Casting the NC-17 sex-addiction drama 'Shame' was just as difficult as you might imagine. "I had so many passes I couldn't even tell you," said casting director Avy Kaufman to the Los Angeles Times back in November about his struggles to find actresses to pair with Michael Fassbender for some of the film's more explicit moments. "I was unbelievably frustrated." Though apparently not enough to share that frustration with director Steve McQueen.
When asked about the casting difficulties 'Shame' faced, particularly the female roles that required extensive nudity, McQueen denied any hardships. "That's not true," he told Moviefone. "That's never been said. It's just not true. [...] I only deal with actresses. I'm not dealing with prostitutes or anything like that, no, not at all. They're actresses, and they're all credited in this movie."
Indeed they are. Meet DeeDee Luxe and Calamity Chang, two professional burlesque dancers who participate in of 'Shame's' most scintillating moments: a threesome that signals Brandon (Fassbender) is arriving near the bottom of his addiction.
Luxe and Chang, who play "Late Night Lover #1" and "Late Night Lover #2," make their feature film debuts in McQueen's new drama, and at least one prominent critic is happy they're present. "His companions, in that climactic bout, are played by DeeDee Luxe and Calamity Chang, two names that made me happier than anything else in the film," wrote Anthony Lane in his negative review for the New Yorker. "No such joy for Brandon; while his body is enmeshed with theirs, his face is trapped in a desperate rictus, as if he were nearing the loudest sneeze of his life, and what McQueen treasures here is the sullen aftermath, with the drained lecher sitting and crying beside the rotting piers of a wharf. And that's what happens to naughty little boys."
Not that Luxe and Chang mind Lane's shout out. "Omfg @thenewyorker's film critic Anthony Lane mentions @DeeDeeLuxe & I in his review," wrote Chang on Twitter.
"He's a bit grouchy," replied Luxe.
As for the rest of 'Shame's' actresses, they seem pleased with the experience -- even if things were a bit racy. "I'm so proud of what we did in the film," said Amy Hargreaves -- an actress who plays "Hotel Lover," and has wild sex with Fassbender against a hotel window -- to the Los Angeles Times. "Though I'm glad it's getting an NC-17 - my parents will never see it."
'Shame' is out in limited release now, and sure to remain a fixture of the conversation through Oscar season thanks to Fassbender's brilliant lead performance.
Additional reporting by Michael Hogan
[Photo: Fox Searchlight]
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