FILM 1669: ELLE
TRIVIA: The initial plan was to produce the movie in the United States, but there were problems finding a female lead. Nicole Kidman, Sharon Stone, Julianne Moore and Diane Lane were offered the role, but they all passed on the opportunity. Marion Cotillard and Carice van Houten were also considered. According to Paul Verhoeven, most actresses immediately rejected the part as soon as they had read the script, instead of waiting for a few days, which is normal. One of the actresses said she felt uncomfortable because of things that had happened to her in the past, one didn't give any reasons but just said, 'certainly not'. Verhoeven relocated the shoot of Elle to France after being turned down by Hollywood actresses. Verhoeven revealed that Isabelle Huppert read the book, called up the writer and the producer and said she wanted to do the movie. When they were discussing it, she brought up Verhoeven's name. Huppert chose Verhoeven, not the other way around. Verhoeven told The Guardian that the only American actor who would have been game, he thinks, is Jennifer Jason Leigh, "she would have had absolutely no problem, She's extremely audacious. But she's an artistic presence and we were looking for names", he said.
Paul Verhoeven's first French-language film.
Before the production began, Paul Verhoeven went to a Dutch language institute to learn French, in order to better communicate with the cast and crew. He said it was simply necessary, because according to tradition, making a French movie should be done with an all-French crew. He initially spoke English with them, but this didn't work efficiently. Fortunately, Verhoeven had once been to a French school in his youth, so he picked up the language quickly.
Based on the novel "Oh..." by Philippe Djian.