Chalk it up to years of physical romance consistently interrupted by Autobot vs. Decepticon warring, but Shia LaBeouf is antsy to make sweet, sweet love on the big screen.
During rounds for his new movie Lawless, the actor has been vocal on his readiness to engage in actual sex for his upcoming collaboration with provocateur Lars von Trier: the two-picture lovefest Nymphomaniac. Costarring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgard, the films follow Joe (Gainsbourg), a nymphomaniac, as she recounts her lengthy sexual history to an old man who takes the beaten down woman into his home. One assumes that at some point in her sexual journey, LaBeouf pops by to work his magic.
Today, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, The Adventures of TinTin) and Danish actress Connie Nielsen (Boss) have also joined the cast. As LaBeouf has confirmed in multiple interviews, Nymphomaniac, which begins production this month, won't feature simulated sex. Mr. Von Trier wants reality, and has found a cast that's ready to go there.
The depiction of graphic sex acts in film has been rare, but Nymphomaniac isn't the first instance — even in Hollywood. Take a look back at our gallery of the few instances where actors got their freak on in the name of art:
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UNSIMULATED SEX IN THE MOVIES
This week, Jamie Bell of "Billy Eilliot" and "Tintin" fame has signed on to costar in director Lars von Trier's latest drama, "Nympomaniac," a two-part sex drama touting the use of unsimulated acts in its drama. Von Trier is back to his provocateur tricks, stirring up Hollywood with his rebellious nature and luring in big name talent with the steamy prospects
The Idiots (1998)/Antichrist (2009)
If you think "Nymphomaniac" is Lars von Trier's first foray into the world of unsimulated on-screen sex acts, think again. The Danish director first obliterated cinematic taboos with his 1998 romantic drama "The Idiots," which features a group of self-proclaimed provocateurs pretending to be disabled and engaging in an actual orgy. In "Antichrist," von Trier recruited well-known thespians Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg to play a couple tormented by the death of their child who engage each other in a horror-filled string of sex acts. The latter utilized doubles for the actual shots of penetration, but Gainsbourg obviously felt stiffed by the practice — she's set to do her own "stunts" for "Nymphomaniac." [Photo Credit: IFC Films]
John Cameron Mitchell's frank look at the sex scene of New York City, aimed to portray life's many intimate acts in all of their confusing glory. Passionate, awkward, and everything in-between, Mitchell rounded up willing participants — most of them non-actors — to embark on their own journey of sexual experimentation. Even in the new millennium, there was nothing quite like it in the United States. [Photo Credit: THINKFilm]
Brown Bunny (2004)
"The worst film in the history of the festival," proclaimed Roger Ebert after taking in Vincent Gallo's road trip film, which earned a heap of buzz for its graphic depiction of actress Chloë Sevigny performing oral sex on the actor/director. Ebert's complaints focused primarily on the movie's aimlessness, but focus was squarely on the real life
Director William Friedkin was forced by the studios to strip 40 minutes out of his crime thriller, which took Al Pacino's detective character into the world of gay S&M clubs. The problem? The graphic moments featured in the clubs were real. In an interview with HollywoodInterview, Friedkin describes the issue: "The sexuality was actual. It was not simulated … I knew one of the guys who ran everything from 42nd street to the lower west side. So I went to him, and he referred me to the guys who were running them. I met the managers, the bartenders, and a great many people who frequented the bars. I went back a number of times. They knew I was doing research for the film, and they’re the ones you see in those scenes. There are no screen extras guild members. These guys were paid as extras, but they were just there, doing their thing." [Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Home Video]
Gore Vidal attempted to bring the life of Caligula to screen in the '70s and, while "Caligula" was eventually realized, it wasn't exactly what Vidal had in mind. When money became an issue for the director's production, Vidal turned to "Penthouse" magazine founder Bob Guccione, who insisted the film feature over-the-top, hardcore sex scenes. Pornographic scenes were shot for the movie, and a handful of cuts have been produced over the years, all integrating various amounts of the footage. Even in its patchwork state, "Caligula" continues to stand as Hollywood's "most epic porn." [Photo Credit: Analysis Film]
in mind. When money became an issue for the director's production, Vidal turned to "Penthouse" magazine founder Bob Guccione, who insisted the film feature over-the-top, hardcore sex scenes. Pornographic scenes were shot for the movie, and a handful of cuts have been produced over the years, all integrating various amounts of the footage. Even in its patchwork state, "Caligula" continues to stand as Hollywood's "most epic porn." [Photo Credit:
The Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Marlon Brando's sex-filled romantic drama may not have taken its sex acts to the degree of Lars von Trier, but cast members agree that its most sensual went beyond recreation. Recalling her work on director Bernardo Bertolucci's movie, actress Maria Schneider told The Daily Mail that the film's infamous butter scene, in which Brando applies the dairy product to the actress' unmentionables, struck her as too far. "That scene wasn't in the original script. The truth is it was Marlon who came up with the idea… I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn't console me or apologize.
Pink Flamingos (1972)
John Waters, the man behind "Hairspray" and "Cry Baby," started his filmmaking career chronicling the fringes of Americana in a way that's unparalleled, even today. His 1972 film "Pink Flamingos" unearths it all: murderous transvestites, S&M dungeons, black market baby rings, the consumption of dog poop — but even more jaw-dropping is its depiction of sex. Two instances come to mind: a scene in which drag queen leading lady Divine performs oral sex on her son Crackers, and a scene in which Crackers and a female date have sex while crushing a live chicken between them. Why didn't they this movie into Broadway musical? [Photo Credit: Criterion Collection]