The 1995 film Showgirls, which oozed bare surfaces and ravenous sex scenes, has gone down in history as one of the most desecrated films of all time.
Directed by Paul Verhoeven, the erotic drama tells the story of a young stripper, Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley), who ends up as a dancer in Las Vegas.
In the city of sins, Nomi drifts on a hairline with other topless women dancing and ends up having sex with the club owner.
Showgirls got an unprecedented age limit of NC-17 in the United States, and is not filtering.
The film was an icy flop, although it starred in hugely popular TV stars Elizabeth Berkley and Kyle McLachlan.
Berkley’s role performance in particular was openly ridiculed, and the promising career of a young actor threw like a wall.
Now Elizabeth Berkley opens up about the film Showgirls and its devastating effects on her career in an interview with People magazine.
- The movie changed me.
I would now be a different person if I hadn’t gone through everything the film taught me, Berkley, 48, tells the magazine.
Elizabeth Berkley is especially remembered for her comedy series Saved by the Bell, aimed at younger audiences.
Thanks to the TV series, Berkley had a reputation as a favorite actor for the whole family in the early ’90s, so there was a stir among fans when it became clear that Berkley would be seen in the role of stripper.
Berkley tells People that he was 20 at the time and wanted to do something completely different than a family-oriented comedy.
So Berkley got excited when he was offered a lead role in Showgirls.
- I didn't want to shock.
That was not my intention.
The role felt unique, he says.
Elizabeth Berkley has recalled that she had been practically naked for a month in the filming. Photo: Globe Photos
However, the film did not receive the reception that Berkley had hoped for.
It quickly became apparent that almost everyone in the production was ready to wash their hands of the entire project.
- I was quite dizzy about how bad the film was, Kyle MacLachlan, who plays the male lead in the film, has recalled.
- The movie got worse scene by scene.
I thought this was crazy.
I distanced myself from the whole movie, he noted.
Known for the Twin Peaks series, Kyle MacLachlan has made numerous hit films in his career.
Showgirls are not among them.
“According to rumors, I would have left the cinema in the middle of the Showgirls performance.
That's not true.
Yes I suffered it for the whole two hours, MacLachlan has laughed. Photo: Isabelle Vautier
Berkley tells People that after the film’s premiere, he felt like he had been raised to the shame.
Berkley had instantly become the ugliest person in all of Hollywood.
- It was so cruel.
I was mocked and I didn’t understand why I was blamed.
My act as an actor was to bring the director’s vision to life.
I did as I was told, Berkley says.
The actor’s manager announced shortly after the premiere that he no longer wanted to work with Berkley.
- No one defended me.
I became a wreck.
Gina Gershon (left) and Elizabeth Berkley performed several undressed dance numbers at Showgirls.
Director Paul Verhoeven has admitted in interviews that Showgirls ruined Elizabeth Berley’s career.
According to the director, the film was supposed to be a satire but it failed in every way.
Nomi’s character remained one-dimensional, according to the director, and the film ultimately gave no explanation for the character’s confusing behavior.
- The film made my life difficult too, but not in the same way as Elizabeth.
Everyone in Hollywood turned their backs on him.
If you need to find the culprit, it's me, because I had an interesting role, Verhoeven said in 2015 in an interview.
25 years after its premiere, Showgirls enjoys cult popularity and even movie stars can reminisce about Showgirls with warmth.
- The time after the showgirls was hard for me.
I walked through the fire, but I survived it, Berkley tells People.
Since Showgirls, Berkley has been seen on numerous TV series, including L Code and CSI: Miami.
This fall, he will renew his role as Jesse in the new episodes of the Saved by the Bell series.Photo: Admedia