Did you feel pigeonholed by the Hollywood science fiction movies? Is that why you're doing this? Because I got fed up? Kind of.
Why did you get fed up? I got fed up because I felt that I had done enough in that direction. And I couldn't get out anymore. Especially after the failure of "Showgirls," then trying to do something normal.
Do you still consider "Showgirls" a failure? It was a [box office] financial failure. Ultimately it turned out not to be a financial failure at all ... with the video and all that stuff. But, at that time, of course it was a bashing on both sides. It's still the best NC-17 ever! The highest grossing.
Was there any part of you then thinking, Just give it 20 years? I said that, I think. I said, "In 20 years, it might be different." But that didn't help for the coming years. Ultimately, at that time, they were shocked, of course, to a certain degree. They were also a bit pissed off, I think, that it was so overly sexual and so much nudity-oriented.
It was a little bit like being in Hollywood jail, as they call that. And the only way to escape from that was to go back to where people would still trust me, which was science fiction.
Ben Affleck has spoken about being in Hollywood jail. Sure, absolutely -- and he succeeded. Very well, in fact. But I felt the same. In fact, when I was a child and was 7 or 8, I liked science fiction. It was in all kinds of magazines -- along with like the one Spielberg did, "Tin Tin" -- but Superman was there and many, many American comic books were translated into Dutch. And I grew up with that. But, there was a lot of science fiction, too. And I loved that at that time. When I became a filmmaker in my 20s, I was much more styled by the French -- Fellini, and stuff like that.
You made a Fellini reference in "Tricked." Yes, I did. Fellini, for me, is a master in choreography. Choreography of camera and actors and how that works together -- especially in "8 1/2." Which I tried to use in "Showgirls" a lot, but nobody saw that.
I did not hear many Fellini comparisons when "Showgirls" was first released. I mean, I know that I did it. Not that I tried to copy Fellini. But I felt like using the camera that way -- because you see it all the time on the dressing rooms -- it's all camera move. That's why people say "very elegantly shot." But when you say, "I think it's a very elegant movie," people start to laugh because they think it's filthy. I mean, at that time, those were the reviews. People were writing, "I went to see 'Showgirls' and I had to leave the theater because I had to throw up." That's how it was received.