Lars Von Trier’s NYMPHOMANIAC to Digitally Blend Actors and Body Doubles for Hardcore Sex Scenes

     May 21, 2013

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If you were hoping to see some of your favorite actors going at it for real in Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac, I have some disappointing news for you.  Producer Louise Vesth tells THR that the two-part feature will digitally blend the stars of the movie with their body doubles.  Everything above the waist will be the name actor, and then their body doubles will handle the hardcore sex below.  “We shot the actors pretending to have sex and then had the body doubles, who really did have sex, and in post we will digital-impose the two,” says Vesth.  The producer added that Von Trier is also “using double exposures and imposing words and symbols over the action as part of his storytelling.”

Hit the jump for more.  The film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Connie Nielsen, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe, Jean-Marc Barr, and Udo Kier.   Although some footage was shown to potential buyers at the Cannes, the completed film will bypass the major festivals in the fall, and premiere in Denmark.  Magnolia will distribute the movie in the U.S., but we don’t know if they’ll be distributing both the hardcore and the softcore versions.

nymphomanaic-cast-promo-photoThe revelation about the sex scenes isn’t too surprising, especially since the producers had previously mentioned that the sex scenes “will be performed with the help of body doubles and visual effects.”  Von Trier has also come close to this ground before.  In Antichrist, he opened the film with Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg’s characters having sex, but then cutting below the waste to see a hardcore depiction that was created using body doubles.  What’s happening in Nymphomaniac is simply the evolution of that and then stretched across the entire movie.  I also love that while other digital artists are trying to make superheroes and set pieces appear more realistic, Von Trier is walking into the room and saying, “I want audiences to really believe that they’re seeing Udo Kier’s junk.”  (Note: I don’t know if Udo Kier is involved in any of the sex scenes, but I just wanted to give you that visual.  You’re welcome.)

And if you think that the movie is just going to be about the visual gimmick, Vesth assure THR, “Lars has thrown everything in this one. It’s about religion, about God, about philosophy,” and she hopes that Von Trier will speak openly about the movie when it comes time to do press.  I hope he does as well.

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