Film: Giggling with Kubrick

What ever happened to the scene in Eyes Wide Shut where Tom Cruise kissed a corpse? Julienne Davis was that body

FAIR DOS, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman have the monopoly on Eyes Wide Shut stories. But other members of the cast have tales to tell; Julienne Davis, for example, the young Californian actress, model and musician who plays the junkie prostitute Mandy in the film.

Initially, Julienne had reservations about the part. "I thought, oh my God, this is my first big movie part and I'm playing a drug addict/ prostitute. But then I saw that the character had layers, undercurrents, and she began to interest me." Davis developed her character partly through studying other depictions of drug addicts. "I watched the Uma Thurman character in Pulp Fiction, and I got a lot out of Trainspotting," she says.

On set, Davis was immeduiately aware that she was working with an unusual individual. "Kubrick was more eccentric than most - the way he looked, the way he did things - and I think that was because of his intelligence. He didn't approach tasks in a regimented, linear way. If there was A, B, C and D to do it would be, `Oh yes, D needs sorting out, and there's G over there, and let's go back to A now.' If you were quite an organised person it would drive you mad."

They bonded early on. "My father was employed by an offshoot of Nasa. He worked on one of the computers that put the first infrared satellite on Mars. Obviously, Stanley was into the whole space thing and he was really impressed. But the most endearing thing I remember is of him asking for a tape of my music. I almost fell off my chair when he came back the very next day and said how much he loved it, that my voice was fantastic, that his daughter was a composer and that he'd ring the managing director of Warners to get him to listen to it - which he did."

Kubrick, apparently, was far from dictatorial. "The atmosphere on set was light. The only one doing the roaring was the first assistant, and that's normal." But Kubrick was no pushover, either. "In a scene with Sidney Pollack I got the giggles. After we had to start to re-shoot the third time Stanley came up and gave me the stare. And this stare, I tell you, it's an over-the-glasses kind of stare that bores into you, and he says, `Julienne, you have to stop this now.'" She stopped.

Her scenes took, on average, 20 to 30 takes, more on occasion, though never the 50 upwards that Cruise and Kidman sometimes endured.

"In some of them I had to hold my breath for a minute and a half, and I couldn't blink, and that was very difficult." This was probably during the necrophilia sequence in which Tom Cruise kisses a corpse in a morgue. Kubrick included this scene in early versions of the film, but it was then dropped. Davis is contractually bound to stay silent about the plot - Kubrick's control continues from beyond the grave - and she loyally refuses to comment.

There's much speculation about the reason for this scene's disappearance. Most obviously, it may have been cut because the film was too long - Kubrick's edits were often overlength. Or inclusion could have prejudiced the film's US distribution; parts of the orgy scene have had to be digitally masked for US audiences.

It's also possible that Kubrick had second thoughts about representing such "perversion" on screen. The content of A Clockwork Orange and the subject matter of Lolita are strong counter-arguments to any suggestions of prudishness. Perhaps, though, as befitting a contented and ageing family man, his outlook on sexuality had become a bit staid.

Davis says cautiously, "His formative eras were the Forties and Fifties. He thought of women in a traditional way. He liked red lipstick and high heels." Kubrick was also uncomfortable with overt displays of affection. "I'd say, `Hi Stanley' and walk up and give him a big kiss on both cheeks, and he'd always look kind of pleased and shocked at the same time."

There were some constraints about the rendering of sexual images. By Davis's account, Kubrick stipulated that only actresses without implants could be used for nude shots. "The set was a silicone-free zone," she giggles. But whether the motivation behind this was aesthetic, moral or even feminist, is moot.

The work took its toll on Davis. "Afterwards I got ill for a couple of months. Maybe it was working 12-hour days, maybe it was playing a druggy - because when you enter that mindset for a period of months then it starts to affect you." None the less, she is keen on further suffering; when asked which other directors she'd like to work with, she says Oliver Stone is her first choice.

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own