomaniac, Joe.

On a cold winter's evening Seligman, an old bachelor, finds Joe semi‐unconscious and beaten up in an alleyway. After bringing her to his flat he sees to her wounds while trying to understand how things could have gone so wrong for her. He listens intently as she over the next 8 chapters recounts the lushly branched-‐out and multi faceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents.

We presume that Skarsgard plays the man who brings Joe back to health, but it seems that whatever is in store for Gainsbourg is being kept from her for now. "I haven't read the script; I sort of had to commit to doing the film without reading it," she recently told the Guardian. However, there do seem to be some limits in place as the actress and musican says that XXX thespians will be used or at least be on hand in case she is asked to do something as outrageous as LVT's request during the shooting "Antichrist." Read on.

"I know he wants to use porn actors as doubles, like we did in 'Antichrist,' so they would do those shots but then we'd do the rest," she explained. "I don't know up to what point but I know I have limits. I had limits on 'Antichrist' – I remember, he asked me to jerk off the porn actor and that's when I said I couldn't. So we will see what my limit is for the next one."

That must have been an...interesting...on set conversation. But regardless of how many buttons LVT seems to be mashing at any moment, kudos to Gainsbourg in going right there to the edge with him. "Nymphomaniac" has already pre-sold a ton of territories with a summer shoot on the horizon. So we guess we'll see this one sometime next year, but certainly not at Cannes, where the director still remains persona non grata.

This article is related to: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Nymphomaniac


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