With help from famed sex educator Susie Bright, the actresses and directors created a sex scene that scans as authentic, riveting, and, of course, hot. Jennifer Tilly tells us how it all came to be. Actors are always saying, "Oh, sex scenes are so technical. Everyone's standing around and watching.
There's a reason why people are always having affairs with their leading men. With Gina it was really relaxing, because you could say things to her that you wouldn't say to other people. Like, "Can you put your hand on my thigh here so my butt doesn't look so big? Can you hold my breast up so it looks more plump and juicy? Between takes, I would say, "Gina, there's a shoe sale at Barneys.
If we finish early, we should go over to Barneys and shop for shoes! Violet and Corky have chemistry. They have it in buckets. We were a little bit worried because Dino De Laurentiis — bless him — was a producer, and we were worried that after we finished shooting the scene, they would send it off to Italy and insert some breasts and buttocks shots. The Wachowskis said that was a concern of theirs, too, so they decided to shoot that love scene in one long, continuous shot.
They said, "That way he can't cut into it without it looking really obvious and intrusive. But there were monitors in the hallway, and everybody was clustered around the monitors watching. So the Wachowskis put the camera on a crane, and there were all these elements that they wanted to capture. They wanted to start out on a safe and get the side of my back, and they wanted to pan down to the toes, and they would be yelling through a megaphone, telling us what different parts were onscreen.
They would yell, "Toes! Then they would say, "Hand! And then they would say, "Face! They took the film to the ratings board and they instantly got a NC The Wachowskis said, "It's homophobia! If they weren't such good actors, you would let it go through? We ended up having to sub in a different take, I think it was take seven, where the camera accidentally dipped and missed my hand. The take that we ended up using, it was before we got all the kinks out.
They had the door to the bathroom open wider, so it was brighter in the room, where the take we wanted to use had a lot of shadows. The makeup person had sprayed us with sweat, so it looked like we were really going at it. It was sort of more graphic. And Gina didn't like this other take. She said, "I was overacting with my feet!
My breasts are really big, so it was a little more pornographic than Gina's fashion-plate breasts. In the perfect take, I was raised up on one hand, kind of watching her, and I'm not sure you could see either of my bosoms — maybe a little sideboob. And in this take I was down on her, so my breasts were touching her breasts. I felt like it was ten times more graphic than the take that we wanted to use, but apparently, because you miss the hand, it was like, you missed the hand but you gained a breast.
But because you miss the hand, the MPAA said it was all right. I think Susie Bright was consulting with the Wachowskis, and they were asking her what it was like in the lesbian world. The way the sex scene was done had a lot to do with Susie. All of us on the movie were concerned with authenticity. So when Gina goes into the lesbian bar, it's not a bunch of soap-opera actresses. It's not a bunch of pretty actresses in hot dresses.
It's a real lesbian bar, with real people. Even the smallest part, everybody in that was a real person who really hung out in the bar. It wasn't a male fantasy of what a lesbian looks like. That was Susie's contribution, too. For the sex scene, she said, "Women have a sex organ. It's called a hand! The way it was set up was Susie's input.
And because of that, the lesbian community embraced the film, because it had a real veracity to it. There was a real attention to detail in this film that added a deepness to it. It's not two actresses trying to kiss each other in a pretty way — even if I did ask her to prop up my breast!