Record sex scenes in a movie or series It is not a task that any actor or actress is willing to take on.. Shooting on sets full of technical and artistic personnel watching, sharing intimate moments on stage with people you may not be comfortable with, or exposing your body to the millions of people who are going to see the audiovisual product, sometimes lead to clauses in the contracts that prevent the shooting of these sequences or the use of body doubles, as happened with Laura Dern at the beginning of his career.
When she was still taking her first steps in Hollywood, when she was that teenager who in the 80s began to stand out with films like soft words, Mask either blue velvetthe actress of Jurassic Park She acknowledged that she did not feel comfortable starring nudes on screen. Having started working at such a young age, having fellow actors Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd as parents, and knowing how cruel the world of cinema can be, it is an understandable decision, although experience, and especially working with Nicolas Cage in one of the most acclaimed classics of the early ’90s, would end up changing your mind.
I’m talking about the movie wild at hearta title released in 1990 where Dern once again collaborated with the director David Lynchthe person in charge of Twin Peaks either Mulholland Driveafter Blue Velvet. Her story followed a young woman named Lula, a tough yet vulnerable girl who hits the road with her lover, played by Nicolas Cage, while fleeing the iron grip of her mother. It was a title with high doses of unleashed passion where eroticism and the relationship between its two protagonists played an essential role, so it was difficult to shoot it without Dern willing to record nudes.
Fortunately, the proposal wild at heart, and the type of relationship that the story posed with the character of Cage, led the actress to change her mind about the sex scenes. Although yes, as she revealed in an interview in 1990 with Interview Magazine, I was only willing to cross this barrier if some requirements were metsuch as showing a mature relationship that will move away from the infantilization and superficiality with which he believes that sex is usually shown on the screen.
“From the beginning, Nicolas and I had long conversations about it. These are two people who get turned on because they love each other. There is never a moment when one tries to excite the other by making him jealous.”, the actress began explaining. “One of my favorite scenes is where she tells me about her first sexual experience. It’s great, because Lula, my character, gets turned on by it. When I tried to find out who Lula was for the first time, I looked at that scene.”
Reflecting on his experience with Cage, the interviewer qualified Dern’s words and stressed that sex in the movies was still far from normalizing, especially when it came to bringing it into dialogue and avoiding banal conversations. “Sometimes in a movie you see two women talking about sex, but You never see a man and a woman arguing about it like it’s not a totally traumatic, overwrought, manipulative activity.”, he asked the protagonist of wild at heart.
In this sense, the actress rescued the comments that came to her after the film’s premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Palme d’Or in 1990. Beyond the usual reviews of the impact of the film’s sequences, something normal in a cinema as surreal as that of David Lynch, the realism in the construction of the sexual moments and the honesty in the exploitation of the romance stood out, precisely the same sensations that he had when reading the script that They made her lose her fear of recording nudes on camera, feeling that she was recording something serious and not simply exposing her body for mere sexual morbidity.
“The actors are telling the truth on some level, and people have to believe it. In Cannes, a lot of people said, ‘Oh, shocking,’ but one Italian girl told me, ‘My God, I said that to my boyfriend the other night.’ That’s what Lula is talking about. That’s life: turning each other on, feeling good, feeling in love,” Dern continued.
“I had never done nudity in a movie. I’ve never put up with it myself, but David loved it, and I was completely comfortable with that because that love story was so protected. There is never a moment when you feel like something is exploding. I’m interested to see what the American critics are talking about compared to the Europeans, who didn’t really question it much,” he clarified.
Thus, wild at heart helped Dern to continue growing as an actress in Hollywood, to analyze the possibilities of each film project, to know when to break limits and to get rid of her fears, leaving for the memory one of the most mythical, wild and unleashed films of the 90s that to this day continues to be among the most vindicable titles of his filmography.
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Laura Dern and the classic with Nicolas Cage that changed her opinion about sex scenes