Demi Moore Discusses Nudity in New Film “The Substance” at Cannes

Demi Moore Discusses Nudity in New Film "The Substance" at Cannes

Demi Moore’s latest film, the feminist body horror “The Substance,” features several scenes of full nudity, showcasing the 61-year-old actor’s willingness to embrace vulnerability. At the Cannes Film Festival press conference for the film on Monday, Moore discussed this “vulnerable experience.”

“Going into it, it was really spelled out — the level of vulnerability and rawness that was really required to tell the story,” Moore said. “And it was a very vulnerable experience and just required a lot of sensitivity and a lot of conversation about what we were trying to accomplish.”

Directed by Coralie Fargeat, known for “Revenge,” Moore plays a fading celebrity who uses a black market drug called “The Substance,” a cell-replicating device that creates a younger, better version of herself, portrayed by Margaret Qualley. Moore’s character must share space with this new entity, spending half her time in a dormant state to allow the other to thrive. In a pivotal early scene, Moore’s character studies her nude body before using the drug, leading to the emergence of Qualley’s character, who marvels at her new, youthful form. The film’s stark depiction of full-frontal nudity serves as a necessary element for both characters.

Moore also praised Qualley for making her feel comfortable on set, despite Qualley not being present at the press conference due to travel commitments for another shoot.

“I had someone who was a great partner who I felt very safe with. We obviously were quite close — naked — and we also got a lot of levity in those moments at how absurd those certain situations were,” she said. “But ultimately, it’s just about really directing your communication and mutual trust.”

As the film progresses, Moore’s character becomes horribly disfigured due to the abuse inflicted by her other half, Qualley. By the film’s climax, she bears a striking resemblance to Anjelica Huston’s character in the 1990 film “The Witches,” after she transforms into a humpback abomination.

“It was very strange,” Moore said of seeing herself in the prosthetics both on set and at the premiere screening on Monday. One thing that helped was “my dog still recognized me. It was my touchstone of reality,” she said. The pooch in question is Pilaf, a purse dog who has stolen hearts around the world in recent weeks, sitting front row with Moore at the Gucci cruise collection runway show and posing for photos on the Croisette in recent days.

Dennis Quaid also stars in the film as an “asshole,” as he described his character during the press conference. The late Ray Liotta was meant to have the role before his passing in May 2022, and Quaid dedicated his performance to him.

“In my heart, I dedicated this role to Ray Liotta, who was set to play it,” Quaid said. “It was this week, two years ago that he passed, so I’d like to remember him. He was such an incredible actor.”

“The Substance” received a rapturous reception at its premiere on Sunday night, with Cannes audiences giving it an 11-minute standing ovation, the longest of the festival so far.

In an interview with Variety, director Coralie Fargeat discussed the film’s feminist themes, noting that body horror is “the perfect vehicle to express the violence all these women’s issues are about.”

With an undercurrent of #MeToo at this year’s festival as the movement grows in France, Fargeat hopes the film will shed even more light on the issue. “It’s a little stone in the huge wall we still have to build regarding this issue, and to be honest, I hope my film will also be one of the stones of that wall. That’s really what I intended to do with it.”

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Sachin Chouhan is an avid entertainment enthusiast and dedicated follower of celebrity and entertainment news. He has always had a passion for the latest happenings in the world of entertainment and has made it his mission to stay up-to-date on all the latest trends, news, and gossip. With years of experience following the entertainment industry, Sachin has developed a keen eye for the latest celebrity fashion trends, music releases, movie reviews, and red-carpet events. His in-depth knowledge and expertise have made him a trusted source for entertainment news and celebrity updates. Contact us:

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