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‘Showgirls’ Behind The Scenes: Paul Verhoeven On Why He Created An Erotic Cult Classic

From the IndieWire Vault: The director portrays things as they are, not as others want them to be.


United Artists

Back in 1995 when the Paul Verhoeven-directed film “Showgirls” was released, it didn’t fare well with audiences and critics. The overly-sexualized film starring Elizabeth Berkley was supposed to be the most iconic NC-17 movie of all time and ended up being a major flop. The actress was even distraught after the initial reaction to the film, adding that she quit dancing for a while because of it.

Twenty-one years later, “Showgirls” is now a cult classic with fans, and even Berkley, embracing the sensual drama.

READ MORE: Elizabeth Berkley Finally Owns ‘Showgirls’ With Fabulous Intro at Cinespia (Video)

In this behind the scenes video, the “Saved by the Bell” star and director give viewers a taste of the dance rehearsals. “I didn’t know anything about Vegas, I thought it was feathers and stuff,” explains Verhoeven. “But when I heard dancing and showgirls, I thought it would be fun to work with these women and this dance atmosphere.”

READ MORE: How Paul Verhoeven Survived ‘Showgirls’ and Turned His Back on Hollywood

The clip also invites viewers to the music mixing session and features the Dutch filmmaker talking about the risks he took for the project.

“In American movies, of course there’s always a lot of portrayal as people want it and would like it, or are afraid to show it in a different way,” he expressed. “And I like to show it as it is. But that’s kind of rebellious, it’s a pleasure, its fun.”

Flashback to 1995 in the video below:

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