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Berlin: Highlights From The 'Nymphomaniac' Press Conference That Didn't Involve Lars Von Trier or Shia LaBeouf

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire February 9, 2014 at 11:44AM

Though clearly the two things everybody was talking about regarding the "Nymphomaniac" press conference in Berlin today was Lars Von Trier t-shirt and Shia LaBeouf's abrupt exit. Which, given that Von Trier didn't talk on the panel (keeping with his statement that he's no longer doing press), left Von Trier's remaining cast (Uma Thurman, Stacy Martin, Stellan Skarsgård and Christian Slater all attended -- and stuck around) his producer (Louise Vesth) to fend for themselves on stage. Though none of them offered weird quotes or clever t-shirts, they did have quite a few things to say about "Nymphomaniac."
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Shia LeBeouf with Stacy Martin before he departed the "Nymphomaniac" press conference.
Shia LeBeouf with Stacy Martin before he departed the "Nymphomaniac" press conference.

Though clearly the two things everybody was talking about regarding the "Nymphomaniac" press conference in Berlin today was Lars Von Trier t-shirt and Shia LaBeouf's abrupt exit.  Which, given that Von Trier didn't talk on the panel (keeping with his statement that he's no longer doing press), left Von Trier's remaining cast (Uma Thurman, Stacy Martin, Stellan Skarsgård and Christian Slater all attended -- and stuck around) his producer (Louise Vesth) to fend for themselves on stage. Though none of them offered weird quotes or clever t-shirts, they did have quite a few things to say about "Nymphomaniac":

Louise Vesth on the differences between the two versions of the film: "For me, the [extended version] goes deeper into the discussion that Lars has taken in this film. It has a slower pace. If you've seen both, you'll see the sexual content is more explicit in the long version. But it's not like it's another story. All the material Lars wanted to use is in the long version. And therefore you will have a deeper feeling of the topics discussed in the film."

Uma Thurman on the way Lars works: "It's unbelievably refreshing and lively and exciting to almost get to act in a way like theater, or for the first time on film. Because you never get that kind of space. The whole thing was 25 minute takes, all day long. It was quite muscular to do. It was great."

Stellan Skarsgård.
Stellan Skarsgård.

Stacy Martin on her sex scenes with Shia LaBeouf: "The sex scenes for me were just part of the film. I trust Lars, and I trusted that. So immediately it makes the job much easier. I talked to Shia a bit before. It wasn't we'd never met and then just got naked.  There was a lot of discussion and preparation so at the end of the day you just want to start filming. There was so much worry and talk around it that you're just kind of sick of talking about it. You just want to do the scene."

Stellan Skarsgård on how Lars gets you out of your comfort zone: "Usually when you mention the 'staying in the comfort zone' it means that you're lazy as an actor. You're not taking any risks. But the thing with Lars is that he makes you feel really comfortable. You're safe with him, which makes it possible to take risks."

Louise Vesth basically confirming the second volume's extended cut is heading to Cannes: "We're showing the first part here in the Berlinale, and we haven't announced yet where we will show part two. So you will have to wait and see." The journalist then said flat out "so it will be in Cannes," to which she replied, laughing: "We don't say that. But I guess you all saw the t-shirt, so..."

Stacy Martin on the importance of Lars Von Trier: "He creates conversation and he creates debate around things we might not feel particularly comfortable talking about. But it's important. Our sexuality is who we are so why deny it? And it's just Lars! You have watch his films."

Louise Vesth on whether Lars really gets to make whatever films he likes: "He has done what we wanted to until now, so let's hope that it will continue. Of course, this with the sexual topics made it a little difficult because of public rules. Sex is more difficult than violence. I don't know why, but that's how it is. But we have until now been able to do the films that he wants to, and thank god for that.

This article is related to: Berlin International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Nymphomaniac: Volume I, Lars von Trier






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