If anyone understands the implacable Lars von Trier, it would be Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard. Topped only by Udo Kier in terms of the number of collaborations with the filmmaker, Skarsgard's partnership with von Trier began back in 1994 with the television series"The Kingdom," which led to the feature run of "Breaking The Waves," "Dancer In The Dark," "Dogville" and "Melancholia." The Scandinavian pair's fruitful partnership may yield yet another picture, as Skarsgard has revealed that the controversial von Trier has offered him the lead for the upcoming, sure-to-be-headline-making soft-core film "Nymphomaniac."
"Lars called me and said, 'Stellan, my next film will be a porno film, and I want you to play the lead in it' (laughs). But then he said, 'You will not get to f--k,'" the actor told E! News.
At the ripe age of 60, Skarsgard seems to be as prolific as ever in Hollywood with recent and upcoming roles in Kenneth Branagh's "Thor," David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and Joss Whedon's "The Avengers." Details are scarce on his newest part, but as a male lead sans sex in what is being dubbed a porno, we're envisioning maybe a paternal role of some sort for the tale centered around “the erotic life of a woman from the age of zero to the age of 50." Early details also reveal that two versions of the film will be produced: one featuring explicit scenes of penetration, the other aimed at more squeamish, mainstream audiences. Both versions will be contained by von Trier's signature film structure, organized by chapters with titles such as "The Western and Eastern Church” and “The Little Organ School,” among others.
As evidenced by a recent interview with the director, von Trier is currently in research mode for the film and is enjoying the process immensely. "I am talking to all the girls from when I was young who were screwing around like hell," he told The Independent. "It's so much fun. They talk for three hours. Even if the film, for some reason, doesn't come to be, I am having a fantastic time researching. Maybe it's not a good sign but I am really excited by this project."
Despite what many may presume, the genesis of the film is not particularly depraved, rooted in a literary renaissance in von Trier's life from which two novels in particular are credited: Thomas Mann's "Buddenbrooks" and Marcel Proust's "In Search Of Lost Time."
"Basically, it's a film about sex and then there is a lot of talking, like in the books I am reading now," von Trier adds. "They talk and talk and talk, which I love. And there is a lot of philosophy. Hopefully, it will be a very messy film. That's what I am looking for, after reading these books. I'd like to make a film that has a lot of different diversions and strange ideas and little parts that have nothing to do with the storyline."
And, as if we needed any greater indication that this project will be another typical von Trier pot stirrer, the director admitted that he has "a problem with the sex that we all know is part of our lives before we are 18 years old. Let's see how I handle this. I don't intend to break any laws but it will be an interesting experience." Shooting gets underway next summer; god help us.