Fatale attraction

Star of lesbian noir thriller Bound, JENNIFER TILLY relishes playing the femme fatale. Story' Nigel Floyd

For most of her ten-year career, 35- year-old Canadian actress Jennifer Tilly has been forced to play vapid bimbos and ditzy girlfriends. Even her Oscar- nominated breakthrough role as whiny-v0iced gangster’s moll and wannabe actress Olive Neal in Woody Allen's Bullets Over Broadway was merely a variation on this familiar floozy theme.

Now, as a manipulative femme fatale in the Wachowski Brothers’ neo-noir thriller Bound, Tilly has re-written her screen image from the inside out. All high heels, husky vorce and push-up bra, Tilly’s character Violet seems the perfect accessory for a money- launrlerer who's Just taken delivery of $2 million in cash. But when the couple’s new neiglilmur, lesbian ex-COn Corky (Showgirls star Gina Gershon), seduces her into stealing the readies, the shrinking Violet shows her true colours

In real life, Tilly’s ’hyperkinetic’ personality and raspy v0ice are more

N N E R0 Best Film, Best Director

reminiscent of Olive in Bullets Over Broadway, but her unfashionably voluptuous beauty, sharp mind and survival instincts are all her own. She describes her childhood as being like a ’sociological experiment' her mother was married twice, the second time to a hippie religious fanatic whose mind was on higher things than a stable family environment. Inspired by a childhood ViSit from a travelling theatre troupe; young Jennifer studied drama at college, before movmg to Los Angeles. However, it took her four years to get an agent, let alone an acting jOb, so she made ends meet by selling sandwrches in the street or cleaning apartments.

None of this prepared Tilly for the biggest challenge presented by Bound an extended lesbian love-making scene with Gina Gershon, To prepare for her role as Corky, Gershon had immersed herself in lesbian culture, with guidance from the film’s ’technical consultant’ Susie Bright, author of

‘The producers couldn't cut in any additional breasts and buttocks, or fly in some body-doubles from Montreal to make it more hardcore.’

Susie Sexpert’s Guide to Lesbian Sex. Tilly, though, came to the film straight from her preVIous mowe, House Arrest, but was determined not to offend the gay community.

’We all wanted to make sure that the



scene was an expreSSion of love between the two women,’ she explains. 'That’s why the Wachowskis filmed it as one long, continuous take, so the producers couldn’t cut in any additional breasts and buttocks, or fly in some body-doubles from Montreal to make it more hardcore.’

In the event, the love-making scene has gained something of a cult reputation among lesbian audiences. This has fuelled the obligatory speculation about the on-set chemistry between Gershon and Tilly, who nevertheless insists that her relationship With her co-star could best be described as ’goofy’.

’Gina and I could not stop laughing. Larry Wachowski was yelling through a

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For love or money: Jennifer Tilly in Bound

bull horn, naming the parts of our bodies that were on camera at that particular moment. So as the camera craned over us and did a complete 360 degree turnaround, Larry would yell out, “leg”, and then I’d move my leg. Or “foot”, and Gina would flex her foot. And in between Larry was yelling “walls”, and the grips were rushing in and pulling the set walls out, and then pushing them back as the camera passed, to give the appearance of a complete room, It was as if everybody had a job to do, and our job was to be baked by the lights and move our body parts on cue.’

Bound opens at the Glasgow Film Theatre and Edinburgh Filmhouse on Friday 28 February.


Best Foreign Language Film


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