Gina Gershon discusses Showgirls (Nov. 28, 2012) BigIssue
Gershon discusses the notorious Showgirls, the 'hypocritical' ratings system, and dark comedy-drama Killer Joe
Steven MacKenzie: Killer Joe became notorious for its adult content but you’ve been in a few grown-up movies before. Showgirls is still the highest grossing NC-17 [UK 18-rated] film of all time…
Gina Gershon: Is it? It might have been but, look, what’s NC-17 about that movie? You see harsher stuff on TV these days. They went after it because Paul Verhoeven had just made Basic Instinct.
It was ridiculous Showgirls was NC-17.
SM: You’re not a big fan of the rating system?
GG: Before Killer Joe I dealt with the ratings board twice and both times it was arbitrary and hypocritical – honestly,
I don’t get it.
SM: It seems films can be very violent, but when it comes to sex the ratings board gets prissy.
GG: Especially in the States. It’s about nudity. You see so much in a PG-13 [UK 12A] but if you see someone making love it’s NC-17. They tried to make Bound NC-17 until we changed the sex scene. The new one was much more violent but they said ‘That’s okay’ and made it an R [Restricted]. And the problem they had with the original?
It was a love scene between two women.
SM: Nevertheless, I can see why Killer Joe was classified NC-17. Parts of it are quite intense.
GG: Yeah, it’s violent. Should an 11-year-old see it? No. It’s not about age. You could be 30 and, if you want a romantic comedy, this is not your movie. I mean, it does have romantic scenes in it…
SM: It depends on your definition of romance.
GG: The scene between Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple, there’s something romantic for these two people.
SM: But he’s in his 40s and... how old is she supposed to be?
GG: I think she’s right on the border. Although in white-trash land 15 is 18; the rules are a little different.
SM: You don’t seem like you grew up in a trailer park. How did you get into the character?
GG: I’ve been around a lot of trailer parks. My ex was in a rock band and he toured through all those areas.
I kinda got into it.
SM: There was talk of you writing a musical based on Showgirls. What happened?
GG: I had a good idea for it and it would have been funny but I got involved with writing in other things, then I lost interest. I’ve been very discreet about that movie. I could write a whole book on Showgirls.
SM: I think you should.
GG: The reason I did Killer Joe was so people would stop talking about Showgirls!
SM: They never will, I’m sorry.