SUMMER FILE / PART 1 – A cult film retracing a destructive love between an art gallery employee and a dominating Wall Street executive, “9 ½ weeks” had a hectic production. A look back at Kim Basinger’s painful hearing, which she left in tears after feeling “humiliated”, swearing to her agent that she would not participate in Adrian Lyne’s feature film under any circumstances.
9 ½ weeks : seduction, passion and manipulation
After flash danceAdrian Lyne signed in 1986 another important movie of the 80s with 9 ½ weeks. Famous for his use of the title You Can Leave Your Hat On by Joe Cocker during the striptease scene, for his languorous sequences with polished aesthetics which remind us that the British director comes from advertising – in the same way as Ridley and Tony Scott, the feature film paves the way for many thrillers and erotic dramas.
A register in which the filmmaker excels, since he returns to it later with Fatal Link, Indecent Proposal or the recent deep waters. Films where the characters find themselves at the heart of sulphurous liaisons, passionate relationships that are often destructive and sometimes deadly. In 9 ½ weeksit is Elizabeth (Kim Basinger) who hastily embarked on one of these stories.
When she catches the eye of John (Mickey Rourke) in a New York grocery store, this art gallery employee immediately feels a certain attraction, intrigued by the mysterious attitude of this Wall Street executive. Shortly after, John invites Elizabeth to a restaurant and they can’t stop the attraction that draws them towards each other. The heroine then agrees to submit to the sexual demands of this enigmatic individual. But as she goes along, she finds it more and more difficult to bear her lover’s need for permanent dominationon which it becomes dependent.
Margaret Whitton, David Margulies and Christine Baranski complete the cast of this adaptation of the novel The foreign body by Elizabeth McNeill. A project that has many twists and turns, from auditions to post-production, some of which are difficult for Kim Basinger to live with.
A humiliating audition for Kim Basinger
When she tries her luck for the role of Elizabeth, the actress is not yet the star we know. She certainly played a James Bond girl opposite Sean Connery in the unofficial opus never ever againgiven the reply to Robert Redford in The best and to Natalie Wood in the series As long as there will be menbut for the moment she only has supporting roles.
For 9 ½ weeks, the actress competes with Kathleen Turner, Teri Garr and Isabella Rossellini. Kim Basinger must prove herself during a filmed audition with Mickey Rourke. A particularly trying experience, as reported by the New York Times in 1986. During these trials, she is supposed to “act like a prostitute” and crawling to pick up tickets. This is one of John’s many games and the actress takes it very badly. She leaves the audition furious, in tears and feels deeply “humiliated”later stating:
It was like an earthquake.
A turning point for the actress
The actress assures her agent thatshe never wants to hear about this feature film again, even if the director chooses it. On her return home, she discovers a bouquet of roses as an apology accompanied by a note from Adrian Lyne and Mickey Rourke.
The filmmaker then makes every effort to convince Kim Basinger to participate in the film and succeeds. The future interpreter of Elizabeth is aware that this role can mark a turning point in his career. This will indeed be the case, since she will then play in Batman, LA Confidential or 8 miles. She said at the time, quoted by the New York Times :
I knew that if I got out of it, it would make me stronger, wiser. (…) I felt disgust, humiliation, but when you get out of your comfort zone, you discover emotions that you didn’t know you had.
And Kim Basinger will actually go through many states when shooting. Discover the rest of the behind the scenes of 9 ½ weeks in our article of Wednesday August 10, 2022.
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9 ½ weeks: when Kim Basinger left her audition with Mickey Rourke in tears, “humiliated” – CinéSéries