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- American actress, model
You might not believe it, but Showgirls is turning 20 this year. Director Paul Verhoeven’s flashy, trashy drama about an aspiring Vegas dancer (Elizabeth Berkley) on the hunt for gold lamé stardom, proudly wore its NC-17 rating when it was released back in September 1995. The movie was a box-office bust thanks to wretched reviews, but in the years since it’s become a cult classic for its volcanic dancing scenes, deeply weird Joe Eszterhaz-scripted dialogue, and All About Eve-in-pasties plot.
Entertainment Tonight dipped into their video vault for the clip above when they visited the Showgirls set back in 1995. Even in the brief interview, the dynamics are already clear. You have the too-cool-for-stripper-school Gina Gershon who’s playing the dance diva Cristal and is already in on the joke, smirking as she says, “First of all, I’m wearing a very nice anklet. I’m not completely naked. And also it’s Showgirls — they’re not going to be dancing around in their muumuus.”
Then you have the painfully earnest Elizabeth Berkley, on the verge of what could be major movie stardom (don’t laugh!) after her Saved By the Bell years. “My feeling is, people who have a problem with [sexuality] are living in shame,” she says. “All I know is that this will help people feel more free about themselves.” Whether or not the movie made audiences feel more free about their sexuality is perhaps up for debate. (The sex in Showgirls is kind of terrifying.) What isn’t at all debatable though is the endless of stream of camp the movie has provided through the years. Well, that and an invaluable alternate pronunciation of “Versace”.